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Alexander Skarsgard

Film Review: Adolescence Boldly Drawn in ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’

Diary of a Teenage Girl

CHICAGO – Real boldness, real truth, is hard to fine in teenage stories. The confusing and hormonal time is often trivialized, or used as a prop for unlikely situations. “Diary of a Teenage Girl” pulls no such punches, in a tale of a 15 year old girl having her first love affair – with a 35 year old man.

Slideshow: Odeya Rush, Brenton Thwaites Pose For ‘The Giver’

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Odeya Rush portrays Fiona in ‘The Giver.’

CHICAGO – Two of the hottest young stars came to Chicago recently to promote their latest film, “The Giver.” Odeya Rush and Brenton Thwaites were at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier to greet fans and sign autographs. HollywoodChicago.com was there and got Exclusives Portraits of the dynamic co-stars.

Film Review: ‘The Giver’ Takes Too Much From Young Adult Formula

CHICAGO – “The Giver” must have seemed a lot newer back when it was written than it does now. The Newberry Medal winning, middle school staple predates many other Young Adult series about oppressive big brother-ish societies.

Interview: Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush Provide for ‘The Giver’

CHICAGO – Once Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are locked into a film about a society that limits its emotions and memories, how do you find the teenage actors to play opposite them? Australian Brenton Thwaites, and Israeli-born Odeya Rush passed the audition, and they join the Oscar winners in the adaptation of “The Giver.”

TV Review: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Has Lost Its Pulse

CHICAGO – Does anyone else remember when “True Blood” was fun? When it was about a special girl falling for a brooding vamp and not ALWAYS about the fate of the entire world? When it had a sense of humor, especially in characters like Jason & Lafayette?

Film Review: Opportunity For Insight Wasted in ‘The East’

The East
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Brit Marling is an undeniably smart, forward-thinking writer/actress in that she refuses to succumb to gender stereotypes and tries to chart her own way through the independent film movement. If this is true, and I still believe it is, why did “The East,” in which she stars and which she co-wrote, end up so frustratingly melodramatic? Why was the opportunity for true commentary or even character development within this fascinating world discarded in favor of an awkwardly-staged and poorly-written love story laden with genre tropes? I so wanted to like “The East,” but it never pointed me in the direction where I could do so.

Interview: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij Journey to ‘The East’

CHICAGO – If you don’t like the roles you’re being offered, why not write them yourself? That has been the philosophy of actress Brit Marling, who taught herself the art of screenwriting in order to create the sort of complex female roles Hollywood avoids like the plague.

Blu-ray Review: Lavish Season Set For HBO’s Beloved ‘True Blood’

True Blood S5

CHICAGO – I’ve talked to a number of people who think the fifth season of “True Blood” is when it jumped the bloodsucking shark, although there are certainly legions of fans of this HBO smash hit who will never give up on Sookie Stackhouse and her neverending parade of supernatural friends and foes. HBO Home Video knows how faithful viewers for a program like “True Blood” will become even more so with great home releases and so have turned the “True Blood” line into one of their absolute best. The latest, “True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season,” is no exception.

Interview: Directors David Siegel, Scott McGehee of ‘What Maisie Knew’

What Maisie Knew, David Siegel & Scott McGehee

CHICAGO – The story of “What Maisie Knew” may be unusual, but the reflection of the subject matter fits perfectly within the patterns of contemporary family culture. Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel create a scenerio in which a custody battle for a little girl named Maisie becomes more about the parent’s egos than her care.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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).

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