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Steve Zahn

Film Review: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Delivers Old Hollywood Glory

CHICAGO – Since the Golden Age of cinema, theaters have tried countlessly to deliver up big budget films. Summer is here and the public is showing that they are cooling off these blockbusters, no longer fooled by the thought that cost equates to quality. “War for the Planet of the Apes” shows us that blockbusters may still be redeemed by channeling some Old Hollywood magic.

Interview: Director Matt Ross Promotes ‘Captain Fantastic’

CHICAGO – In this year of morally unique relationship films (“Swiss Army Man”), add the recently released “Captain Fantastic” to the mix. The film, written and directed by Matt Ross, is like a fable of unintended consequences, where a father raises his children to live off the ‘grid,’ away from typical 2016 civilization.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 20 Pairs of Passes to ‘Captain Fantastic’ With Viggo Mortensen

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival hit dramaCaptain Fantastic” starring Viggo Mortensen and Steve Zahn!

Film Review: ‘The Good Dinosaur’ is Pixar Studio’s Most Ordinary Film

Good Dinosaur, The

CHICAGO – The animation in Pixar Studio’s latest feature ,“The Good Dinosaur,” is nothing short of extraordinary. At times throughout the film, the images looked like they came right out of National Geographic, and I truly couldn’t believe i was watching animation. However, this delightful animation is in service to an undistinguished prehistoric buddy comedy that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of “The Flintstones.”

Film Review: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is Highly Romanticized Yet Effective

CHICAGO – Matthew McConaughey’s performance as a 1980s-era HIV positive man in the drama “Dallas Buyers Club” is a gangbusters piece of acting. However, some highly exaggerated characters and soft soaping of reality creates a more gauzy romance of the situation than true grit.

Blu-ray Review: Howlingly Derivative ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Most former kids can agree that junior high is pure hell. It’s the dividing line between the carefree bliss of elementary school and the budding maturity of high school. Suddenly kids are faced with a decision: either assert their dominance over the weakest of their peers or risk joining them. Become a bully or be bullied. Neither option is enticing.

Film Review: Total Retread for ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’

CHICAGO – The month of August contain the “dog days” of summer, when the season lumbers to a hazy and hot conclusion. How appropriate that the third film of a popular series would be called ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,’ because like summer’s end it feels lethargic. Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron and Steve Zahn star.

Blu-Ray Review: Underappreciated First Season of HBO’s ‘Treme’

Treme

CHICAGO – Is it unfair to say that “Treme” is to “The Wire” as “John From Cincinnati” was to “Deadwood”? After David Milch’s brilliant Western came to an end, fans eagerly anticipated his follow-up and, almost immediately, spat it out like an undercooked Chicken McNugget. It lasted only one season. Well, “JFC” wasn’t really that bad (and deserved more time to find its feet).

Film Review: ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules’ is Wacky Family Fare

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

CHICAGO – The overwrought movie term “family fare” can automatically inspire a swift movement toward the exits. The true something-for-everyone film is rare, and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” actually fulfills that standard. It’s strange, funny and heart-warming, plus features a cast that can deliver the somewhat oddball material.

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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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