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Film Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Relies on Second-Hand Wonder

CHICAGO – It’s been five years since the last Harry Potter film, and for fans eager to scratch that itch for a dreamworld of magic again “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” will probably suffice. It’s this story’s tangential connection to the Harry Potter universe that is its biggest asset – but the film unfortunately can’t muster up much wonder on its own.

Interview: Cinema Icon Liv Ullmann Directs ‘Miss Julie’

CHICAGO – Evoking the name Liv Ullmann is to bring back one of the more glorious and creative periods of Scandinavian cinema, especially the films of Ingmar Bergman. The actress has directed her seventh film, the passionate adaptation of an August Strindberg play, “Miss Julie,” featuring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell.

Film Review: Robert Pattinson Takes Interesting Ride Through David Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’

CHICAGO – One of our best living filmmakers, one of our best working authors, and a teen heartthrob who has largely been known for looks over skill get into a slow-moving limousine in David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s “Cosmopolis” starring Robert Pattinson in almost exclusively one-on-one scenes with some great supporting actors and actresses.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Free Guaranteed Tickets, Soundtracks to ‘Cosmopolis’ With Robert Pattinson

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 pairs of guaranteed movie tickets plus 2 free soundtracks up for grabs for new thriller “Cosmopolis” starring Robert Pattinson from David Cronenberg!

Film Review: ‘John Carter’ is Poor Man’s ‘Star Wars’ With Kitschy Taylor Kitsch, Soft-Porn Lynn Collins

CHICAGO – Usually it’s critics critically flogging a film when we say it weakly lacks originality and borrows too heavily from others. Disney’s “John Carter” attacks that classic grumble by promotionally comparing itself to “Star Wars” and “Avatar” before critics even had a chance to deduct points for it.

Slideshow: 21 Official Photos From Disney’s ‘John Carter’ With Taylor Kitsch

| Image 1 of 21 |

CHICAGO – Coming on March 9th is one of the more anticipated action films of 2012. Walt Disney presents “John Carter,” featuring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Samantha Morton, Clarán Hinds and Bryan Cranston. The story is based on a 100 year old series of novels by “Tarzan” creator Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Blu-Ray Review: Honest, Human Drama of Excellent ‘The Messenger’

The Messenger

CHICAGO – Just before the Oscar nominations for 2009 were to be announced, a few pundits went out on a limb and predicted that not only would Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger” be nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson) and Best Original Screenplay but that it would also find its way into several more categories, including even Best Picture.

Interview: Ben Foster Brings Humanity to ‘The Messenger’

CHICAGO – Ben Foster has stolen scenes in works as diverse as “Six Feet Under,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “3:10 to Yuma,” and “Alpha Dog,” but he truly shines in the spotlight of the lead role in “The Messenger,” giving the best performance of his career to date.

Blu-Ray Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ensemble Make Trip to ‘Synecdoche, New York’ Worthwhile

Synecdoche, New York
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – With one of the most ambitious screenplays of 2008 and one of the most talented ensembles in years, “Synecdoche, New York,” now on Blu-Ray, is a must-see for fans of Charlie Kaufman’s earlier screenwriting work (“Adaptation,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and the incredible ensemble, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, and Michelle Williams.

Actors Awkwardly Impersonate Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin in ‘Mister Lonely’

CHICAGO – The wonder of a filmmaker’s art and perspective is the ability to challenge and reflect the absurdity of our own nature back to us. Few filmmakers have done more to add provocation to that sensibility than Harmony Korine.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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