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Francis Lawrence

Film Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ Shouldn’t Have Been Split in Two

CHICAGO – My issue with the “one movie split into two parts” debate isn’t even about money, which is clearly the main reason why we’ve seen blockbuster films do it like the two-part “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and now the two-part “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”.

Film Review: Entertaining, Complex ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

CHICAGO – Second acts to incredibly popular and entertaining mainstream fare can be a tough prospect. For every “The Dark Knight,” there are too many films like “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” – works that essentially just repeat what audiences fell in love with instead of trying to expand on the world of their predecessors.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Pairs of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Passes with Live Red-Carpet Stream

CHICAGORare! One of 2013’s most anticipated films! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson with a live red-carpet stream from the Los Angeles premiere!

Film News: Francis Lawrence to Direct ‘The Hunger Games’ Sequel ‘Catching Fire’

Catching Fire Book Cover

CHICAGO – “The Hunger Games” fans’ ravenous appetite for more will soon be satisfied as Lionsgate is moving forward with the sequel “Catching Fire.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has chosen Francis Lawrence to direct the anticipated sequel after Gary Ross chose not to return to the franchise. Lawrence’s most recent work includes “I Am Legend” and “Water for Elephants.” Stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are expected to return.

TV Review: FOX’s ‘Touch’ With Kiefer Sutherland Comes With Heavy Hand

CHICAGO – With elements of “Pay It Forward,” “The Number 23,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” classic inspirational TV fare like “Touched by an Angel,” and the later seasons of “Heroes,” FOX’s new drama, “Touch,” is an absolute mess.

Blu-ray Review: Old-Fashioned Melodrama of Effective ‘Water For Elephants’

Water For Elephants

CHICAGO – Given my general aversion to modern soap operas, I was understandably nervous about reviewing Francis Lawrence’s “Water For Elephants,” an over-heated romance based on the best-selling book. Much to my surprise, this is an effective drama that should remind viewers of “the kind of movies they don’t make any more.” It would have been right at home in the Hollywood of the ’40s and ’50s and should make a satisfying rental for nearly any audience willing to go for the cheesy ride.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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