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Hoop Dreams

Film News: Magnolia Pictures Acquires Roger Ebert Biography Film ‘Life Itself’

Life Itself, Roger Ebert

CHICAGO – The buzz at Sundance was for a documentary about the life of a film critic – but that film critic happens to be Roger Ebert, and the film is an adaptation of his memoir, “Life Itself.” Magnolia Pictures announced yesterday that they have acquired U.S. theatrical, Video-On-Demand and home entertainment rights to the film, and are planning on a summer release.

Blu-ray Review: Chicago-Based ‘The Interrupters’ is Best Documentary of 2011

The Interrupters

CHICAGO – On Sunday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will name what they consider to be the Best Documentary of 2011. They will be wrong. How do I know? Because it’s not even nominated. The actual best documentary of last year (which was a VERY good year from the form with everything from “Into the Abyss” to “Tabloid” to “Pearl Jam Twenty” to “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”) was not nominated. That title goes to Steve James’ “The Interrupters,” which was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD and is simply a must-see.

Film Review: ‘The Interrupters’ Seek Peace One Soul at a Time

The Interrupters

CHICAGO – Chicago is a divided city. On one end is prosperity, modernity and all the trappings therein. On the other, abject poverty, anger and killing. One dedicated group is trying to diminish the killing end, and is documented by director Steve James (”Hoop Dreams”) in “The Interrupters.”

Midwest Independent Film Festival to Announce Best of the Midwest Awards

Best of the Midwest 2010 Logo

CHICAGO – Tuesday night, December 7th, marks the 2010 edition of the Best of the Midwest Awards, honoring the achievements of local filmmakers who participated in the Midwest Independent Film Festival this year. The festivities will take place at Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago beginning at 7pm.

Interview: John, Brad Hennegan Project Passion For Ponies in ‘The First Saturday in May’

The First Saturday in May (1)

CHICAGO – What are you doing the first Saturday in May? Whether the answer is you’re watching the Kentucky Derby on its traditional date or if it’s anything else, the new film “The First Saturday in May” will satisfy both responses.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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