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Kenneth Branagh

Film Review: Mustache Has More Than ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

CHICAGO – “Murder On The Orient Express” is a movie that is never quite as interesting as the main character’s mustache. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Agatha Christie’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. While it is a departure from the source novel, Branagh sports silver streak facial hair of audacious eccentricity.

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: ‘Cinderella’ Finds New Magic in Old Fairy Tale

CHICAGO – In the years since “Shrek,” the fractured fairy tale has become Hollywood’s default approach. We’ve been treated to so many irreverent and increasingly labored treatments of storybook characters, that Disney’s new live-action “Cinderella” comes off as relatively fresh by comparison.

Film Review: Character Reboot ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ Pales as Compared to Masterful Predecessors

CHICAGO – It’s been 12 years since we’ve seen Tom Clancy’s masterful, Jason Bourne-esque character Jack Ryan in 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears” (led by Ben Affleck), which itself was a character reboot.

Film Review: High-Level Reboot for ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’

CHICAGO – Actor Chris Pine should use the term “Rebooter” as his middle name. After taking on the Captain Kirk role in the “Star Trek” series, he now is the latest to portray CIA super spy as “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” a literate and pulse racing adventure directed by Kenneth Branagh.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ with Chris Pine

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new thriller “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” starring Chris Pine!

TV Review: Great Performance From Kenneth Branagh Anchors ‘Wallander’

CHICAGO – The great Kenneth Branagh delivers yet again with a new series of “Wallander” films on PBS under the banner of “Masterpiece: Mystery!,” starting tomorrow night, September 9, 2012. These are accomplished, adult tales of loss, guilt, and mystery that should satisfy viewers hooked by the first two “Wallander” runs previously aired on PBS.

Blu-ray Review: Middling ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Bolstered by Top-Notch Cast

My Week With Marilyn Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Last year’s slate of Best Actress Oscar-nominees was among the weakest in recent memory. There was no clear front-runner since there was no picture worthy of the exemplary actress at its core. From Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” to Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” 2011 deserves to be remembered as the year of great female performances trapped in subpar material.

Film Review: Michelle Williams is Luminous in ‘My Week With Marilyn’

CHICAGO – Bringing the popular culture past back to life in a movie is always a tricky proposition. No matter what, there are always inevitable comparisons to the real thing.

Interview: Director Simon Curtis Realizes ‘My Week With Marilyn’

CHICAGO – Marilyn Monroe will never go away. The iconic actress of a long-gone era is the subject of a new film, “My Week with Marilyn,” directed by Simon Curtis. Ms. Monroe is portrayed during a in collaboration with Sir Lawrence Olivier, and their characters are played with sublime grace by Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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