Max von Sydow

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition’ Proves Film’s Timeless Power

The Exorcist

CHICAGO – William Friedkin graced Chicago with his presence at a special event during the 2013 Chicago Critics Film Festival and it’s an evening that I’ll never forget. Not only is the director of classics like “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” recently released in a lavish 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition, one of the most important filmmakers of his era but he’s also incredibly funny, smart, and well-spoken. Fans of film owe it to themselves to read “The Friedkin Connection,” released earlier this year and even sampled in this release. And his heavy involvement in this release, including interviews, featurettes, and a commentary, make it a must-own for classic movie fans. That and it’s still one of the scariest movies ever made.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ Marred By Awful Acting

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Blu-ray

CHICAGO – So there I was at a packed awards consideration screening for Stephen Daldry’s latest prestige-filled tearjerker. Though a few of my fellow colleagues were grumbling about the grim task of sitting through more Daldry Oscar bait, my heart was filled with goodwill. I loved Daldry’s feature debut, “Billy Elliot,” and had plenty of favorable things to say about “The Hours” and “The Reader.”

Film Review: All Intention, No Delivery in Stephen Daldry‘s ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’

CHICAGO – The September 11th tragedy is still percolating through the cinematic filter, and there is a well intentioned thread throughout the various interpretations.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Conan the Barbarian,’ ‘Conan the Destroyer’

Conan the Barbarian

CHICAGO – I’m going to withhold judgment until I see it but, on paper, it makes no sense to remake John Milius’ 1982 fantasy/action classic “Conan the Barbarian” for one simple reason — there’s only one Ah-nuld. The movie weighed heavily on the charisma of its unique star, someone who was essentially catapulted to the A-list by this film and lightning only strikes once. Does anyone think that Jason Momoa, star of the August 19th remake from Marcus Nispel (remake “King” after desecrating “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th”) will find the same magic? Check out the originals, now on Blu-ray, and see the standard he has to live up to.

Slideshow: 26-Image Gallery For ‘Robin Hood’ Premiere in Cannes With Russell Crowe

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Actress Danielle Spencer and Russell Crowe

CANNES, FRANCE – Wednesday night at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival was reserved for an arrowing experience with the premiere of “Robin Hood.” Russell Crowe, who plays the legendary archer in director Ridley Scott’s new film, was on the red carpet.

Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett Forge an Epic Adventure in ‘Robin Hood’

CHICAGO – “T’wang!” is the the sound of an archer’s arrow going right into the center of the summer movie kick-off season.

Slideshow: 51-Image Gallery For ‘Robin Hood’ With Russell Crowe

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(L to R) Allan ADayle (Alan Doyle), Little John (Kevin Durand), Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) and Will Scarlet (Scott Grimes) hunt their quarry in Robin Hood.

CHICAGO – This 51-image slideshow contains the official press images for Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Eileen Atkins and Max von Sydow. It was written by Brian Helgeland. The film opens on May 14th, 2010.

Slideshow: 10-Image Premiere of ‘Shutter Island’ in New York City With Leonardo DiCaprio

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Martin Scorsese (left) and Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island.

CHICAGO – We have a 10-image slideshow of the New York City premiere for the highly anticipated film “Shutter Island” from Feb. 17, 2010. The film opens nationwide on Feb. 19, 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Seventh Seal’ Still Dazzles From Criterion

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CHICAGO – What more is there to write about “The Seventh Seal”? Dozens of scholars more renowned than myself have already examined virtually every shot of the film. It has been dissected and discussed in dozens of languages and continues to be one of the most influential pieces of work in the history of its medium. The new Criterion Blu-Ray edition makes it clear why.

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