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John C. Reilly

Film Review: Rousing Adventure Awaits in ‘Kong: Skull Island’

CHICAGO – King Kong is a wholly generated creature of the movies. Ever since the gorilla legend came to life on screen way back in 1933, he has appeared in countless official remakes, cheap exploitation flicks and now as a symbol of American overreach. He still rules in “Kong: Skull Island.”

Interview: Director Rick Alverson Knows That’s ‘Entertainment’

CHICAGO – It’s original, it’s off-kilter, it’s different – it’s the new film “Entertainment.” Rick Alverson has fashioned a road picture, with an offbeat stand up comic trying to get home. The director has some fiery talent behind that journey, including Gregg Turkington as The Comedian, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera and Tim Heidecker.

Film Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ a Gleeful Space Romp

Guardians of the Galaxy

CHICAGO – “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is a gleeful Star Wars knockoff dressed up in Marvel Comics clothing. It occupies the same universe as Marvel’s other properties, but its tone is decidedly sillier. It has a spirit more akin to the later joke heavy installments of the Star Trek franchise or low budget exploitation mogul Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond The Stars” than the ponderous pontificating of “Thor.”

HollywoodChicago.com Suburban Hookup: 50 Pairs of Guaranteed Tix to ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

CHICAGOGuaranteed tickets in the Chicago suburbs! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening guaranteed tickets up for grabs to the highly anticipated sequel “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” starring Will Ferrell!

Blu-ray Review: Solid Release For Entertaining ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

Wreck It Ralph

CHICAGO – Disney’s hit “Wreck-It Ralph,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, fits one of the most important criteria for a parent considering picking up a kid’s movie to own — replay value. As anyone with kids can tell you, if you buy something, you best be ready to watch it over and over and over again. And “Ralph” holds up surprisingly well. I’m still a little surprised it received the level of acclaim it did with some even suggesting it should win the Oscar (we all know that should have been “ParaNorman”) but it’s a good movie to throw on if your kids need a distraction with a good message. And the Blu-ray includes the Oscar winner for Best Animated Short, the great “Paperman.”

Film Review: Voice Cast Delights in Wonderful ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

CHICAGO – The nostalgia of the old video game arcade comes to life in a charming and fun way in the new Disney film, “Wreck-It Ralph.” One of the strengths is the precise selection of celebrity voices used to animate the rollicking characters. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch are part of the familiar voice cast.

Blu-ray Review: Sacha Baron Cohen is Fearless in Inconsistent ‘The Dictator’

The Dictator

CHICAGO – Sacha Baron Cohen is undeniably fearless. He is the kind of voice we need in mainstream comedy — someone who is willing to go to any extreme for a joke. At his best, he’s one of the most creative and intelligent comedians alive. However, he’s been unable recently to deliver consistent films as “Bruno” disappointed and “The Dictator,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, has some very funny moments but wears out its welcome at even a short running time.

Blu-ray Review: Tilda Swinton Captivates in ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’

We Need to Talk About Kevin Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Many critics failed to take Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” seriously, dismissing it as an art house retread of “The Omen.” Such a simplistic label fails to take into account the film’s carefully textured portrait of a deeply fractured mother-son relationship. Though the film takes its premise to melodramatic extremes, it does harbor considerable insight into the repercussions of a disconnect between parent and child.

Film Review: Funny, Political ‘The Dictator’ with Sacha Baron Cohen

CHICAGO – Ali G, Borat, Bruno and the Stationmaster Guy in “Hugo” is now “The Dictator.” Sacha Baron Cohen puts on another character mask and produces his usual style of cheap laughs with a surprising sense of political sharpness. Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley go along for the ride.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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