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Slideshow: ‘The Walking Dead’ Highlights 2014 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con

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Cassandra Peterson AKA ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.’

CHICAGO – Last August, the 2014 Wizard World Comic Con came to Chicago, and featured cast members from “The Walking Dead,” among other film and television celebrities. Another edition of the popular convention, called “Fan Fest,” is taking place next month in Chicagoland, March 7th and 8th, 2015, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

Blu-ray Review: Excellent Transfer For 35th Anniversary Edition of ‘Halloween’

Halloween Curtis Carpenter

CHICAGO – “Halloween” is no mere horror movie. It is arguably the best of its genre, a film that continues to influence the form 35 years after its release. The excellent new transfer of the film on the latest Anchor Bay HD iteration is reason alone to pick it up, and the new active participation in the release on behalf of Jamie Lee Curtis, a star often silent regarding the films that made her a star, is just an amazing bonus.

Blu-ray Review: Scream Factory Wants All of Your Money with Four New Collector’s Editions

Day of the Dead

CHICAGO – Scream Factory refuses to let up, releasing four more stellar Blu-ray editions that will just add to the debt of hardcore horror fans. Not all four of these films are great on their own but they’re all great Blu-ray releases, full of special features and with some truly amazing transfers. Genre junkies, like myself, should own all four, even “Psycho III.” Sorry. Maybe you can take out a loan. It’s not my fault. Don’t shoot the horror messenger.

Blu-ray Review: Scream Factory Unveils Beloved ‘The Fog,’ Awful ‘The Incredible Melting Man’

The Fog

CHICAGO – Scream Factory, the horror branch of the great Shout Factory, continues to impress with an ambitious slate of catalog films making their HD debut in the coming months, many of which were announced at Comic-Con last month (“Nightbreed”!). They also seem to be upping their release rate, unleashing two horror flicks last week, John Carpenter’s beloved “The Fog” and the truly horrendous “The Incredible Melting Man,” a cultural curiosity but a crap film.

Blu-ray Review: John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Gets Collector’s Edition

They Live

CHICAGO – John Carpenter was one of the most important filmmakers of the ’70s and ’80s but he fell hard after the release of his last great film, 1988’s “They Live,” recently released in a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Shout Factory’s horror branch, Scream Factory. Some might even quibble with that, arguing that “Live” was the start of the decline. The film was pretty widely ridiculed on release, although it’s gained a following in the quarter-century since, one that should be happy if not overjoyed by a long overdue Blu-ray release.

Film Review: Fantastic, Visceral ‘The Raid: Redemption’ Beats Up Hollywood Action Movies

The Raid: Redemption
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Gareth Evans’ “The Raid: Redemption” is a powerhouse kick to the gut of bored action movie fans. And the face. And the kneecap. And the balls. It’s an aggressive, adrenaline-fueled success in so many ways that it might make you like recent Hollywood action films less than you remembered. They weren’t this powerful, super-charged, or generally remarkable. For its target audience, I find it impossible to believe that “The Raid” won’t connect. In other words, if you like martial arts action movies, you have a new must-see.

Interview: Gareth Evans Stages Incredible ‘The Raid: Redemption’

CHICAGO – For a lot of action movie fans, “The Raid: Redemption” is going to be their favorite genre flick in years. It’s an incredibly accomplished martial arts film that feels like something inspired equally by John Carpenter and Jackie Chan. We’ll be back with a full rave review tomorrow but check out this interview with its soon-to-be-famous writer/director, Gareth Evans, as he details the incredible history of the movie, its most difficult stunts, and its inspirations.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Thing’ Prequel Almost Works But Misses Paranoia of Original

The Thing

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is a brilliant study in paranoia. It is more than a mere horror film. The remake/prequel, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a decent horror film but the comparison to the classic original and some serious mistakes in the final act make “decent” not good enough by association.

Film Review: Future Cult Hit in Fun B-Movie ‘Attack the Block’

CHICAGO – Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens” opens today and is guaranteed to make millions more at the international box office than Joe Cornish’s “Attack the Block.” That’s the bad news. The good news is that I can also guarantee you that history will regard the smaller film as the significantly better one. The line for this future cult hit starts here. Get in it before your friends tell you to.

Interview: Joe Cornish, John Boyega of ‘Attack the Block’

CHICAGO – “Attack the Block” has been building buzz all year and Chicago will finally be able to see what all the positive internet hype has been about when it opens here on Friday, July 29th, 2011.

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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 3rd, 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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