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The Thing

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Thing’ Prequel Almost Works But Misses Paranoia of Original

The Thing

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is a brilliant study in paranoia. It is more than a mere horror film. The remake/prequel, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a decent horror film but the comparison to the classic original and some serious mistakes in the final act make “decent” not good enough by association.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Remake Fails in Every Way

Conan the Barbarian

CHICAGO – There were a disturbing number of remakes in 2011 that failed to justify their existence, including “The Thing,” “Footloose,” and, perhaps worst of all, Marcus Nispel’s “Conan the Barbarian.” The man behind the equally worthless remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th” has carved out his own niche of dubious filmmaking decisions that make the original look like a masterpiece in comparison. The first “Conan” worked almost entirely because of the star power brought to it by Ah-nuld. The words star power and Jason Momoa have never been used together in a sentence before now.

Film News: ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ Sets Box Office Record With Weekend Win

Paranormal Activity 3

CHICAGO – “Paranormal Activity 3” made record breaking audiences scream all weekend long and hauled in enough money to not only be named box office king for this weekend, but for all time from any September/October fall release.

Film News: ‘Real Steel’ Wins Second Round at Weekend Box Office

Real Steel with Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo (main page)

CHICAGO- In the battle of boxing robots and dancing teens, the robots have won in a split decision. In its second weekend in theaters, “Real Steel” has won back-to-back box office bouts, winning this past weekend by a very close scorecard.

Film Review: Unsettling Paranoia, Special Effects Showcase ‘The Thing’

CHICAGO – With Halloween approaching, what will truly scare us at the cinema this month? One strong entry is this weekend’s “The Thing,” the third remake of a wild and mysterious monster movie. It combines a European-style approach to paranoia with some truly unique monster effects.

Film News: ‘Real Steel’ Wins Weekend Box Office Bout

Real Steel Box Office

CHICAGO – The new futuristic boxing film “Real Steel” rocked and socked its way to the box office crown this weekend, dethroning last week’s winner, “Dolphin Tale.” The new film, starring Hugh Jackman, brought in an estimated $27.3 million.

Film Review: John Carpenter Returns With Mediocre ‘The Ward’

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Ward” would make for a satisfying episode of the now-canceled “Masters of Horror” and might therefore be an interesting rental someday but it doesn’t live up to the pedigree of its once-brilliant director and ultimately disappoints regardless of the name above the title. After a decade away from the big screen, Carpenter proves he still has his legendary skill with tension and the film features a few strong performances but the script is a generic, derivative mess.

Blu-Ray Review: John Carpenter’s Incredible ‘Escape From New York’

Escape From New York

CHICAGO – Our younger readers may find it hard to believe that John Carpenter was once one of the most inspiring filmmakers in the world. He’s still one of the truly influential voices of the ’70s and ’80s despite the tragedy that has been his career for the last couple decades. Save for the occasional flare-up (“Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns,” “In the Mouth of Madness”), Carpenter’s work has barely resembled his prime. For proof, check out the still-amazing and timeless “Escape From New York,” now available on Blu-ray for the first time.

Blu-Ray Review: Snowbound Thriller ‘Whiteout’ Stinks Like a Dead Tauntaun

Whiteout Blu Ray

CHICAGO – Thrillers set in a frigid landscape are nothing new. Just look at “The Thing,” or “The Shining,” or heck, even “The Empire Strikes Back.” Like outer space, a frozen wasteland is an efficiently isolated location where there’s little hope of escape from whatever malevolent forces lurk there. In the case of “Whiteout,” the malevolent forces are the filmmakers and the helpless victims are us.

Video Game Review: ‘Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2’ Delivers Amazing Action

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – For every “Iron Man” or “The Dark Knight,” there are a half dozen movies like “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” or “Elektra” littering the marketplace. Naturally, those of us well-versed in the world of superhero entertainment consider ourselves lucky if every other product featuring caped men (or women) actually works.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Orange is the New Black

    CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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