May 2011

TV Review: ‘Franklin & Bash’ Makes For Enjoyable Summer Diversion

CHICAGO – Chemistry between cast members is an underrated essential of hit television. We need to believe that a couple, whether they be romantic or a pair of buddies, aren’t just actors on assignment. That feeling that a husband and wife or a pair of friends probably hate each other as soon as the director calls cut can sink a project that relies on chemistry.

Blu-Ray Review: Natalie Portman Can’t Save Melodramatic ‘The Other Woman’

The Other Woman

CHICAGO – Natalie Portman gets betrayed by a seriously flawed screenplay in the melodrama “The Other Woman,” formerly called and based on a book called “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.” After playing film festivals in 2009, the Don Roos’ film is finally getting a Blu-ray and DVD release to capitalize on Portman’s fame from winning the Oscar for “Black Swan.” Despite typically-strong work by the multi-talented star, the movie’s a tonal mess with an inconsistent screenplay that the strong central performance cannot save.

On WGN Radio: HollywoodChicago.com’s Brian Tallerico on ‘Men of a Certain Age,’ ‘Franklin & Bash’

WGN Radio

CHICAGO – Brian Tallerico guests on Bill Moller’s show on WGN-Radio in Chicago on May 28, 2011 to discuss new TNT premieres, “Men of a Certain Age” and “Franklin & Bash.”

Interview: ‘Franklin & Bash’ Stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer

CHICAGO – The stars of the new TNT legal comedy “Franklin and Bash,” Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer, have been playing the PR game long enough that they’re completely comfortable sitting in front of a reporter and just being themselves. When I walked in on them at the Four Seasons in Chicago, they were both on their smart phones laughing and tweeting. It seemed a natural place to start.

Blu-Ray Review: Tom Cruise’s Star Power Shines Bright in ‘The Firm’

The Firm Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Sydney Pollack was a filmmaker who could do anything: sweeping romantic melodramas, side-splitting satires and epic yet intimate tragedies. It’s easy to forget that Pollack could also craft a superb commercial thriller every once in a while, and 1993’s “The Firm” falls under that category. Despite a few dated elements, the picture holds up surprisingly well.

DVD Review: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Daring Science Fiction ‘Solaris’

Solaris

CHICAGO – Modern viewers may be more familiar with Steven Soderbergh & George Clooney’s remake of “Solaris,” a good film on its own merits as it’s so different from its source in tone, but the massively influential original version by the legendary Andrei Tarkovsky holds a far more prominent place in film history. Tarkovsky’s mesmerizing piece of science fiction has been a part of the Criterion Collection for some time but it’s been chosen to get the upgrade to the Blu-ray department of the legendary line of releases and so the standard DVD, which was the only version we could get our hands on, was given a new treatment as well.

On WGN Radio: HollywoodChicago.com’s Brian Tallerico on TV Network Schedules

WGN Radio

CHICAGO – Brian Tallerico guests on Bill Moller’s show on WGN-Radio in Chicago on May 21, 2011 to discuss TV news including the announcements of all five of the network schedules with a focus on the shuffling at CBS, the aggressive new lineup at ABC, and the return of old TV stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tim Allen.

Blu-Ray Review: Jason Statham, Ben Foster Keep ‘The Mechanic’ From Breaking Down

The Mechanic

CHICAGO – We have seen dozens of movies about hit men caught in dangerous situations. There is something that fascinates us about men who take the assignment to kill someone and just pack up and wait for the next job. Inevitably, the movies tell us that these men will pay the price, whether it be a job gone horribly wrong or an attempt to leave a profession that doesn’t come with a pension plan. The latest entry in the subgenre is the Jason Statham vehicle “The Mechanic,” a film that works reasonably well as a rental but falls a bit flat with a disappointing final act.

Blu-Ray Review: Amazing Edition For Charlie Chaplin Classic ‘The Great Dictator’

The Great Dictator

CHICAGO – Every time I’ve seen “The Great Dictator,” I’m amazed that it even exists. It is not only one of the great Charlie Chaplin’s most consistently funny films but it is a satirical masterpiece that is SO daring that it’s amazing it even got made. It is a piece of slapstick comedy about World War II and Adolf Hitler. Think about that for one minute. Now, it was made in 1940 (a year before our entry into the war), but it was still a risky move to make a piece this politically and socially conscious and try and sell it to an audience who had grown accustomed to watching Charlie Chaplin fall down.

