June 2011

Blu-Ray Review: More Symbols Than Story in ‘Red Riding Hood’

Red Riding Hood

CHICAGO – With Julie Christie as Grandma in this this new version of a familiar red cloaked fairy tale, it certainly gives a whole new meaning to the familiar “better to eat you with” routine. Amanda Seyfried gives an old fable a new spin as the title character in the Blu-ray and DVD release of “Red Riding Hood.”

Video Game Review: Addictive RPG Action of ‘Dungeon Siege III’

CHICAGO – I must admit to not being a huge RPG fan. Sure, I’ve played the big ones of the last few years and know my “Dragon Age” from my “Fable” from my “Final Fantasy,” but I often run into the same problems — a depth of customizable play that I just don’t care about. Some RPGs feature so many options and so many details that I get lost choosing which shield/sword combo to carry into battle or which spell loadout to take on the next quest.

Film Review: Change Comes in ‘Page One: Inside The New York Times’

CHICAGO – Will my kids read newspapers? It’s a question that I’ve asked myself multiple times over the years, more so as so many of them have been closed down by the explosion of technology that demanded change. With more and more people getting their news through new delivery systems, what will happen to institutions like The New York Times?

Change Comes in ‘Page One: Inside The New York Times’

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

CHICAGO – Will my kids read newspapers? It’s a question that I’ve asked myself multiple times over the years, more so as so many of them have been closed down by the explosion of technology that demanded change. With more and more people getting their news through new delivery systems, what will happen to institutions like The New York Times?

Blu-Ray Review: Overlooked ‘Ceremony’ Deserves to Be Celebrated

Ceremony Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – How can the directorial debut of the Fonz’s son slip by unnoticed during its initial theatrical run? Max Winkler was only 25 when he shot “Ceremony,” a film dismissed by many critics as a mere imitation of Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore.” To be fair, Winkler looks remarkably like the iconic filmmaker, and his premise does bear certain similarities to Anderson’s widely celebrated 1998 comedy.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘A Better Life’ From ‘About a Boy’ Director Chris Weitz

A Better Life from About a Boy and New Moon director Chris Weitz

CHICAGO – In our latest drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “A Better Life” from Oscar-nominated director Chris Weitz (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “About a Boy” and “The Golden Compass”)!

TV Review: NBC’s ‘Love in the Wild’ Offers No Perfect Getaway

CHICAGO – In the mid-’00s, there were a series of 1-2 season reality programs all trying to work magic from “The Bachelor” formula.

TV Review: Smooth Delivery For USA’s ‘Necessary Roughness’

CHICAGOUSA’s new summer drama “Necessary Roughness” gives new meaning to the phrase “the psychiatrist is crazier than the patient.”

Blu-Ray Review: Liam Neeson Kicks Butt, Takes Names in ‘Unknown’

Unknown Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – For audiences seeking a casually entertaining thriller that doesn’t require a great deal of thought, “Unknown” amounts to an enjoyable couple of hours. Skeptics are advised to steer clear. Though the mind-scrambling plot includes initial shades of “Twilight Zone” intrigue, it’s really just an excuse for Liam Neeson to kick even more butt than he did in 2008’s surprise box office hit, “Taken.”

Video Game Review: ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ Faces ‘Annihilation’

CHICAGO – Clearly, Activision and Treyarch aren’t satisfied with dominating the shooter market for only part of the year; they want the entire calendar. How else to explain the most ambitious DLC expansion plan in console shooter gaming history?

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Boondock Saints: Truth & Justice Edition’

Boondock Saints

CHICAGO – The word “phenomenon” is too liberally thrown by critics but it absolutely applies to “Boondock Saints,” a movie that made no waves at all upon its initial release but now has an incredibly loyal following, enough so that Fox has released yet-another edition of the movie to mark its tenth anniversary — “The Boondock Saints: Truth & Justice Edition.” Is the double dip worth your dime?

Blu-Ray Review: Strong Cast Makes For Fun Trip to ‘Cedar Rapids’

Cedar Rapids

CHICAGO – Millions more people have seen his work in the two “The Hangover” films but Ed Helms’ best performance to date is actually in the recently-released-on-Blu-ray “Cedar Rapids,” a clever and enjoyable slice of midwestern comedy that co-stars John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, and more. The excellent cast elevates a somewhat-inconsistent screenplay, making this fun film worth the trip.

Film Review: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Gets Adrenalin Pumping

CHICAGO – The final 45 minutes of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” are such an orgy of CGI insanity, falling skyscrapers, and battling robots that the film approaches some sort of summer movie nirvana, or at least it will for the right audience.

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Gets Adrenalin Pumping

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The final 45 minutes of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” are such an orgy of CGI insanity, falling skyscrapers, and battling robots that the film approaches some sort of summer movie nirvana, or at least it will for the right audience. There’s little debate that the Chicago-set climax of Michael Bay’s third film based on Hasbro’s line of toys delivers what it promises.

Interview, Portrait: La Toya Jackson Talks Michael Jackson, Celebrity Life

La Toya Jackson

CHICAGO – La Toya Jackson has been making news for two weeks now, as she tours with her new book, “Starting Over.” In it, she relates that her brother Michael Jackson feared for his life, and his premature demise might have had implications beyond the cause-of-death revelations.

