March 2013

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Pairs of Family 4-Packs to ‘Jurassic Park in 3D’ From Steven Spielberg

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 15 pairs of family movie 4-packs up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Jurassic Park in 3D”!

TV Review: HBO Returns to Dark World of Beloved ‘Game of Thrones’

CHICAGO – Millions of viewers will return this week to a land of dragons, swords, magic, and characters that are difficult to tell apart when HBO’s “Game of Thrones” premieres its third season tonight, March 31, 2013 at 8pm CST. What is it about “Game of Thrones” that has engendered such incredible loyalty?

Blu-ray Review: Nice, Deep Release For Beloved ‘Les Miserablés’

Les Miserables

CHICAGO – I stand by my swooning praise for Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” when I reviewed it in theaters. Mostly. I must admit that its flaws are easier to see on the small screen as the grand, epic scope suits itself better to the movie theater (although I think people who claim to hate this movie simply don’t like musicals). It doesn’t hold up quite as well as that first, glorious experience with it in theaters. Even if the Blu-ray is one that will appeal greatly to fans of this beloved, Oscar-winning flick.

DVD Review: Kathryn Bigelow’s Incredible ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Deserves More

Zero Dark Thirty

CHICAGO – At one point in awards season, right after it won five Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, including Best Picture, Actress, Screenplay, and Director, it really looked like Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” was going to be the most award-winning film of 2012. When all was said and done, it only won a single Oscar for Sound Editing and Bigelow wasn’t even nominated.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Evil Dead’ From Fede Alvarez

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new “Evil Dead” vision from Fede Alvarez and the producers of the original cult classic!

Blu-ray Review: ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ Gets Long Overdue Release

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

CHICAGO – When “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was released 25 years ago, it was a revolutionary critical and commercial smash on its way to four Oscars, including a special Academy Award created just for its amazing technical achievement (live-action and animation may be as common as McDonald’s commercials now but not in 1988). However, not every film from the late ’80s has held up well.

TV Review: Clever ‘Orphan Black’ Joins BBC’s Supernatural Saturday

CHICAGO – “Orphan Black” joins “Doctor Who” and the new program “The Nerdist” for a night of genre fun on BBC America every weekend that is known as “Supernatural Saturday.” “Who” is still the gem here but “Black” starts promisingly enough with an engaging, sexy lead performance and clever, high-concept hook.

Film Review: Fresh Performances Drive ‘Gimme the Loot’

Gimme the Loot

CHICAGO – The world of the movies is also a world of discovery. Like new, hot authors, the breakthrough directors emerge with an original first work that generates deserved attention. Writer/director Adam Leon has created that freshness in the his debut feature, “Gimme the Loot.”

Fresh Performances Drive ‘Gimme the Loot’

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

CHICAGO – The world of the movies is also a world of discovery. Like new, hot authors, the breakthrough directors emerge with an original first work that generates deserved attention. Writer/director Adam Leon has created that freshness in the his debut feature, “Gimme the Loot.”

Film Review: Hilarious ‘Starbuck’ Reinvents the Family Film

CHICAGO – “You’ll believe a man can have 533 children” might be a better tagline than, “You’ll believe a man can fly.” The extremely funny new Canadian film “Starbuck” will not only make you a true believer, but also loudly professes a romantic and gooey refrain that is sometimes necessary in a cold, cynical world.

Hilarious ‘Starbuck’ Reinvents the Family Film

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

CHICAGO – “You’ll believe a man can have 533 children” might be a better tagline than, “You’ll believe a man can fly.” The extremely funny new Canadian film “Starbuck” will not only make you a true believer, but also loudly professes a romantic and gooey refrain that is sometimes necessary in a cold, cynical world.

Slideshow: Exclusive Photos of ‘Twilight’ Author Stephenie Meyer, ‘The Host’ Stars

| Image 1 of 4 |

CHICAGO – Stephenie Meyer is one of the most famous authors in America, because of the phenomenon of her “Twilight” series of books, and their subsequent film versions. She embarks on a new chapter with “The Host,” which was published in 2008, and has just been adapted to the screen. Meyer made a promotional appearance in Chicago recently with co-stars from “The Host,” Max Irons and Jake Abel.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Company You Keep’ With Robert Redford

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “The Company You Keep” starring Robert Redford!

Film Review: ‘The Sapphires’ Don’t Fit Inside its 1960s Setting

CHICAGO – “The Sapphires” is inspired by a true story, about an Australian girl group who entertains the troops in 1968 Viet Nam. There is little feeling regarding the era the film is portraying, and it’s essentially used as a vehicle for period pop songs that have been heard before.

‘The Sapphires’ Don’t Fit Inside its 1960s Setting

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

CHICAGO – “The Sapphires” is inspired by a true story, about an Australian girl group who entertains the troops in 1968 Viet Nam. There is little feeling regarding the era the film is portraying, and it’s essentially used as a vehicle for period pop songs that have been heard before.

Film News: Shane Carruth Explores ‘Upstream Color’ on Indie Outlook

Shane Carruth Indie Outlook

CHICAGO – “Primer” director Shane Carruth gave an exclusive interview to Indie Outlook, the independent film blog and podcast created by Hollywood Chicago writer Matt Fagerholm, about his acclaimed Sundance prize-winner, “Upstream Color.” The film makes its Chicago premiere at the Music Box Theatre on Friday, April 12th, and Carruth will be present for the opening night double bill of “Primer” and “Upstream Color.”

