Rupert Friend

Film Review: Entertaining ‘A Simple Favor’ Can’t Maintain Its Mojo

CHICAGO – As the secrets are revealed in “A Simple Favor,” filtered through the witty and entertaining directorial style of Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”), the story moves with charm and energy for three-quarters of its running time. But as the mystery gets solved, the conclusion doesn’t live up to the promising beginning.

Film Review: Renny Harlin’s ‘5 Days of War’ Succumbs to Action Clichés

5 Days of War Film Review

CHICAGO – “5 Days of War” is a stark reminder of the atrocities that can occur when a B-movie director tries to tackle serious material. The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 was largely ignored by the U.S. government and media, so it was only a matter of time until filmmakers attempted to raise belated awareness about the devastation. Too bad director Renny Harlin is skilled solely in the art of action-packed kitsch.

Blu-Ray Review: Beautifully Designed Drama of ‘The Young Victoria’

The Young Victoria

CHICAGO – The end of April and beginning of May has produced an onslaught of 2009 Oscar winners and nominees on Blu-ray including “Avatar,” “Crazy Heart,” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” “Nine,” and Oscar winner for Best Costume Design, “The Young Victoria”.

Emily Blunt is the Girl Who Would Be Queen in ‘The Young Victoria’

CHICAGO – One of the functions of royalty seems to be an expected adoration from the peasants. Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend and Paul Bettany offer their interpretation on a monarch’s origins with “The Young Victoria.”

DVD Review: ‘Cheri’ Knows Love Isn’t Love if It’s All About You

Cheri

CHICAGO – “Cheri” could be confused with an updated adaptation of a Jane Austen novel if its characters weren’t so comfortable with what goes on between the sheets. Like players in many stuffy costume dramas, they wear the best clothes, live in lavishly decorated homes and speak their perfect grammar in posh accents. But since they aren’t sexually repressed, they do it all with a little bounce in their step.

DVD Review: Manipulative ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ Feels False

Boy in the Striped Pajamas
HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 1.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The plot of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” new to DVD and based on a best-selling novel by John Boyne, may have worked on the page but a number of awful decisions on the way to the screen have taken a story with inherent emotional strength and turned it into misguided, manipulative drama.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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