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Blu-ray Review: ‘Deliverance’ Still Resonates Four Decades After Its Release

Deliverance

CHICAGO – The new digibook Blu-ray for John Boorman’s incredibly influential and timeless “Deliverance” features one of the best special features of the year as stars Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty sit for half an hour at the Burt Reynolds Museum in Florida and just reminisce about the movie that changed their lives. It alone makes this a great purchase for true movie historians. The stellar HD transfer and imported special features don’t hurt.

Film Review: Sirens Flash Red for Woody Harrelson in ‘Rampart’

Rampart

CHICAGO – The “thin blue line” is a police term. It represents the designation between the protection the police provides and the anarchy that is on the other side of that protection. The cop that Woody Harrelson portrays in “Rampart” crosses that line repeatably, formulating his own retribution.

DVD Review: Original ‘Captain America’ Tries to Bank Off Reboot’s Success

Captain America

CHICAGO – You’re probably going “Huh? There was another Captain America movie? Before Chris Evans?” Believe it or not, yes. Before people like Bryan Singer and Sam Raimi turned the Marvel-verse (and really all of Hollywood) on its head by proving that superheroes could not only be profitable but critically viable as well, there were some honest train wrecks, including an incomplete version of “Fantastic Four” and an awful adaptation of “Captain America,” recently released on DVD to tie in with the success of “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Don’t get them confused.

Film Review: Johnny Depp Spins Animation Gold in Hilarious ‘Rango’

CHICAGO – When we first see the chameleon named Lars (Johnny Depp), soon to be ‘Rango,’ he is doing acting voice exercises. He is basically warming up a film that is a real hoot, and has wonderful heart.

Blu-Ray Review: Pixar’s Spectacular ‘Toy Story 3’ With Tom Hanks Given Amazing Blu-Ray Release

CHICAGO – It’s always wonderful to see Blu-ray karma turn out the way it should. Blu-ray critics often see great releases with perfect HD and interesting special features for awful movies. Conversely, it’s not uncommon for great films to be given lackluster home releases. “Toy Story 3” is not only one of the best films of 2010, it’s one of the best Blu-rays as well.

Blu-Ray Review: Casey Affleck Stars in Disturbing ‘The Killer Inside Me’

The Killer Inside Me

CHICAGO – Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me” provoked such a strong response after its Sundance Film Festival premiere that the auteur behind “A Mighty Heart,” “9 Songs,” and “24 Hour Party People” was shunned by a crowd that typically embraces challenging films. What turned them? Check out Winterbottom’s daring film with Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, and Simon Baker, now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Slideshow: Joan Cusack Introduces ‘Toy Story’ Jessie Doll in Chicago

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Joan Cusack at the Disney Store, Chicago, June 16th, 2010

CHICAGO – “Toy Story 3” has held onto the top spot at the box office for two straight weekends, and Joan Cusack – the voice of Jessie in the film – lent her star power to the debut of the doll based on her character. She appeared at the Disney Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and was photographed by HollywoodChicago.com’s Joe Arce.

Film Review: ‘The Killer Inside Me’ a Study in Sociopathic Blandness

The Killer Inside Me
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Michael Winterbottom’s ’50s-era neo-noir “The Killer Inside Me” creeps up on you in the creepiest possible way. Just as I was ready to write it off, I ended up caving in to its charms, or lack thereof. This film often seems as utterly cuckoo as its central antihero, and that’s what makes it so darn mesmerizing. Sure, it’s sort of a mess, but boy is it engrossing, with a strong emphasis on the gross.

‘Toy Story 3’ is a Perfect Play Date For the Entire Family

CHICAGO – Very few recent films are as purely entertaining or thematically satisfying as Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” not only one of the best films of the year but one of the best in the history of animation. Brilliantly tying up the two films that came before in a way that so many sequels fail to do, the geniuses at Pixar have done it again. It’s another masterpiece.

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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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