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Juno Temple

Film Review: Woody Allen Has Run Out of Ideas with ‘Wonder Wheel’

CHICAGO – Woody Allen emptied out his junk drawer of discarded script ideas and somehow managed to convince Kate Winslet to star in it. That’s the gist of the latest “serious Woody” entry in the Oscar winner’s long running career. Woody Allen has had some timeless triumphs, but lately he’s been more about quantity than quality.

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!

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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 10th, 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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