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Juno Temple

DVD Review: Historical Figures Cheersed in Brilliant ‘Drunk History: Seasons 1 & 2’

Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

Film Review: ‘Maleficent’ is All Dressed Up With No Story to Tell

CHICAGO – If “Maleficent” were an actual fairy tale storybook, I’d say it has beautiful illustrations but not much story to tell. As the title character Angelina Jolie is a towering presence with an unforgettable look, but the film itself is all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Film Review: Kathryn Hahn Stars in Near-Miss ‘Afternoon Delight’

Afternoon Delight
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Jill Soloway’s Sundance Award-winning “Afternoon Delight” is such a frustrating near-miss. There will be some slight spoilers in this review. Because I can’t figure out how to express my issues with the film without mentioning one major point although it doesn’t spoil the action of the final act, just how Soloway chooses to get there. It’s only one plot point but it’s later in the film than I usually give anything away but it also completely destroys the believability of what came before and so can’t go unmentioned. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

DVD Review: Juno Temple Delivers Tour De Force in ‘Magic Magic’

Magic Magic DVD

CHICAGO – I suppose it was only a matter of time before Sebastián Silva delved into the brooding waters of psychodrama. There are countless moments in his previous pictures—from Catalina Saavedra’s piercing Bette Davis stare in “The Maid” to Michael Cera’s hallucinogenic agony in “Crystal Fairy”—that threaten to spiral into horrifying derangement.

Blu-ray Review: Matthew McConaughey Mesmerizes in Great ‘Killer Joe’

Killer Joe

CHICAGO – William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe” is one of the most underrated films of 2012. Sure, it has its fans, but the movie made almost nothing in theaters (around $3.5 million worldwide) and didn’t make enough year-end lists for my tastes. The cast rules, the script from Tracy Letts’ play is stellar, and the design is perfect. If you can handle your noir with a heavy dose of greasy malevolence, it’s a definite rental you’ll want to make.

Film Review: Matthew McConaughey Delivers in Searing ‘Killer Joe’

CHICAGO – William Friedkin’s film of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” takes no prisoners. One of the central characters is introduced from the waist down and to say that the film climaxes in violent, sexual oddity would be like saying “The Avengers” features a few superheroes. However, it would be a mistake to allow the controversy or the shock value to become the story of this excellent noir comedy that takes black humor to a new level of darkness.

Interview: Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy Letts Unleashes ‘Killer Joe’

CHICAGO – Now that I’ve seen William Friedkin’s stunning adaptation of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” with Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple, I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience its intensity in a small theater in Evanston nearly twenty years ago.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘Killer Joe’ (NC-17) With Matthew McConaughey

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “Killer Joe” (rated “NC-17”) starring Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch from playwright Tracy Letts!

Film Review: ‘The Three Musketeers’ Lets Down Legendary Heroes

CHICAGO – Seriously?!?! Another “The Three Musketeers”?!?! Just because source material is beloved, why does it need to be remade over and over again? Perhaps Paul W. S. Anderson’s new take on the legendary trio complete with “Resident Evil”-esque action sequences can serve as the final word on this over-done story although if it somehow ends being the only version that future generations end up seeing they will surely wonder why such a boring tale was retold so many times in the first place.

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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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