November 2011

Video Game Review: ‘Need For Speed: The Run’ Drives Rocky Road

CHICAGOEA’s “Need For Speed: The Run” features some adrenalin-pumping moments but they’re undercut by some truly poor mechanics and some awful development decisions. The concept behind the “story” of the game is clever and promising enough to warrant a rental, but the execution is flawed enough to steer clear of a purchase.

Blu-ray Review: Sweet, Good-Natured ‘Our Idiot Brother’ With Paul Rudd

Our Idiot Brother

CHICAGO – “Our Idiot Brother,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a light, good-natured comedy with a stellar ensemble that doesn’t quite click into place as a truly stand-out entry in the genre but features such a positive tone and overall message that it’s a difficult movie for which to mount too much of an offense against. The cast is so incredibly likable and so is the overall theme of the movie that it’s easy to approach like its title character and just go with the flow.

TV Review: FOX’s Absolutely Awful ‘I Hate My Teenage Daughter’

CHICAGOFOX’s “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” is so horrendous that there were rumors, after it was picked up by the network and pilots were sent out to press last May, that the network heads might change their mind and decide not to air the show at all. That would have been the nice to do to the American public.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Flypaper’ Falters With Paper-Thin Characterizations

Flypaper Thumb

CHICAGO – After the not-so-surprising success of the heavily marketed farce “The Hangover,” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have quickly become Hollywood’s most overrated screenwriters. They specialize in injecting high concepts with frat-boy vulgarity, mean spirited gags and entirely superficial warmth. If Zach Galifianakis hadn’t bolstered “Hangover” with his deadpan genius, the film almost surely would’ve flopped.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs to ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ With Harrison Ford

Cowboys & Aliens Blu-ray and DVD combo pack

CHICAGO – In our latest action/sci-fi edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home release of “Cowboys & Aliens” from the director of “Iron Man” starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford!

Film News: ‘The Artist’ Takes Top Prize at New York Film Critics Circle

The Artist

CHICAGO – The New York Film Critics Circle was the first major group to make their picks official for the best of film in 2011 when they announced their winners earlier today. After moving their awards from mid-December to late November, a move that many feel was just to make their pick more noteworthy in award season hype, the NYFCC picked the silent, black and white film “The Artist” as the Best Film recipient.

Film News: Chicago Helps Benefit LUNAFEST Film Festival

LUNAFEST

CHICAGO – When a company makes a commitment to a cause, the way that they follow through speaks volumes about that commitment. Kit Crawford, the co-owner/CEO of the company that makes LUNA Bars, has brought in her passion of the arts through LUNAFEST, a film festival featuring women filmmakers and the donation of its proceeds to women’s causes. It was in Chicago on November 17th.

Film News: Nominations Announced For 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards

Take Shelter Film Review

CHICAGO – Award season is definitely in full swing and nominations for ceremonies are just starting to be released. For the fan of the indie film, today is a very significant date: the release of the nominations for the 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Interview: Piper Laurie Reflects on ‘Carrie,’ ‘The Hustler,’ Fumio Yamaguchi

CHICAGO – Few character actresses have proven to be as effortlessly versatile as Piper Laurie. Her Oscar-nominated turns as Paul Newman’s alcoholic lover in Robert Rossen’s 1961 classic “The Hustler” and Marlee Matlin’s estranged but loving mother in Randa Haines’s 1986 drama “Children of a Lesser God” offer a mere sample of her remarkable range and magnetic screen presence.

TV Review: TNT’s ‘Scott Turow’s Innocent’ Deserves Prosecution

Scott Turow's Innocent

CHICAGO – With the success of mystery shows like “C.S.I.” and “The Mentalist,” why not try and bring back a staple of the ’70s and ’80s TV scene, the mystery movie of the week? Such is the thinking behind TNT’s programmers, as the network will debut a whopping four stand-alone mystery movies in the next month, starting with tonight’s debut of “Scott Turow’s Innocent,” starring Bill Pullman, Marcia Gay Harden, Alfred Molina, and Richard Schiff. Despite the stellar cast, this is a limp, dull effort that will only serve to remind viewers why they don’t make TV movies like this often any more.

