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Harry Dean Stanton

Interview, Audio: John Carroll Lynch Directs an Elegy for Harry Dean Stanton in ‘Lucky’

Lucky

CHICAGO – He is a familiar character actor, having a long career with roles in TV and film as diverse as “Fargo,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Gran Torino,” “The Americans.” and the recent “Jackie” and “The Founder.” He is actor John Carroll Lynch, and he has made his directorial debut in the wonderfully essential “Lucky,” whose title character is portrayed by Harry Dean Stanton. The film is a perfect elegy for the actor, who passed away last month at the age of 91.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Harry Dean Stanton

CHICAGO – Harry Dean Stanton didn’t just act. He created a screen personality all of his own. The actor died last week at the age of 91, but with a 60-year career, there are a slew of highlights and shades of the man. Spike Walters, Patrick McDonald and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com spotlight three films in his career.

Film News: Character Actor Harry Dean Stanton Dies at 91

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LOS ANGELES – He was often categorized as the ultimate male character actor, but Harry Dean Stanton stood out on his own, with a persona that added immediate recognition in any supporting performance, and was unforgettable when he stepped into a lead role. Stanton died on September 15, 2017, at age 91.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Sam Shepard

CHICAGO – He was a true renaissance man, but his unassuming persona would conceal that lofty designation. Sam Shepard was a playwright, actor, author, screenwriter and director of countless important stage and screen works. Shepard died on July 27th, 2017, of complications due to Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). He was 73.

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Treats Cult Hit ‘Repo Man’ Like Classic Film

Repo Man

CHICAGO – One of the many things I love about The Criterion Collection is the even battlefield that it creates within its own archives. A film by Alfred Hitchcock or Akira Kurosawa or Charles Chaplin can sit next to a cult hit like “Repo Man.” I grew up in the era of “Repo Man“‘s growing cult status and it’s amazing to me to see this midnight movie given the same level of respect as films widely recognized as classics. “Repo Man” is a classic in its own way and the people at Criterion recognize that. Fans of the movie, and there are MANY, will be more than satisfied.

Film Review: Arnold Schwarzenegger is Back in ‘The Last Stand’

Last Stand, The

CHICAGO – With enough hair plugs, bronzer and hormone injections to float a rejuvenation clinic, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back from his political meanderings and is an action star once again in the shoot-’em-up “The Last Stand.” Johnny Knoxville lends some comic relief.

Film Review: Strange, Beguiling Sean Penn in ‘This Must Be the Place’

CHICAGO – Sean Penn picks his roles carefully, and famously said he didn’t know what the story meant in “Tree of Life.” His attachment to “This Must Be the Place” continues the vague journey through movieland, as he plays a bizarre and aging rock star whose life is about to get interesting.

Film Review: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell in Fun ‘Seven Psychopaths’

Seven Psychopaths
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Is there room for vengeance if you believe in Heaven and Hell? How do we suppress our need for moral and even physical justice if we believe that violence leads to damnation? Is there a chance to…oh, never mind. Let’s just blow someone’s brains out. That’s essentially how “Seven Psychopaths,” the clever new action comedy from Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) works in that it has a number of interesting ideas that aren’t fully developed even if the movie is fun enough to be considered a sin.

Blu-ray Review: Criterion HD Upgrade For Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’

The Last Temptation of Christ

CHICAGO – As audiences still catch up with the five-time Oscar-winning “Hugo” from master Martin Scorsese (released on Blu-ray last month), it might provoke a few young people to explore the filmmaker’s history. They will likely start with the widely-recognized classics like “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” and “GoodFellas,” but they will eventually get to “The Last Temptation of Christ,” recently released in an upgraded Criterion edition and re-released on DVD. The MASSIVE controversy that greeted this film on its release has somewhat clouded its prominence in movie history. This is a great film, a better one than you remember and one of Scorsese’s best.

DVD Review: Dramatic Depth of ‘Big Love: The Complete Collection’

Big Love S5

CHICAGOHBO’s “Big Love” never quite got the attention it deserved. It’s the bridge from the “Sopranos” era of HBO to the “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” one that we live in now and the rollercoaster of quality in terms of seasons never allowed the program to really find a groove. I’m happy it existed. And I’m even happier to own “Big Love: The Complete Series,” a volume of quality drama to which history will be very kind.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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).

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