Hero

Film Review: Exploring an Inverse Superman Makes ‘Brightburn’ Shine

Brightburn

CHICAGO – The opening to the 1950s “Adventures of Superman” TV series includes the words “strange visitor from another planet.” But because Supes had used his subsequent powers for good, he eventually was found not so strange. What if, however, he had been evil, and used his powers destructively? The new film “Brightburn” speculates on such a phenomenon.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘The Flowers of War’ With Christian Bale

The Flowers of War with Christian Bale

CHICAGO – In our latest foreign-language edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the Golden Globe-nominated foreign-language film “The Flowers of War” starring Christian Bale from the director of “Hero”!

Blu-Ray Review: Zhang Yimou’s Odd ‘A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop’

A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop

CHICAGO – I could never quite get my finger on why the super-talented Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “House of the Flying Daggers”) chose to make “A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop,” a loose remake of the film that introduced Joel and Ethan Coen to the world, “Blood Simple.” It is a case of a talented Chinese director attempting to make a very American genre: noir. To what end? Would it be interesting to watch the Coens remake “Hero”? Sure, but mostly as curiosity and I expect more than curiosities from someone as notable as Yimou.

Film Review: Gemma Arterton Displays Luminosity as ‘Tamara Drewe’

Tamara Drewe, Gemma Arterton

CHICAGO – There are some movies that are gut level great because of plot, atmosphere and pacing, and then there are movies like “Tamara Drewe,” which rely on the elusive star power of the performer to drive its engine. Gemma Arterton portrays the title character and lights up the screen with a vivid presence in this simple story of a woman’s homecoming.

Interview: Director Stephen Frears on His Vision For ‘Tamara Drewe’

CHICAGO – Director Stephen Frears is a storytelling legend who sneaks up on us. Besides his new film “Tamara Drewe,” which played at this year’s Chicago International Film Festival, Frears has a filmography that includes “The Queen,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “High Fidelity,” “The Snapper,” “Hero,” “Prick Up Your Ears” and “My Beautiful Laundrette.”

Interview: Andy Garcia on Acting, His New Film ‘City Island’

CHICAGO – Andy Garcia has a movie star presence, combined with a true appreciation for his profession and craft. He takes on a character role in the upcoming film “City Island,” as a New York borough prison guard who longs to be an actor.

Blu-Ray Round Up: Jet Li, Jackie Chan Highlight ‘Ultimate Force of Four’

Hero

CHICAGO – Attention martial arts fans, Buena Vista Home Video recently released a wave of martial arts films on Blu-Ray under the title “The Ultimate Force of Four” box set, including one of Jet Li’s best films, the spectacular “Hero,” from director Zhang Yimou. “Hero” is easily the highlight of the quartet of recent HD releases but “Iron Monkey,” “The Legend of Drunken Master,” and “Zatoichi” will all satisfy fans in 1080p (as long as they’re not purists about audio tracks).

Interview: Producer Bill Kong on Latest Film ‘Blood: The Last Vampire’

Blood: The Last Vampire

CHICAGO – Bill Kong can rightly be considered the producer King of the Modern Samarai Film. After cutting his teeth on the seminal “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” his latest release is a new spin on the genre with “Blood, The Last Vampire.”

Interview: Director Roger Spottiswoode Captures Spirit of China’s Past in ‘The Children of Huang Shi’

Guang Li, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Children of Huang Shi (1)

CHICAGO – The second Chinese/Japanese war, which was a 1937 prelude to the great conflict of World War II, is notable today mostly because modern China rose from its ashes. Largely forgotten except for the survivors, it is a backdrop for “The Children of Huang Shi,” which is a new film from veteran director Roger Spottiswoode.

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