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Australia

Film Review: ‘Lion’ Can’t Quite Tame Audience’s Hearts

CHICAGO – “Lion” is the kind of inspirational-triumph-over-insurmountable-odds and adversity stories that’s bound to appeal to grandmothers and Academy voters, and it does offer plenty of material to tug at the heartstrings. But it’s a movie that only gets the job half done, and unfortunately loses its way once Nicole Kidman comes into the picture.

Film Review: Strong Cast Turns on ‘The Light Between Oceans’

CHICAGO – In the early 1970s, “Love Story” was all the rage, with its catchphrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Just as sudsy, and with its own catchphrase, is “The Light Between the Oceans.” The film, set in the early 20th Century, salvages a by-the-numbers tale with fine performances.

Interview: Producer Marla Gamze to Present ‘Artists of the First Sunrise’ in Chicago on Nov. 14, 2015

Artists of the First Sunrise

CHICAGO – The traditions and ceremony of our tribal past have eventually become homogenized in modern society. But there are some parts of the world where those traditions still exist, and much of it has a connection to art, dance, design, music and ritual. Executive Producer Marla Gamze is working on a new documentary – “Artists of the First Sunrise” – about the indigenous Aboriginal tribes of Australia, a native population that still bond to their tradition and expression.

Exclusive Portrait: Russell Crowe in Chicago for ‘The Water Diviner’

CHICAGO – Actor and Oscar Winner Russell Crowe, known for films such as “L.A. Confidential,” “Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man,” “Les Miserables” and “Man of Steel,” breaks out in his directorial debut and also stars in “The Water Diviner,” a story of war and his native Australia.

Film Review: ‘The Sapphires’ Don’t Fit Inside its 1960s Setting

CHICAGO – “The Sapphires” is inspired by a true story, about an Australian girl group who entertains the troops in 1968 Viet Nam. There is little feeling regarding the era the film is portraying, and it’s essentially used as a vehicle for period pop songs that have been heard before.

Interview: Director Wayne Blair, Jessica Mauboy of ‘The Sapphires’

CHICAGO – In other countries and cultures, there are parallel moments going on that are interesting mirrors to U.S. history. In “The Sapphires,” a girl group from Australia entertains the troops in Viet Nam, with many of the same U.S. issues of war, peace and social discord. The film is directed by Wayne Blair and features Jessica Mauboy.

Film Review: Guy Pearce Delves Into Corruption in Riveting 'Animal Kingdom'

Guy Pearce of Animal Kingdom

CHICAGO – The thin line between anarchy and social peace is shriveling into a microscopic blur as sentencing and incarceration become increasingly less effective as a deterrent. The human side of this perspective is explored with an artistic elegance, featuring Guy Pearce in writer/director David Michôd’s “Animal Kingdom.”

Interview: Director David Michôd Explores His ‘Animal Kingdom’

CHICAGO – The gangster movie gets a nice Freudian twist in director David Michôd’s new film, “Animal Kingdom.” This Australian import focuses on a family of bank robbers whose mother is the glue that holds their criminality together. Guy Pearce (”Memento,” “The Hurt Locker”) lends his talent as Leckie, a pursuing police officer.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Australia’ Continues to Waste Talent of Cast, Crew on Blu-Ray

Australia
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Visionary director Baz Luhrmann would probably like people to watch his grandiose, old-fashioned, epic “Australia” on the big screen, but HD Blu-Ray seems made for this vibrant, colorful director. At first. This Luhrmann fan, like a lot of people who loved “Strictly Ballroom,” “Romeo + Juliet,” and “Moulin Rouge!” was let down by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in theaters and the disappointment continues on Blu-Ray.

Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Australia’ With Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman Gets Lost in Own Cinematic Outback

CHICAGO – Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and newcomer Brandon Walters star in Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia”: a sweeping, grand epic in the tradition of “Gone With the Wind” that gets away from its talented director, the writers he worked with and the team he hired to film his passion project.

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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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