Film Review: Despite Sci-Fi Intrigue, ‘The Host’ Favors Teen Romance

CHICAGO – Author Stephenie Meyer can’t help herself. Despite breaking out from the “Twilight” saga and creating science fiction in her latest novel, it still features angst-ridden teen romance, which becomes less important versus the bizarre other worldly infiltration in the film adaptation of “The Host.”

Despite Sci-Fi Intrigue, ‘The Host’ Favors Teen Romance

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

CHICAGO – Author Stephenie Meyer can’t help herself. Despite breaking out from the “Twilight” saga and creating science fiction in her latest novel, it still features angst-ridden teen romance, which becomes less important versus the bizarre other worldly infiltration in the film adaptation of “The Host.”

Film Review: Studio Ghibli Gives Fans Sweet ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’

CHICAGO – The torch is being passed at Studio Ghibli from the great Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away”) to his son Goro, who directs this week’s tender “From Up on Poppy Hill,” certainly not one of the best in the Ghibli canon but a well-made, enjoyable melodrama nonetheless. A full awareness that it’s kind of a cheap melodrama (one of the characters even says so) doesn’t change the fact that it is but the young Miyazaki’s visual palette is notably beautiful and the voice work is strong throughout.

Studio Ghibli Gives Fans Sweet ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’

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

CHICAGO – The torch is being passed at Studio Ghibli from the great Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away”) to his son Goro, who directs this week’s tender “From Up on Poppy Hill,” certainly not one of the best in the Ghibli canon but a well-made, enjoyable melodrama nonetheless. A full awareness that it’s kind of a cheap melodrama (one of the characters even says so) doesn’t change the fact that it is but the young Miyazaki’s visual palette is notably beautiful and the voice work is strong throughout.

Film Review: ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Almost Turns Macho Stupidity Into Art

CHICAGO – “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is the kind of dumb summer action blockbuster that works in the season when the kids aren’t in school and the movie theater is used as an excuse to get in the air conditioning as much as see anything approaching filmmaking. It nearly works in March. Nearly.

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Almost Turns Macho Stupidity Into Art

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

CHICAGO – “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is the kind of dumb summer action blockbuster that works in the season when the kids aren’t in school and the movie theater is used as an excuse to get in the air conditioning as much as see anything approaching filmmaking. It nearly works in March. Nearly.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Free ‘Rise of the Guardians’ DVDs With Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 15 free DVDs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home release of “Rise of the Guardians” from the creators of “How to Train Your Dragon”!

Film Review: Hard to Wrap Head Around Misguided ‘Mental’

CHICAGO – Despite boasting the talented efforts of the always-great and tragically underrated Toni Collette, P.J. Hogan’s “Mental,” opening this weekend in Chicago, is a tonal mess. It’s a bewilderingly strange movie, the kind of thing that one might write off as being lost in translation from its Australian origin before realizing it wasn’t that funny there either.

Hard to Wrap Head Around Misguided ‘Mental’

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

CHICAGO – Despite boasting the talented efforts of the always-great and tragically underrated Toni Collette, P.J. Hogan’s “Mental,” opening this weekend in Chicago, is a tonal mess. It’s a bewilderingly strange movie, the kind of thing that one might write off as being lost in translation from its Australian origin before realizing it wasn’t that funny there either.

Film Review: Cannes Winner ‘Reality’ From ‘Gomorrah’ Director Matteo Garrone

CHICAGO – Matteo Garrone is a notable talent. His highly acclaimed 2008 film “Gomorrah” earned praise around the world and the follow-up, “Reality,” won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

Cannes Winner ‘Reality’ From ‘Gomorrah’ Director Matteo Garrone

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

CHICAGO – Matteo Garrone is a notable talent. His highly acclaimed 2008 film “Gomorrah” earned praise around the world and the follow-up, “Reality,” won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year. It’s a step down from his previous work as it’s less ambitious and doesn’t quite come together but it features enough interesting ideas about our fame-obsessed culture to see why it connected with the French fest jury.

Blu-ray Review: Judd Apatow’s Underrated ‘This is 40’ Boasts A-Grade Extras

This is 40 Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Why should Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham have to apologize for making films about white upper-class people, considering they are indeed members of the white upper-class? Does their whiteness make their voices any less worthy of being heard? Is it the painstakingly intimate nature of their comedy that rubs some viewers the wrong way? Would these viewers prefer impersonal formulaic retreads populated by token representatives of every race on earth? I can’t imagine anything more dull.

Blu-ray Review: Lorraine Levy’s ‘The Other Son’ Transcends Cultural Boundaries

The Other Son Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Remember that episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” where Rob and Laura Petrie become convinced that the baby they took home from the hospital is not their own? Imagine if they were right and that 18 years had passed before they came to this crushing realization. And imagine if the birth parents weren’t a kindly black couple, and instead the Petrie’s sworn enemies?

Exclusive HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Metro Chicago Concert Tickets For April 5

CHICAGOHollywoodChicago.com readers only! In this exclusive HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Music, we have 25 pairs of concert tickets up for grabs to a Metro Chicago main-stage concert featuring some of Chicago’s best bands on Friday, April 5, 2013!

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  • South Side

    CHICAGO – One the brightest comedies set in Chicago is “South Side,” created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle. The pair moved the show from Comedy Central to HBO Max, and Season Two dropped for streaming on November 11th, 2021, with the same free-wheeling and hilarious misadventures of Simon and Kareme.

  • Colin in Black & White

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 4th, 2021, reviewing the new miniseries “Colin in Black & White” – regarding the early years of ex-NFL QB Colin Kaepernick – currently streaming on Netflix.

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