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Ridley Scott

Film Review: ‘All the Money in the World’ Has a Soft Landing

CHICAGO – A bitter and old rich man won’t take responsibility for the co-opting of something he is directly connected to. Is this the Trump administration or “All the Money in the World”? Christopher Plummer portrays mogul J. Paul Getty, trying to steer clear of his grandson’s kidnapping.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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