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Film Review: Ben Stiller in Character For Thoughtful ‘Brad’s Status’

CHICAGO – Everyone comes to the point when they question their choices, their life and their truth. This concept is filtered through Ben Stiller in Brad’s Status, portraying a Dad taking his son for college visits, analyzing his life through the boy, his friends, plus his own angst and fears.

Film Review: Unexpected Lessons for the Student of ‘Indignation’

CHICAGO – America was a very different place in 1951, and there are very few people around to tell us about it. That is why reminders of the more confining social order that existed back then is necessary, and is expressed in the film “Indignation.” This is an adaptation of a recent Philip Roth novel, and he was able to articulate the era.

Interview: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke Discover ‘Mistress America’

CHICAGO – Greta Gerwig’s persona as a character actress has blossomed in the last three years, as she has taken on three women in their twenties at the crossroads of life, in that life decade of consequence. In addition to her title roles in “Lola Versus” and “Francis Ha,” her latest is “Mistress America,” which she also co-wrote.

Film Review: Deep Thoughts, Shallow Characters in ‘Irrational Man’

CHICAGO – At this point in his stellar career, what is fascinating about Woody Allen is basically what he thinks about. He is a successful, family-stable, millionaire filmmaker with mortality issues. In “Irrational Man,” he ponders the existential question of “what lights the spark of life?”

Film Review: ‘The Gambler’ is a Sure Bet for the Holiday Weekend

CHICAGO – Gritty, funky and quote-worthy, this re-imagining of “The Gambler” – from a 1970s source film – is one of Mark Wahlberg’s best performances. His addicted-to-gaming soul has roots in other frustrations, and the actor is willing to communicate the whole range of emotions.

Film Review: Leighton Meester Borrows the Soap in ‘The Roommate’

Roommate, The

CHICAGO – The latest “It” girls and guys have been collected for the “Meeting of the Marketed Movie,” the showcase for the latest actor brands. It’s titled “The Roommate, “ and Leighton Meester (”Gossip Girl”), Cam Gigandet (”Twilight”) and Minka Kelly (”Friday Night Lights”) lead the way.

Film Review: Nothing Plastic About Lena Dunham’s Post-Graduate ‘Tiny Furniture’

Tiny Furniture

CHICAGO – The 24 year-old Lena Dunham is a new and notable voice for her generation of filmmakers, breaking in with her first feature, the memorable “Tiny Furniture.” Dunham wrote, directed and portrays the main character Aura, a newly minted film theory graduate who is going through the time honored process of what to do with her post collegiate life.

Interview: Director Lena Dunham Arranges Her ‘Tiny Furniture’

Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture

CHICAGO – The coming-of-age film has evolved over the years, from Andy Hardy to “Splendor in the Grass” to “The Graduate,” up through “American Pie.” Filmmaker Lena Dunham offers her own post-collegiate transition narrative, in the archly realistic and perversely funny “Tiny Furniture.”

DVD Round Up, Jan. 27, 2009: ‘Moonlight,’ ‘College,’ ‘City of Ember’

College

CHICAGO – We apologize to the people behind these four titles but the star power is a little dim in this edition of HollywoodChicago.com’s DVD Round Up. When a canceled vampire series is arguably the biggest release in a four-pack of titles, it’s a weird edition of the Round Up. Prepare yourself.

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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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