Film News: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to Transform London’s Osterley Park Into Wayne Maynor

| Image 1 of 7 |
Osterley Park in West London on May 28, 2011.


Updated: May 29, 2011 at 11:57 a.m. (added images four through seven)
CHICAGO – We reported a week ago that “The Dark Knight Rises” may transform the West London mansion Osterley Park into the film’s Wayne Maynor. While this hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by Warner Bros., we now have enough information to unofficially confirm this rumor.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Anton Chekhov’s The Duel’ Does Justice to Source Material

The Duel Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – I suspect there is a segment of the moviegoing population that will take one look at the title, “Anton Chekhov’s The Duel,” and flee in the other direction, most likely into “The Hangover Part II.” Chekhov is the sort of literary genius whose work is quoted by writers aiming to prove their own level of intellectualism. Yet his work is too good to be merely confined in art houses.

Film Review: Terrence Malick’s Captivating Meditation on ‘The Tree of Life’

CHICAGO – I’ve seen Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” twice now and I still struggle with how to put my reaction to it into words. The film almost defies typical critical discussion with its lack of narrative thrust and a structure that makes it far closer to a poem than a piece of prose. How do you even begin to talk about a piece that works with emotions instead of plot twists?

Terrence Malick’s Captivating Meditation on ‘The Tree of Life’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I’ve seen Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” twice now and I still struggle with how to put my reaction to it into words. The film almost defies typical critical discussion with its lack of narrative thrust and a structure that makes it far closer to a poem than a piece of prose. How do you even begin to talk about a piece that works with emotions instead of plot twists?

Film Review: Takashi Miike’s ‘13 Assassins’ Presents Ballet of Blood

13 Assassins

CHICAGO – You will see a lot of movies this season that don’t deliver on their set-up. Whether it’s because they’re setting up the audience for another installment in a blockbuster franchise or just the fact that movies made by big studio committees often drop the ball, it’s simply a fact. Whatever one can say about Takashi Miike’s “13 Assassins,” opening this weekend at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago and currently available On Demand, it absolutely, undeniably delivers the goods. And those goods are soaked in blood.

Takashi Miike’s ‘13 Assassins’ Presents Ballet of Blood

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – You will see a lot of movies this season that don’t deliver on their set-up. Whether it’s because they’re setting up the audience for another installment in a blockbuster franchise or just the fact that movies made by big studio committees often drop the ball, it’s simply a fact. Whatever one can say about Takashi Miike’s “13 Assassins,” opening this weekend at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago and currently available On Demand, it absolutely, undeniably delivers the goods. And those goods are soaked in blood.

Film Review: Woody Allen’s Charming ‘Midnight in Paris’ Delights

CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen and the amazing cinematographer Darius Khondji (“Seven,” “The City of Lost Children”) very purposefully open their new film “Midnight in Paris” with a long series of static shots of the title city before even presenting a cast list. You see, Paris is a cast member in this film.

Woody Allen’s Charming ‘Midnight in Paris’ Delights

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen and the amazing cinematographer Darius Khondji (“Seven,” “The City of Lost Children”) very purposefully open their new film “Midnight in Paris” with a long series of static shots of the title city before even presenting a cast list. You see, Paris is a cast member in this film. The sun rises, people hustle and bustle through Paris, they sip coffee in cafes, the lights go on at dusk, and the city sleeps.

Film Review: ‘The Hangover Part II’ a Funny, Formulaic, Desperately Shocking Carbon Copy

CHICAGO – Business and creative people go together as well as fine wine at a burger joint. Riding on the heels of the monumentally profitable “The Hangover,” the brass win out over the artists in “The Hangover Part II”.

‘The Hangover Part II’ a Funny, Formulaic, Desperately Shocking Carbon Copy

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Business and creative people go together as well as fine wine at a burger joint. Riding on the heels of the monumentally profitable “The Hangover,” the brass win out over the artists in “The Hangover Part II”.

Film Review: Inconsistent ‘Do Not Disturb’ Features Revolving Door of Quality

Do Not Disturb
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The beautiful Mali Elfman, daughter of the great composer Danny Elfman, has written and produced (and co-stars in) a unique piece of work called “Do Not Disturb,” a collection of interconnected short films that chronicles the bizarre happenings in a Los Angeles hotel room and is now available On Demand. What goes on behind closed doors? If the walls of even one room could talk, the stories they would tell would be great fodder for filmmaking. “Do Not Disturb” is too inconsistent to recommend completely but features a few interesting elements and bodes well for a promising filmmaker.

