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Harvey Keitel

Interviews: Women in Film Chicago 2017 Focus Award Recipients

CHICAGO – Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) continues its role as one of the best resource and advocacy groups for women filmmakers. Last month, they celebrated their Focus Awards and honored four women – producer Julie Smolyansky, cinematographer Tari Segal, filmmaker Mary Morten and comedian Julia Sweeney.

Film Review: It Hurts Trying to Laugh at ‘The Comedian’

Comedian, The

CHICAGO – Mention this possibility…Robert De Niro portrays an aging stand-up comic who once had a popular sitcom in the 1980s…and 99% of filmgoers are in. Add that he beds a woman 25 years his junior, does community service, roasts Cloris Leachman and becomes a reality show host, and suddenly 80% of that 99 are out. That’s just part of the over-extension and dread in “The Comedian.”

Film Review: Elegant, Delicate Emotions Are Forged in ‘Youth’

CHICAGO – When a film tries to be philosophical, it easily can devolve into heavy handedness. But the exception is the latest from writer/director Paolo Sorrentino, the richly presented “Youth.” It treads upon many definitions of the title, and lands upon all of them, because that’s life.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-ray, DVD Combo Packs to Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Moonrise Kingdom” from Wes Anderson!

Blu-ray Review: Four More Warner Bros. Titles Join HD Club

Mean Streets

CHICAGO – Warner Brothers has been unleashing catalog titles on Blu-ray at a rate that would strain the bank account of pro athletes. Every week lately sees a wave of movies that have never been on Blu-ray before joining the HD revolution. This quartet is particularly varied with one timeless classic, an underrated performance from an underrated actor, and two moderate action movies. Pick your favorite. My order of preference is as follows:

Film Review: Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Delights with Clever Tale of Young Love

CHICAGO – Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” is a true delight — a fun, clever, and, of course, whimsical tale about the days when love seemed worth running away from home over and getting a scout badge meant the world.

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.

Blu-Ray Review: Horrendous ‘Little Fockers’ Could Be Used as Torture

Little Fockers

CHICAGO – “Little Fockers” would have been high on my “Worst of 2010” list if I had written one or suffered through it in theaters. It’s an awful disaster of a movie, completely devoid of laughs and downright embarrassing for everyone involved, including some incredibly talented actors. There should be some sort of atonement or movie prison for forcing this junk on families at the holiday season. It’s like getting coal for Christmas. Actually, it’s worse than coal.

Blu-Ray Review: Stunning Release For Timeless ‘Taxi Driver’

Taxi Driver

CHICAGO – Few films have held up as well as Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” one of the best films of its era that has recently been released in a stunning Blu-ray special edition, the best HD release of the year to date. With fantastic special features, a stunning transfer, and a film that offers something new every time you see it, “Taxi Driver” is the definition of a must-own.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Downward Dog

    CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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