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Film Review: British Import ‘Alan Partridge’ With Steve Coogan is Just Plain Silly

CHICAGO – Before earning Oscar nom validation for his “Philomena” screenplay last year, British comedian Steve Coogan led a separate life as Alan Partridge, a dopey media personality who symbolized the danger of empowering clowns like him with a microphone, whether on a news program, a late night show, or in a radio booth.

Film News: Oscar Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies at 46

NEW YORK CITY – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Actor Oscar Winner for ‘Capote,’ was found dead in his New York City apartment early Sunday morning. The 46-year-old Hoffman had struggled with heroin addiction, and police suspect an overdose, but the cause of his death is yet to be determined.

Interview: William H. Macy Invites You to ‘The Sessions’

CHICAGO – You’re going to be reading a lot about “The Sessions” in the coming weeks as it expands from its already-successful art house run and weaves through an awards season in which it will likely be nominated more than once. John Hawkes leads the film as man who lives in an iron lung and longs to feel human contact.

Blu-ray Review: Darkly Hysterical ‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

CHICAGO – Eli Craig’s debut is a smart, funny horror movie, which means it will have a HUGE shelf life on Blu-ray and DVD. This is the kind of piece that gets passed around via word of mouth and Facebook recommendations. It fell relatively flat at the box office, but gory horror movies like this one were meant to be watched at home or in dorm rooms where I expect this film will take off over the next few years. See the future cult hit now.

Film Review: ‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil’ Perfectly Blends Comedy With Gore

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine may be unknown performers to a majority of readers – they’re far from household names – but to the right audience, the people who might be interested in something called “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” they RULE.

Film Review: Change Comes in ‘Page One: Inside The New York Times’

CHICAGO – Will my kids read newspapers? It’s a question that I’ve asked myself multiple times over the years, more so as so many of them have been closed down by the explosion of technology that demanded change. With more and more people getting their news through new delivery systems, what will happen to institutions like The New York Times?

Film Review: ‘Oscar Shorts 2011’ Features a Few Memorable Highlights

CHICAGO – Has there ever been a consistent shorts program that delivered 5-star quality from start to finish? By their very nature, programs of short films seem destined to offer something more of a mixed bag and the unusual nominees selections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences typically makes up a series of average shorts with a few highlights. This year is no different.

Blu-Ray Review: Tony Jaa’s ‘Ong Bak 3’ Takes Series One Movie Too Far

Ong Bak 3

CHICAGO – There just aren’t many high-quality martial arts movies making it to the U.S. theaters any more and so the “Ong Bak” series of films deserves a bit of attention for that reason alone. There’s no denying that star Tony Jaa is a powerful force of nature with some of the best moves in the genre today. Sadly, the third film in the series, “Ong Bak 3,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD is a mess, as behind-the-scenes drama apparently sabotaged the franchise. Only diehard Jaa fans need check it out.

Blu-Ray Review: Fantastic Genre Flick ‘Monsters’ Gets Stunning Release

Monsters

CHICAGO – It is truly wonderful to see a great genre flick get the HD treatment that it deserves not based on box office gross but on quality of the film itself and the sure-to-be-massive cult audience that will eventually find “Monsters,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. This is one of the best science fiction films of the last several years. Most of you didn’t see it in theaters. Check it out on Blu-ray.

Film Review: Ryan Gosling Cannot Save Disjointed ‘All Good Things’

All Good Things
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Having loved Andrew Jarecki’s “Capturing the Friedmans” and having recently named Ryan Gosling the best actor of his generation for his year-best work in “Blue Valentine,” I was psyched to fall for their collaboration on the true-crime thriller “All Good Things.” Sadly, my anticipation quickly turned to disappointment as this muddled work lurched toward a bizarre conclusion. Gosling and co-stars Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella don’t do anything wrong here but the movie is such a mash-up of tones, fiction, and reality that it never comes together into anything coherent.

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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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