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Film Review: As Comedy, ‘Table 19’ Only Serves Hor d’Oeuvres

CHICAGO – “Table 19” is an example of a movie that doesn’t try to do too much. It simply takes its little idea and lets it play out, without the forced subplots and desperate stabs of fake urgency so many studio comedies resort to – it’s one part aimless hang out comedy, one part rom-com.

Film Review: Charming ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Bucks Botched Sequel Trend

CHICAGO – Motivated by financial necessity, sequels often mitigate business risk and satisfy studio executives by riding on the coattails of a previous fan base with brand equity. But business aside, to moviegoers the follow-up product so often feels like it “wasn’t nearly as good as the first” or didn’t need to return at all.

Film Review: Reese Witherspoon Takes a Tedious Trip Into the ‘Wild’

CHICAGO – At times “Wild” resembles the hallucinatory fever dream of a dehydrated and delirious hiker (played by Reese Witherspoon), alone in the world. I only wish her fever dreams were more interesting for the rest of us.

Blu-ray Review: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan in Stunning ‘Shame’

Shame

CHICAGO – We’re never going to get the films we deserve from adult filmmakers if the NC-17 continues to operate under the stigma that it does. “Shame” was a perfect film to warrant an NC-17 and yet the rating became the story instead of the film itself, to the point that critics and awards voters didn’t give this excellent work the credit it deserves. When viewers catch up with it over the next few years, they’ll be stunned that the film earned zero Oscar nominations. What Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan do here is nothing short of stunning.

Film Review: Michael Fassbender Stars in Riveting, Daring ‘Shame’

CHICAGO – Steve McQueen’s “Shame” is a daring examination of isolation and addiction with the best performance of the year courtesy of Michael Fassbender and one that nearly matches it from the always-stellar Carey Mulligan.

Film Review: ‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ Could Be Cure For Insomnia

snowflower1.jpg
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Wayne Wang’s “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is such a stunningly inert film that it’s almost worth seeing to watch a movie with no thrust whatsoever. Probably due to a language barrier, the film features two of the least effective lead performances of the year, which keeps the audience from engaging in the story emotionally and just leaves them wondering how this book became a bestseller.

Film Review: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan Rock in Fantastic ‘Win Win’

CHICAGO – Writer/Director Thomas McCarthy makes films with that very unique attribute in which the characters completely feel like they exist before the opening scene and after the credits roll. As he did in “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” he has told another unique story that is both moving and also believable at the same time, an increasingly-rare combination. “Win Win” is the first great film of 2011.

Film Review: James Franco, Danny Boyle Elevate Harrowing Saga of ‘127 Hours’

CHICAGO – What separates us during extreme danger? Why do some people collapse under the weight of likely death while others push forward and make it out alive? What fuels the will to survive to the point that it can do the unimaginable?

International Trailer Released For 2007 Smash Hit ‘Juno’

Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody

Fox Searchlight released a second “Juno” trailer on Thursday. While the international trailer takes a different direction than the first, it still features front and center the talent in Diablo Cody’s script.

Fox Atomic Plucks ‘Juno’ Writer Diablo Cody, Megan Fox For ‘Jennifer’s Body’

Diablo Cody, the comedic writer behind “Juno,” and “Transformers” siren Megan Fox have both been plucked by Fox Atomic for a comedic supernatural thriller by the name of “Jennifer’s Body”.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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