Blog Archives

CinemaJaw 171, character Actors w/guest Jamie Campbell

Reviewed this episode: Free Birds, Beverly, Salinger
Trivia: State Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Are we going into the digital age too fast?

thatGuyThat guy who was in that thing…

Ah the Character Actor. Commonly referred to as That Guy (or That Girl) who was in that thing… you know… with that other dude who was in that other movie… This goes on and on. These are the unsung work horses of Hollywood who effortlessly carry a film with their talents and are rarely recognized for it. while the leading men and women giddily jaunt down the red carpet the flashbulbs tend to pause on the Character Actors turn down the crimson rug, while the paparazzi colectively wonder to themselves “who is that again? I know I’ve seen him before”, and they have… we all have. This week on CinemaJaw we go ahead and shine the spotlight into the dark corners of the Character Actor and see who we can find in obscurity.

2013-11-06 21.48.38

On this quest, we pad ourselves up, wearing rubber waders, oven gloves and safety goggles (Character Actors can be an elusive prey) we are joined by Chicago comedy mainstay and talk show host Jamie Campbell. Jamie joins in for the entire episode as we call out our favoite Charater Actors, have a CinemaWAR, play some Trivia and a whole lot more! It’s like that one movie… you know…  the one with That Guy?  Oh it was AWESOME!


CinemaJaw 170, Best Movie Battles w/guest Charles Klein

Reviewed this episode: Captain Phillips, Carrie
I for an I: Thor the Darkworld
Trivia: Dark Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Which Star Wars prequel is better, Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones?

battleWe don’t have to beat them… we just have to fight!

Battles. Since the dawn of humanity, and probably long before, battles have raged. Glory, valor and justice can be found within. No one can deny the excitement of a great battle, the adrenaline and power they produce. While we do not celebrate war for wars sake, good vs. evil is an important fight and the escapism of movies can be a safe place to explore the horrors, comedies, and human experience of conflict. This week on CinemaJaw we take a look at our Top 5 Battle Scenes from film in honor of Thor and Ender’s Game in theaters this month.

Joining us, his shining armor highly polished is CinemaJaw regular guest, filmmaker and curator of Indie Incubator Film Fest, Mr. Charles Klein. for those of you who don’t know Chuck has been a guest many times on the ‘Jaw talking up his Film Fest, short films and various projects. We are happy to have him back on to battle with us!

speaking of battles, this weeks episode features a CinemaWAR for the ages plus I for an I, Trivia and a whole lot more. as Ry The movie Guy is fond of saying: It’s Jam Packed!

Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war!

Reviewed this episode: Enough Said 
I for an I: The Councelor
Trivia: Horror Remake Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Zombies vs. Vampires


Special thanks to Reno for helping us record the Statesville  segments

This is Halloween!

Every twelve months, the leaves turn orange and begin to fall in little swirly whirlwinds. Cheap fire-resistant fake spiderwebs are strewn across the shrubbery, and plastic tombstones bemoan the passing of one Mr. Yule B. Heresoon. Temperatures vary by twenty degrees or more from day to day and you never know if you will need ski boots or flip flops. One thing is for certain… Halloween is approaching. The ghouls and goblins stir in their layers waiting for their annual chance to cry out for candy unnoticed. This is the time of year that Horror fans love so much, and yes that is how they would dress everyday, if only they could. Horror. Oh the Horror. If you’re not in heaven, you will be soon.

For our Halloween Special, Matt K and Ry The Movie Guy head out down a dark deserted road to an abominable attraction, Statesville Haunted Prison. There they are joined by John LaFlamboy. John is the director of the inmates who haunt the prison and creator of one of the most popular Halloween hot-spots in the nation. That is only the beginning, John is also a filmmaker who’s latest horror-comedy Moleman of Belmont Avenue has recently hit Netflix, and the leader of Zombie Army Productions. We celebrate the season, discuss horror, haunting business, and much more with John.


But there are more nails in our coffin lid! Matt and Ry put together a Top 5 Scariest Horror Locations list, review some flicks, have a CinemaWAR, play some trivia and barely escape with their lives intact.

Take a listen… it’s a SCREEEEEAM!

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CinemaJaw 167, Best On-Screen Duos w/guests Dorian and Brant at The Rot Shop

Reviewed this episode: Gravity
I for an I: Carie, 12 Years a Slave
Trivia: Year Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Is Tom Hanks still as Big as he once was? 

Just the two of us. You and I


Dynamic Duos are everywhere in film. From Comedy to Horror to Romance and more, they span every genre. Tenor and bass, chocolate and vanilla, serious and zany, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s just plain physics.  Everyone needs someone to play against, just like Matt K and Ry The Movie Guy, our very own Felix and Oscar. That is why this week on CinemaJaw we are delving into the dichotomy and harmony of great On-Screen Duo’s. Mind you, these are the actors on screen, and not an actor/director pairing, which is a whole other episode.

Joining us for this binocular view is another Batman and Robin filmmaking pair: Dorian and Brant of the upcoming thriller Chicago Rot. D & B were kind enough to host this week’s recording at their appropriately named work-space, the legendary Rot Shop here in Chicago. the space is exactly what you might imagine as a workshop for horror effects and set design, but just to paint the picture have a look at these shots by Eliaz. It was a pleasure to record there and we thank Dorian and Brant for hosting us!

In addition to our Top 5 Duos, we will be hitting all the usual, I for an I, CinemaWAR and a whole lot more. This is an epic episode with twice the thrills! Enjoy!

CinemaJaw 166, Best Water Movies w/guest John Hammerle of Hammervision

Reviewed this episode: Prisoners
I for an I: Captain Phillips
Trivia: Captain Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Is Jennifer Lawrence too big for the Hunger Games now? 



Each week CinemaJaw has what you need to quench your thirst to movie fun! This week especially so, since we are talking about Water Movies. These are the films that take place on a lake, pond, river or the briny deep. Above or even under the waves. Since a large percentage of the surface of the planet is water, it makes sense that this would be a popular setting for films. That and who doesn’t like going to the beach?


Joining us in our orange submarine is a fellow ChicagoNow blogger who, along with his wife, is half the force behind movie/television blog Hammervision, John Hammerle. John has his top 5 Water Movies ready to set sail, and he joins us for deep (*ahem*) discussions about film in general. it’s like a poolside bar for your ears. Swimming.


Reviewed this episode: The Family,
I for an I: Rush
Trivia: Racing Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Is Chris Hemsworth just a pretty face?

Get ready to laugh!

Chicago Comedy Film Festival

A good funny lady is not very easy to find in Hollywood. Sure, in TV land funny ladies abound, but when you keep the discussion strictly to movies, as we do here on CinemaJaw, Top Comedic Actresses becomes a really challenging list to come up with!

Thank goodness that we live in Chicago, a city that is synonymous with comedy. Thank goodness we know Jessica Hardy and Brent Kado, Festival Director and Vice President of the Chicago Comedy Film Festival respectively. These two know a thing or three about comedy film, and coming up with a top list is a like child’s play in their hands.

All that and much more on this comedy stuffed episode of CinemaJaw that will have you bursting at the seams!

CinemaJaw 163, Recipes for Disaster w/guest Natalie Slater of Bake & Destroy

Reviewed this episode: The Butler
I for an I: Insidious Chapter 2
Trivia: De Nero and Pfeiffer Movie Trivia
CinemaWAR: Is instant Movie News good for business? 

DisasterHappy Friday The 13th Everyone!

Take two movie critics. One loves B-movies, horror and super heroes. One loves drama, culture and highbrow. Add a guest each week. Add one talented engineer in a box. And stir lightly. There you have… a Recipe for Disaster!

It doesn’t always go as planned for characters in the movies. I guess if it did films would be pretty boring. Still,  most films turn out how you would expect for both the character and the audience. Convenient solutions present themselves in the nick of time and that countdown clock on the bomb never ever gets to zero. Sigh… PREDICTABLE CITY! That is why this week on CinemaJaw we are choosing our Top 5 Recipes For Disaster movies.

These  are the films where nothing goes as planned for the characters, the plot changes  and twists. These are anything but predictable films.

We need a guest. A masterful chef to guide us through these recipes. Someone who can kick-ass, take names, and bake cupcakes. She has appeared on Food Network, The Cooking Channel, and WTTW Chicago Tonight as well as on the pages of Time Out Chicago and Bust Magazine, welcome Natalie Slater. Author of  the long running blog and new book Bake and Destroy, Natalie is a wonderfully creative Chicagoan who is second to none when it comes to pop culture inspired confections.


