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The Smurfs

Film Review: ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ Should Have Remained Undiscovered

CHICAGO – There are only a few times that I have left a film mentally shouting, “Won’t someone think of the children?” Not through some self-righteous religious fit, of course, but through a general concern for the animated films created for our young. “Smurfs: The Lost Village” is either made for a specific crowd in mind or made for a crowd without a mind.

Film Review: Sprightly Bear Tale ‘Paddington’ is Good Fun

Paddington with Ben Whishaw

CHICAGO – It may prove hard to recall an era of talking creatures in live-action movies before the napalm hellfire of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” or “The Smurfs.” But, lest we forget, “Babe” has more Academy Awards than “The Master.” Arriving at the coy and wise time of the film year where expectations are either golden or underneath the barrel, talking bear Paddington arrives stateside as a well-behaved throwback to brighter days for a simple genre, with an efficient sense of humor and a few globs of vision, too.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Smurfs’ Inspires Feelings of Intense Unhappiness

The Smurfs Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Here is an alleged family film made with all the heart and invention of a cynical business deal. Not a single person involved in the production appears to have any concept of what constitutes quality family entertainment. It’s essentially 103 minutes of product placement, with the biggest product being the Smurfs. There’s also room for Rock Band, Google, M&Ms, the Blue Man Group and every single business located on Times Square.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Blu-Ray, DVD Holiday Sets to ‘The Smurfs’; Plus Live Appearance

The Smurfs three-disc holiday Blu-ray and DVD gift set

CHICAGO – In our latest holiday set edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 10 Blu-ray and DVD holiday sets up for grabs for the home release of “The Smurfs”!

Box Office News: Hurricane Lowers Attendance, ‘The Help’ Still Tops

Help, The

CHICAGO – Hurricane Irene caused some drops in the number of attendees out on the east coast this weekend, but “The Help” was still able to come in at number one at the box office, marking the second week in a row where the film led the pack. This is quite the accomplishment considering the film finished in second place in its debut weekend and came in as the front runner in its second and third weeks in the theaters.

Film News: ‘The Help’ Tops Box Office

Help, The

CHICAGO – For the first time since the end of July, the number one film at the box office this past weekend was not titled “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” After two weeks at the top, the primates were beat out by the comedy/drama “The Help.”

Film News: ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Tops Box Office

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

CHICAGO – In one of the biggest surprises this summer has seen, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” led this past weekend’s box office with an impressive $54.8 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. The action packed primate adventure was good enough for the fifth highest August opening weekend of all time.

Film Review: Only the Kiddies Will Connect to ‘The Smurfs’

The Smurfs

CHICAGO – There is nothing wrong with “The Smurfs” that a thousand volts of electricity couldn’t cure. It is well made, looks good in the optional 3-D and has a competent cast trying their hardest. What it lacks is a spark, either of nostalgia or a fresh update, as it meanders with the seen-it-all-before template.

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  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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