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Saoirse Ronan

Film Review: Authentic Coming-of-Age in Expressive ‘Lady Bird’

CHICAGO – In one of the best American films of 2017, Greta Gerwig went behind the camera to write and direct an autobiographical overview of her Senior Year in high school, within a directionless town and family. The result is enlightening truth, told with laugh-out-loud directness and connective empathy. The film is a total winner.

Film Review: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is Built by Wes Anderson

CHICAGO – The distinct and strangely alluring style of director Wes Anderson is on opulent display in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” In what is an eccentric, European style fairy tale, Anderson creates a legend that is forged in his signature, along with the performances of a brilliant cast.

What to Watch: Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2013

The Heat

CHICAGO – There are a few major comedies on New Releases shelves this week along with some interesting, smaller films and one of the most anticipated TV shows of 2013. What options are new in the world of Blu-ray, DVD, streaming and digital TV providers? Some of the most interesting and most unbearable comeedies of the year hit your home viewing radar. Here’s how to rank them from ha-ha to hateful.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Twilight’ Wannabe ‘The Host’ Hits New YA Low

The Host with Saoirse Ronan

CHICAGO – Perhaps it’s something that every generation thinks but I really feel like the teens of this generation who get sucked into absolute nonsense like the truly horrendous “The Host,” just released on Blu-ray and DVD, are being intellectually damaged. They deserve better than this nonsense, arguably the worst movie of the year. And I’ve seen “Movie 43.”

Film Review: Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium’ Feels Drained of Passion

CHICAGO – I’ve rarely said this about Neil Jordan movie – in fact, maybe never – but I was bored during his latest, the vampire drama “Byzantium,” a movie with an intriguing cast and interesting story but little in the way of passion, emotion, dread, or the other intangibles needed to make a horror film like this effective.

Film Review: Stylish ‘Violet & Daisy’ Wastes Talented Cast

Violet & Daisy
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The premise of “Violet & Daisy” and the three actors at its center leave so much room for hope. That room slowly dissipates over the course of the film like air leaking out of a tire. Really? You’ve got this cast with this concept and this is the best you can do? Overly stylized to the point of suffocation, “Violet & Daisy” is the kind of tragic misfire that you just know must have been apparent while it was being made.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Host’ From ‘The Twilight Saga’ Author

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “The Host” from the author of “The Twilight Saga”!

Blu-Ray Review: Saoirse Ronan Stars in Riveting ‘Hanna’

Hanna

CHICAGO – Given its lack of star power, Joe Wright’s “Hanna” was a surprisingly effective box office story, bringing in over $60 million worldwide on a budget half as big. And it’s likely to find an even-bigger audience on Blu-ray as action movies with this high a level of quality always do. With an A-list cast and incredible production values, “Hanna” is a speeding train. Don’t rent it for a “nice, relaxing evening.” Rent it and strap in.

Blu-Ray Review: Peter Weir Presents Human Fortitude of ‘The Way Back’

The Way Back

CHICAGO – “Nature is your jailer, and she is without mercy.” So says the guard at the Siberian prison that houses the leads in Peter Weir’s harrowing true story of escape, pain, and survival, “The Way Back.” It’s so desolate, freezing, and dangerous in the wilds of Siberia, that prisons barely need walls or guards. Where would people go? A group of seven men were willing to find out and their story has been documented in “The Way Back,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Film Review: Saoirse Ronan Rocks in Joe Wright’s Riveting ‘Hanna’

CHICAGO – You won’t be able to take your eyes of Saoirse Ronan in Joe Wright’s action film “Hanna,” a visceral thrill ride that’s likely to be a more satisfying experience than most of the action blockbusters that will fill the multiplex as the temperatures rise.

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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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