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James D’Arcy

Film Review: Heroics of ‘Dunkirk’ Portrayed Ardently & Humanely

CHICAGO – War is hell, even in “The Good War.” The early days of World War II were a desperate time for the British, and the events of “Dunkirk” were largely about loss, yet mostly about inspiration. Director Christopher Nolan gives his film a grand cinematic treatment, evoking an era that has mostly faded away.

Film Review: ‘Let’s Be Cops’ Unoriginally Repeats Old Formulas

Let's Be Cops 3

CHICAGO – The premise is sound, but the new film “Let’s Be Cops” refuses to do something original with the premise of a couple of regular Joes pretending to be Johnny Law. The same stale jokes and inevitable need for heroic action climax overwhelms the mild amusement of it all.

Interview: Rob Riggle, Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr. of ‘Let’s Be Cops’

CHICAGO – When the assignment was to find a comedy team to take on impersonating police officers, funny men Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. – of the TV series “New Girl” – fit the uniforms perfectly for the new film, “Let’s Be Cops.” Add in the always hilarious Rob Riggle, and let the games begin.

DVD Review: ‘In Their Skin’ Rips Off Michael Haneke, Tacks on Sentimental Finale

In Their Skin DVD

CHICAGO – I may never know how “In Their Skin” came into being, but I have a pretty good theory. Screenwriter/star Josh Close was so appalled by the unapologetic bleakness of Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” that he took it upon himself to make the exact same movie, more or less, but with a much happier ending. It’s a noble effort but every bit as pointless as Rod Lurie’s proudly non-misogynistic remake of “Straw Dogs.”

Film Review: ‘Hitchcock’ at its Heart is a Relationship Film

CHICAGO – The great director Alfred Hitchcock had morphed to legend rather than a man, so it’s interesting that two films have recently been released about his all-too-human foibles. The feature film, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the director, gets inside the man’s relationships in “Hitchcock.”

Blu-ray Review: Madonna’s ‘W.E.’ Fails to Explore Its Alleged Subject

W.E. Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Madonna’s “W.E.” completes a trilogy of lackluster Oscar bait released last year by the Weinstein Company. Each film squandered potentially fascinating subject matter by upstaging it with pointless framing devices. Imagine if the majority of “Titanic” followed Bill Paxton on his self-centered quest for the diamond. That would surely have amounted to the most boring three-hour epic in history.

Film Review: ‘W.E.’ is Decent Directorial Effort From Madonna

W.E.

CHICAGO – It’s easy sport to disregard a director when the name attached to that title is Madonna, the famous pop star. “W.E.” is a story about fame in another era, and Madonna’s understanding about fame in general – and its dark underside – actually made her the right choice to handle such a story.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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