Interview: Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender Turn ‘Shame’ Into Art

CHICAGO – Writer/director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender have the kind of interview dynamic that only comes with two people who know each other very well. They broke through with the same film, 2008’s “Hunger,” a masterpiece of human drama.

TV News: FX Announces 2012 Premiere Dates For ‘Justified,’ ‘Archer,’ ‘Unsupervised’

Justified

CHICAGOFX sent a press release today announcing the return dates for critical darlings “Justified” and “Archer,” along with the premiere of their new animated series “Unsupervised.” All three will premiere the same week mid-January.

Film News: New ‘Beauty and the Beast 3D’ Trailer Released

Beauty and the Beast

CHICAGO – The newest trailer of a tale as old as time has been released inviting you to see one of Disney’s most classic films on the big screen again…and this time in 3D. “Beauty and the Beast 3D,” a remastered version of the classic film brought to you in three dimensions, will release to theaters everywhere on Jan. 13, 2012.

Video Game Review: ‘Saints Row the Third’ Gets By on Gleeful Excess

CHICAGO – “Saints Row The Third” is to “Grand Theft Auto” as “Machete” is to “No Country For Old Men.” They may feature similar themes but one takes the dramatic edge of the other and turns it into B-movie insanity. And I don’t mean that as a criticism. The third game in the surprisingly robust “Saints Row” franchise is a blast. A goofy, wacky, silly, dumb, crazy blast.

Blu-ray Review: Stunning Criterion Set For Kieslowsk’s ‘Three Colors’

Three Colors

CHICAGO – Movies don’t get much more personally influential than Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Blue,” “White,” and “Red,” collectively known as the “Three Colors” trilogy, and recently released in one gorgeous box set from The Criterion Collection. As we all do, I was a bit concerned that perhaps my memory of these films had been enhanced with time, but I found the opposite — they’re even better with age and stand as one of the best film achievements of not just their era but of all time.

Blu-ray Review: Excellent Set For ‘Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series’

Doctor Who 2011

CHICAGO – The sixth season of “Doctor Who” made the biggest waves stateside, in no small part due to a marketing blitz tied into the fact that the program was, for the first time, premiering in the U.S. at the same time it was in the U.K. (For years, the series would air in its home country and be imported later.) It also became a very divisive season. Do a Twitter search and you’ll find ecstatic love and pure hatred for this season.

Film Feature: From Page to Screen, Fall 2011’s Biggest Adaptations

CHICAGO – Last week saw the release of Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” his long-awaited adaptation of Brian Selznick’s award-winning young adult novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”. And the movie has been “long-awaited” for several reasons. One reason is that the idea of Scorsese doing a kid’s movie is a little mind-blowing.

Film News: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1’ Tops Thanksgiving Box Office

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1

CHICAGO – In the battle of vampires and puppets, the heartthrobs got the win. To clarify, that’s the vampires. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” came in at number one in the weekend box office with $42 million over the weekend and $62.3 million over the five-day Thanksgiving break. The total was enough to hold off “The Muppets,” which brought in a very respectable $29.5 million three-day, $42 million five-day total.

Film Review: Dennis Farina is Absolved in ‘The Last Rites of Joe May’

The Last Rites of Joe May

CHICAGO – The Chicago born-and-bred actor Dennis Farina has had many opportunities in his career to distinguish himself in a variety of roles, but never has he carried a film as well as his turn in the recent “The Last Rites of Joe May.” Farina imbues the title character with raw emotion, feral toughness and a touch of fear.

Dennis Farina is Absolved in ‘The Last Rites of Joe May’

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

CHICAGO – The Chicago born-and-bred actor Dennis Farina has had many opportunities in his career to distinguish himself in a variety of roles, but never has he carried a film as well as his turn in the recent “The Last Rites of Joe May.” Farina imbues the title character with raw emotion, feral toughness and a touch of fear.

Film Review: Creature Feature Vibe in ‘Frankenstein: Day of the Beast’

CHICAGO – If your heart flutters when you think about the drive-in days of old, with a triple feature of B-movie horror films, then writer/director Ricardo Islas delivers a nostalgic kick with “Frankenstein: Day of the Beast.” The film has its world premiere in Chicago on Sunday, November 27th, at the Portage Theater on Milwaukee Avenue.