Inconsistent ‘Do Not Disturb’ Features Revolving Door of Quality

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The beautiful Mali Elfman, daughter of the great composer Danny Elfman, has written and produced (and co-stars in) a unique piece of work called “Do Not Disturb,” a collection of interconnected short films that chronicles the bizarre happenings in a Los Angeles hotel room and is now available On Demand. What goes on behind closed doors?

Blu-Ray Review: 25th Anniversary of Oliver Stone’s Devastating ‘Platoon’

Platoon

CHICAGO – Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” is easily one of the most important films in my life. It came out in theaters when I was eleven and I saw it not long after that on VHS. My parents decided that, despite the intensity of the film, its subject matter was important enough that I could handle it even at a young age. I remember being simply blown away by the movie for numerous reasons.

On XLC Radio: HollywoodChicago.com’s Brian Tallerico to Discuss Fall Schedule Announcements

102.3 XLC (transparent)

CHICAGO – Brian Tallerico guests on Jimmy & Jen on 102.3 XLC in Chicago on May 19, 2011 for an interview about current television news including the announcements of the Fall shows, the departure of Lisa Edelstein from “House,’ the news of Ashton Kutcher’s casting on “Two and a Half Men,” and much more.

Film Review: More or Less Same Formula in ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

CHICAGO – Good and evil, chase and fight. Those are the two basic formulas that dominate “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the sequel to the very popular first film. That redundancy is helped by the spirituality of an animated panda and some spectacular 3D rendering.

More or Less Same Formula in ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Good and evil, chase and fight. Those are the two basic formulas that dominate “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the sequel to the very popular first film. That redundancy is helped by the spirituality of an animated panda and some spectacular 3D rendering.

Film News: ‘Tree of Life’ Wins Top Prize at Cannes Film Festival

Tree of Life Cannes Wrap-Up

CHICAGO – Thirty-three years after winning the Best Director Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his 1978 drama, “Days of Heaven,” maverick filmmaker Terrence Malick has received an even greater honor. His fifth feature, “The Tree of Life,” won the Palme d’Or at the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival, despite mixed reviews and a smattering of boos following its premiere screening.

Blu-Ray Review: Commemorative Editions of ‘Gettysburg,’ ‘Gods and Generals’

Gods and Generals

CHICAGO – “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals” have legions of hardcore fans who adored them when they first played in theaters and will love the new Blu-ray editions that feel like hardcover books more than your standard disc release. One has to admire the marketing machine at Warner Bros. who can tie these titles in to the 150th Commemoration of the Civil War and make them perfect Father’s Day gifts at the same time.

DVD Review: Loving Tribute in ‘The Royal Wedding: William & Catherine’

The Royal Wedding

CHICAGO – According to reports, billions of people watched the wedding of the new century last month when HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton were united on April 29, 2011. If you didn’t get enough coverage and don’t have the actual event saved in your DVR for the rest of time, BBC and Warner Bros. have put together a solid tribute to the event called “The Royal Wedding: William & Catherine.”

DVD Review: ‘The Kids in the Hall’ Makes Case For Greatness

The Kids in the Hall

CHICAGO – I’ve long, long said that any conversation about the best sketch comedy series of all time that doesn’t include “The Kids in the Hall” is totally worthless. Sure, “Saturday Night Live” has longevity and “Mr. Show” was an amazing program, but the recently-released box set of the entire output of “The Kids in the Hall” certainly makes a strong case that they should be not just on the list but arguably at the top. There’s SO much greatness in this box set that it’s nearly overwhelming (and the 2010 comeback series “The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town” has also been included).

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Space Force

    CHICAGO – Seemingly ripped from the headlines, by way of “Dr. Strangelove,” the new Netflix TV series “Space Force” debuted on May 29th, 2020. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com reviewed the series during the Eddie Volkman Show (Star 96.7 FM in Joliet, Illinois) on June 5th, 2020.

  • Adriana Leonard & Carley Marcelle

    CHICAGO – When two passionate content creators got together, they sought not only to produce a work of entertainment, but a higher philosophy within it. Co-Writers/Directors and Executive Producers Adriana Leonard and Carley Marcelle have created “Beta” A Digital Series, and they are about to launch it.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker