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Ridley Scott

Film Review: Thin Story a Contrast to Visuals of ‘Blade Runner 2049’

CHICAGO – It comes down to compelling an audience with a story riff that’s a hook. “Blade Runner 2049” doesn’t possess either the riff or the hook, but what it does do is create a dystopian world that is beautiful in its bleakness, and unsettlingly weird in its twists and turns.

Film Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ is a Pale Copy of Previous Best Films

CHICAGO – It’s worth noting that the Alien series extends back nearly 40 years, and yet the chest-bursting Xenomorphs have produced a grand total of exactly two good movies. The orginal “Alien” and “Aliens” are great films that stand the test of the time, while every other entry in this series would require a significant stretch of the imagination to be called barely watchable.

Film Review: No Faith in the Spectacle of ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

CHICAGO – The world certainly didn’t need another “Ten Commandments,” but director Ridley Scott tries to remake the 50’s Biblical epic anyway – led by Christian Bale as a scowling and shouting Moses. Yet Bale can’t hold a staff to Charlton Heston and Scott is no Cecil B. DeMille.

Film Review: ‘The Counselor’ Disguises Lackluster Storytelling in Philosophy

CHICAGO – “That’s not what greed does; that’s what greed is.” Cormac McCarthy’s script for “The Counselor” is so weighed down with allegedly insightful philosophy like this that it collapses into a heap of laughable, unbelievable exchanges between characters who simply don’t exist in the real world.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition’

Blade Runner: 30th Anniversary

CHICAGO – Few films have held up for three decades with more influence than Ridley Scott’s still-stunning “Blade Runner.” Five years ago, Warner Bros. released one of the best Blu-ray releases of 2007 with a definitive edition of the sci-fi classic. They have updated the release with a new package, UltraViolet version, and even a toy car but added nothing new in terms of special features. If you own the 25th Anniversary edition, it’s not time to upgrade yet. If you don’t own “Blade Runner,” your Blu-ray collection is incomplete.

Blu-ray Review: Interesting Bonus Material on ‘Prometheus’ Highlights Film’s Problems

Prometheus 2012

CHICAGO – I love the ambition of “Prometheus” and think that it’s one of the most technically accomplished films of not just this year but the last several (which makes it a strong fit visually for Blu-ray) but the script has some undeniable, inarguable problems that are only amplified when one watches deleted scenes that make clear how much of the film was being comprised on the fly. It’s a Blu-ray for which the commercials have advertised all the answers would be provided. In some senses, that’s true but not in the way the studio intends.

Book Review: ‘Alien: The Illustrated Story’ Emphasizes Lost Art of Film Adaptations

Alien: The Illustrated Story

CHICAGO – I’m old enough dear readers to remember when books were more interesting tie-ins for feature films than websites and video games. When we fell in love with a movie, we had action figures, Happy Meal toys, and, believe it or not, books. There was a time when collecting everything related to your favorite flick meant a novel adaptation and one of the absolute best, the graphic novel edition known as “Alien: The Illustrated Story” has just been reissued to show readers why this is an art form they should miss.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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