Her long-time love of horror, metal, wrestling and punk rock combines with her long-time love of the culinary arts to give us a gal who had a Misfits sticker on her Easy Bake Oven as a child (I imagine), and someone who knows a thing or two about Recipes For Disaster.

Evil Dead Cookies

We asked Natalie to share a recipe for CinemaJaw fans and she came up with these Evil Dead inspired cookies, enough to make Cookie Monster blush. Coincidentally that cookie recipe was also originally posted on a Friday the 13th, all of the ingredients for this episode just sort of seem to fall into place.

Natalie sits in with us for the entire episode as we go through our lists, play some trivia and even gamble a little bit. You can bet on it!

CinemaJaw 160 Best Dinner Scenes w/guest Steve “Go” Green of FoodieChats


Chilled Monkey Brains

Many of the most important moments in life happen over dinner. It is a time to gather as friends and family to simply be together. Bread is broken, announcements are made, fights are had and life is celebrated. Dinner is one of the finest moments in the day. Naturally film has reflected this. That is why this week on CinemaJaw we are taking a look at our top 5 dinner scenes from the movies.

Steve Grreen of #Foodiechats

We need an expert. Someone who knows how to talk about food. This is CinemaJaw… enter #foodiechats. Steve “Go” Green heads up a popular weekly hashtag chat on Twitter (#foodiechats, 7pm CST), that has snowballed into a social media empire. And who doesn’t love talking about food!? Nobody, thats who. So Steve joins us for the whole episode and lends his expert opinion.

In addition to that, we have a full menu of CinemaWAR, trivia, news and reviews and thats just the appetizers! Chew on it! Cheers.

CinemaWAR: Who has more box office mojo left, Nic Cage or John Cusack?
Trivia: World Movie Trivia
Reviewed this episode: Elysium, Planes, We’re the Millers

CinemaJaw 159, Best Violent Movies w/guest Mike Monti


Since the dawn of story telling, our stories have contained violence. It can be disgusting, it can be cathartic. It can carry great weight, or be completely gratuitous. One thing is for certain violence is deeply embedded in the human condition. Movies are no exception. Violent movies have been in the news since they began, many argue for and against it. It is a topic that can stir powerful emotions. That is why this week on CinemaJaw we take a look at our top 5 favorite violent movies!

Joining us is Musician, Actor and Improv-er Mike Monti. Mike is a good friend of the show, and he knows how to rough it up when necessary! He helps us choose our top 5 and also goes to-to-toe with our usual segments.


So take a listent o the latest ‘Jaw… or else… we don’t wanna have to get tough on ya!

CinemaWAR: Will Avatar be the next big series, or fail? 
I for an I: Kick-Ass 2
Trivia: Servant Movie trivia
Reviewed this episode: The Spectacular Now, 2 Guns, Spring Breakers

CinemaJaw 158, Best Sophomore Entries w/guest Matthew Stromer


Here it is. Your big chance. A chance to prove that you are not some fluke, not some one hit wonder. Your second at bat. This is critical. Will you succeed, or fail? We all face this scenario many times in our life. Hollywood is no exception. With the high level of risk to reward in filmmaking, if you don’t have it right by your second professional attempt, then you are unlikely to see your third.

This week on CinemaJaw we take a look at the oft problematic Sophomore Entry of filmmakers, and we choose our favorites.


Joining us for his freshman appearance on the ‘Jaw is Chicago filmmaker and comedian Matthew Stromer. To say that Matthew is an interesting person is a vast understatement. With a background in Radio, law and dance, he is a polymath that must be experienced to be understood. His brand of film and comedy is hilarious, terrifying, creepy and silly all at once. Take a gander at a couple of his films below.

In addition to our Sophomore, not necessarily sophomoric picks, we hit all the usuals. I for an I CinemaWAR and a slew of reviews!

This is not our first rodeo.

CinemaWAR: Which actress needs to stop making movies first – Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Aniston?
I for an I: Elysium
Trivia: Matt Damon / Jody Foster Movie Trivia
Reviewed this episode: Blue Jasmine, The Wolverine, Despicable Me 2