Creature Feature Vibe in ‘Frankenstein: Day of the Beast’

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

CHICAGO – If your heart flutters when you think about the drive-in days of old, with a triple feature of B-movie horror films, then writer/director Ricardo Islas delivers a nostalgic kick with “Frankenstein: Day of the Beast.” The film has its world premiere in Chicago on Sunday, November 27th, at the Portage Theater on Milwaukee Avenue.

Interview: Tasha Smith, Michael Jai White of ‘For Better or Worse’ on TBS

CHICAGO – The Tyler Perry empire rolls on, with a new show called “For Better or Worse” premiering November 25th on TBS. The series is based on two films Perry produced, “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?” and focuses on characters played in both films by Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White.

Interviews: Stars of ‘West Side Story’ For 50th Anniversary

CHICAGO – The legend of the 1961 film version of the Broadway sensation “West Side Story” grows as the years go by. Who better to remember that legend 50 years later than three of the stars of that Academy Award winning Best Picture – Rita Moreno (Anita), George Chakiris (Bernardo) and Russ Tamblyn (Riff).

Film Review: Aardman Studios Offers a Merry ‘Arthur Christmas’

Arthur Christmas

CHICAGO – Aardman Studios, the creators of the irrepressible “Wallace & Gromit” and the witty “Flushed Away” is back with another animated holiday treat, “Arthur Christmas.” Santa Claus and the gang are taken into the modern era, but the cheeky lads/lasses at Aardman can’t help but throw in a bit of whimsy and heart.

Aardman Studios Offers a Merry ‘Arthur Christmas’

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

CHICAGO – Aardman Studios, the creators of the irrepressible “Wallace & Gromit” and the witty “Flushed Away” is back with another animated holiday treat, “Arthur Christmas.” Santa Claus and the gang are taken into the modern era, but the cheeky lads/lasses at Aardman can’t help but throw in a bit of whimsy and heart.

Film Review: Gorgeous ‘Hugo’ Plays Like Cinematic Snow Globe

CHICAGO – Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” is a deeply personal piece, a magical tale about imagination and the importance of film preservation presented with some of the most technical expertise in years.

HollywoodChicago.com Hide & Tweet: Follow the Clues to Discover 10 ‘Super 8’ Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs

Update on 11/26/11 at 12:05 a.m.: Prizes will be hidden on Saturday AFTERNOON on Nov. 26, 2011! See our clue tweets here to find out where to go!

CHICAGOHide & Tweet! Unpuzzle the Twitter mystery and win! In our second edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hide & Tweet, follow our clue tweets to discover one of two secret Chicago locations and snag one of 10 “Super 8” Blu-ray/DVD combo packs for yourself!

Film Review: ‘The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch’ is Cliché Drowned in French Style

The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – From what I understand, the name Largo Winch is a household one in Europe. While it may mean nothing here, a French spy thriller with a name like “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch,” based on a European comic book, might sound like the perfect alternative for arthouse movie goers looking for something different this holiday weekend. Sadly, from the very beginning, “Largo Winch” feels like nothing different at all. It’s surprisingly generic, clichéd, and often dull, with only a few set pieces and dashes of French style to separate it. Far from a complete disaster, but forgettable in nearly every way.

Gorgeous ‘Hugo’ Plays Like Cinematic Snow Globe

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

CHICAGO – Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” is a deeply personal piece, a magical tale about imagination and the importance of film preservation presented with some of the most technical expertise in years. It is also a strikingly cold film, an adventure that doesn’t contain the whimsy, pace, or charm that it really needed to in order to connect emotionally as well as intellectually.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Xfinity Watchathon

    CHICAGO – Comcast announced last week that the Xfinity Watchathon Week 2020 will take place from May 11th through the 17th. Included in the free offerings for customers will be the Hulu originals “Little Fires Everywhere” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and other original shows from EPIX, STARZ and SHOWTIME channels. The Watchathon will be available on the X1, Flex and Xfinity Stream platforms.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
tracker