Video Game Review: ‘Cars 2’ Delivers Family Friendly Racing Experience

CHICAGO – Last summer, Disney Interactive, Pixar, and Avalanche Software teamed on the ambitious-but-flawed “Toy Story 3,” a game that dared to do something more than your standard family movie tie-in. The game didn’t work 100% but it was a masterpiece compared to most games based on animated films. They’re back this summer with the tie-in for “Cars 2,” with similar results.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ Falls Well Below Expectations

Battle Los Angeles

CHICAGO – With “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” about to hit theaters and get the adrenalin flowing for major city destruction from another planet, you may be tempted to catch up with Jonathan Liebesman’s “Battle: Los Angeles” for a similar dose of macho male escapism. Don’t fall for it. This is an annoying movie that fails on nearly every level.

Blu-Ray Review: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis in Mediocre ‘Hall Pass’

Hall Pass

CHICAGO – I SO wanted “Hall Pass” to be good. Not only do we need the men who made “There’s Something About Mary” and “Kingpin” back in prime form but the timing of their return seems perfect — who better to ride the wave of R-rated comedies inspired by the success of “The Hangover”? Sadly, “Hall Pass” is a hit-and-miss affair that falls too often on the wrong side of that comedy corridor. It’s a reasonable rental on a rainy night but not the return to form fans of the Farrelly brother’s greats were hoping for.

On WGN Radio: HollywoodChicago.com’s Brian Tallerico on ‘True Blood,’ ‘The Big C,’ ‘Weeds,’ ‘Royal Pains,’ More

WGN Radio

CHICAGO – Brian Tallerico guests on Bill Moller’s show on WGN-Radio in Chicago on June 25th, 2011 to discuss upcoming premieres, including NBC’s “Love in the Wild,” HBO’s “True Blood,” Showtime’s “The Big C” & “Weeds,” and USA’s “Necessary Roughness” and “Royal Pains.”

TV Review: Edgy Comedies ‘The Big C,’ ‘Weeds’ Return to Showtime

CHICAGO – The revolving door of talented actresses has turned at Showtime. “Nurse Jackie” and “The United States of Tara” just ended their seasons and so Edie Falco and Toni Collette head out one side while Laura Linney and Mary-Louise Parker come in the other with the season premieres of “The Big C” and “Weeds,” respectively.

TV Review: Fourth Season Premiere of TNT’s ‘Leverage’

CHICAGO – The game is on and the gang is back in TNT Network’s “Leverage,” premiering its fourth season on June 26th. Oscar winner Timothy Hutton is again ready to lead his team of con artists, grifters and hackers to stick it to the man.

Slideshow: 7-Portrait Comedian Gallery of 2011 ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’

| Image 1 of 7 |
Steve Martin begins his very stupid conversation with Martin Short.

CHICAGO – Last week, June 14-19, Chicago felt the roar of hilarity as it hosted the 2011 “Just for Laughs” festival, sponsored by the TBS Network. For five rollicking days, the Windy City entertained audiences at venues all around town, with both name comic celebrities, local stand-up and the Chicago school of improvisation.

TV Review: Strong Season Premiere For HBO’s Beloved ‘True Blood’

CHICAGO – Let’s be honest “True Blood” fans — the end of last season was a plasma-soaked mess. It almost felt as if the writers of this often-great show had just set too many plates in motion over three years of seasons in which the plots ran consecutively.

Film Review: Cameron Diaz Commits Sin of Boredom in ‘Bad Teacher’

Bad Teacher

CHICAGO – If you’re going to be bad, be bad. But this is mainstream Hollywood “product,” starring Cameron Diaz, and while the concept of the new film “Bad Teacher” had promise, it eventually fell down on the weight of happy resolutions and the worse mortal sin for a comedy…it was dull.

Cameron Diaz Commits Sin of Boredom in ‘Bad Teacher’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – If you’re going to be bad, be bad. But this is mainstream Hollywood “product,” starring Cameron Diaz, and while the concept of the new film “Bad Teacher” had promise, it eventually fell down on the weight of happy resolutions and the worse mortal sin for a comedy…it was dull.

Film Review: Despite a Ferrari Predecessor, ‘Cars 2’ is a Honda Requiring Repair

CHICAGO – “Cars 2” is an unequal Pixar blend for adults and kiddies that never evolves into the storytelling success of its predecessor. The film, which draws thematic elements from “The Bourne Identity,” “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Transformers,” is a Honda needing a body shop as compared to the pristine Ferrari that was “Cars”.

Despite a Ferrari Predecessor, ‘Cars 2’ is a Honda Requiring Repair

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Cars 2” is an unequal Pixar blend for adults and kiddies that never evolves into the storytelling success of its predecessor. The film, which draws thematic elements from “The Bourne Identity,” “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Transformers,” is a Honda needing a body shop as compared to the pristine Ferrari that was “Cars”.

News: Legendary ‘Columbo’ Actor Peter Falk Passes Away at 83

Peter Falk

CHICAGO – He will surely be most-remembered for the trenchcoat-wearing eccentric detective “Columbo” but Peter Falk was a successful and underrated actor outside of the role that defined him. The great Falk passed away today at the age of 83 and the worlds of film and television will miss him greatly.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Larry Crowne’ With Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts

Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts

CHICAGO – In our latest dramedy/romance edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Larry Crowne” with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts from co-writer, director and star Tom Hanks!

Video Game Review: Mediocre ‘Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters’

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

CHICAGO – You may have seen the Ryan Reynolds superhero vehicle “Green Lantern” and want to bring the adventure home or see how it translates with a controller in your hand. The movie disappointed most critics and fell short of box office expectations? How does the game compare?

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
tracker