Charlotte Gainsbourg

Film Review: Stellar Cast & Director Fail to Build ‘The Snowman’

Snowman, The

CHICAGO – The biggest mystery in “The Snowman” is what in the world talented actors like Michael Fassbender, Chloe Sevigny, Toby Jones, and Val Kilmer are doing here in the first place. Fassbender’s character’s name alone should have sent off alarm bells. This is based on a series of detective novels featuring detective Harry Hole, and characters have voluminous opportunities to repeat it, although with nary a snigger.

Interview: Actor Omar Sy Tackles Immigrant Issues in ‘Samba’

CHICAGO – The situation with in-country immigrants is not just an issue in the United States. The new French film “Samba” focuses on the ongoing status of immigrants in Paris, who often do menial jobs while surviving under the radar of immigration laws. French Actor Omar Sy portrays the title character with insight and humor.

Film Review: Nature, Morality Collide in ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1’

Nymphomaniac: Vol 1

CHICAGO – Director and writer Lars von Trier creates exposure through his film art. He is unafraid to explore the very nature of being human, while at the same time revealing the very foibles of barriers to our nature – social structures, economies, religion and our own conceits in life. Lars von Trier’s latest barrier breaker is “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1.”

2014 Sundance Diary, Day 6: Wrapping it Up with a Twisted Double Feature

Park City was abuzz on the final day with guesses as to what the secret screening known as “Film X” would be on Tuesday night. Could it be Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel”? Maybe “Foxcatcher,” which was almost done in time for awards season and so may be now? “Snowpiercer”? The new Kevin Smith? “Star Wars, Episode VII”?

Blu-ray Review: Gorgeous Transfer For Lars Von Trier’s Incredible ‘Melancholia’

Melancholia

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s incredible “Melancholia” gets better both in memory and on repeat viewing, especially with a pristine, jaw-dropping transfer like the one granted it by Magnolia on their recently-released Blu-ray. It may have been left out of all Academy Award categories but this was easily one of the best movies of last year. And the few before that as well. Most people missed it in theaters. Catch up on Blu-ray.

Film Review: Lars Von Trier’s Mesmerizing ‘Melancholia’ Turns Depression Into Art

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” is a mesmerizing, haunting portrayal of the world-shattering force of depression from a filmmaker who has first-hand knowledge of the debilitating disease. With career-best work by Kirsten Dunst and some of the most confident filmmaking from its controversial director, this is one of the best films of 2011, a stunningly original examination of that which is completely out of our control.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Antichrist’ Receives Pristine Treatment on Criterion

Antichrist Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – One of the most reliable scenarios in the horror movie playbook is the satanic possession of a human character. “Antichrist” is about a woman who isn’t possessed, but is nevertheless absolutely convinced that she is an instrument of the devil. This is a much scarier premise, since the greatest horrors externalized in the film are spawned entirely from the woman’s unstable psyche, deranged by guilt.

DVD Review: ‘The City of Your Final Destination’ Fails Spectacular Cast

City of Your Final Destination

CHICAGO – It’s unlikely that there will be a more A-list cast in a more frustrating film this entire year than on display in “The City of Your Final Destination.” Not only does it include a reunion of the great director James Ivory with star Anthony Hopkins (who appeared in the director’s “Howards End” and “Remains of the Day”) but it features two of my favorite actresses alive, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Laura Linney. And yet, the only word I can think of to describe the film is “disappointing.”

‘City of Your Final Destination’ Isn’t Worth a Visit

City of Your Final Destination
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Although “City of Your Final Destination” is not the latest installment of the Rube Goldberg-inspired splatter series, it does seem to be populated with the walking dead. The only similarity shared between the “Final Destination” franchise and this picturesque drama is an overwhelming abundance of tedium, generated by a plot that often seems as stagnant as its listless characters.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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