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Demian Bichir

Film Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ is a Pale Copy of Previous Best Films

CHICAGO – It’s worth noting that the Alien series extends back nearly 40 years, and yet the chest-bursting Xenomorphs have produced a grand total of exactly two good movies. The orginal “Alien” and “Aliens” are great films that stand the test of the time, while every other entry in this series would require a significant stretch of the imagination to be called barely watchable.

Film Review: Quentin Tarantino Stays Familiar in ‘The Hateful Eight’

CHICAGO – Story-wise, there is not much difference in “The Hateful Eight” – regarding themes and violence – that writer/director Quentin Tarantino hasn’t explored before. But it is also an outrageous and big western tale, and it’s presented in some theaters in a huge 70mm screen format.

TV Review: FX Promises Dark Journey Across ‘The Bridge’

CHICAGOFX’s “The Bridge” bears undeniable resemblance to other recent cable hits. The quirky-but-smart female lead will remind viewers of Claire Danes’ award-winning performance on Showtime’s “Homeland” while the mystery structure of the piece and the dense atmosphere are undeniably reminiscent of AMC’s “The Killing.” And international audiences will know it’s a loose remake of a Swedish show called “Bron.”

Film Review: Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock Fuel ‘The Heat’

CHICAGO – An incredibly talented ensemble elevates a pretty pedestrian script in the just-funny-enough “The Heat,” a movie that gets better as it goes along, largely because its two mega-talented stars carry it over some mediocre patches of writing. Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock simply have unimpeachable comic timing.

Film News: Screen Actors’ Guild Nominations Contain a Few Surprises

The Help

CHICAGO – The announcements keep coming for award season winners and nominees. Today, we have the list of nominees for this year’s Screen Actors’ Guild awards. The awards celebrate the best male and female performances in film and television, leaving out awards like Best Picture or Best Director. “The Help” leads this year’s films with four different nominations.

Film Review: Mexicans in America Keep Striving in ‘A Better Life’

CHICAGO – One of the most contentious issues in America now is the handling of “illegal” immigrants from Mexico. They, like anyone else, want a better circumstance for themselves and their families, as director Chris Weitz explores in the new film “A Better Life.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘A Better Life’ From ‘About a Boy’ Director Chris Weitz

A Better Life from About a Boy and New Moon director Chris Weitz

CHICAGO – In our latest drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “A Better Life” from Oscar-nominated director Chris Weitz (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “About a Boy” and “The Golden Compass”)!

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Version of Steven Soderbergh’s Riveting ‘Che’

Che

CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” is one of the most underrated and misunderstood films of the ’00s. It features not only one of the best performances of the last several years from the great Benicio Del Toro but this challenging biopic should have been embraced by all the critics and audience members who are constantly lamenting the lack of filmmakers willing to take risks and provoke discussion.

Blu-Ray Review: Fifth Season of Showtime’s ‘Weeds’ Produces Nice Buzz

Weeds: Season Five

CHICAGO – The fifth season of one of the most acclaimed comedies of the ’00s recently sparked up on Blu-ray with the latest release of Showtime’s “Weeds”. This ADD-riddled season had some serious lows but enough highs to provide a consisent buzz. Once-great, now-good, still-worth-watching, especially in HD.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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