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Blu-ray Review: Talented People Falter in ‘Killing Them Softly’

Killing Them Softly

CHICAGO – Andrew Dominik delivered one of the best movies of the ’00s the last time he worked with Brad Pitt when the two made “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” And so there was intense anticipation for their follow-up collaboration, “Killing Them Softly,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Call it a sophomore slump but “KTS” is a film with tons of style and some interesting ideas that nonetheless feels like a dirge and plays like a film twice as long as its running time.

Film Review: Metaphor is Message in Violent ‘Killing Them Softly’

CHICAGO – If there ever was an industry that deserved a good metaphor bashing, it would be the financial sector. “Killing Them Softly” does a hit-over-the-head with the symbolism, but at the same time delivers a gritty and literate parable, featuring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta.

Trailer Tracking: ‘World War Z,’ ‘Warm Bodies,’ ‘The Last Stand’

CHICAGO – Blame the recent popularity of “The Walking Dead,” but zombies have never been more mainstream consumer-friendly and, as such, Hollywood is taking advantage of the trend. And one of the many great things about zombie movies is that they’re scalable.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Happy Feet Two’ Stands in Shadow of Superior Original

Happy Feet Two

CHICAGO – Pick your pun — “Happy Feet Two” stumbles, trips, and has two left feet when compared to the Academy Award-winning original. Cluttered with characters, poorly paced, and tonally inconsistent, George Miller’s follow-up to his massive hit barely registered in theaters, but comes home with a pretty strong Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Slideshow: 26-Image Gallery of Celebrities at 84th Annual Academy Awards

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CHICAGO – This 26-image slideshow contains a selection of ABC-provided red carpet arrival images from the 84th Annual Academy Awards, which were handed out on February 26th, 2012 on ABC. Celebrities featured include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte, Shailene Woodley, Rooney Mara, Michelle Williams, Meryl Streep, Berenice Bejo, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lopez, and many more.

Blu-ray Review: Excellent ‘Moneyball’ With Brad Pitt Rewards Repeat Viewing

Moneyball

CHICAGO – Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” is one of those films that was circling around my top ten when it came time to write it in December. Honestly I had about fifteen films that could have fallen anywhere between 6-20 (my top five was pretty set as I saw those films). I rewatched many of those movies to determine where they should be and one of the most rewarding second viewings in there was the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s. This is a great movie that only gets deeper the second and even third time (and ended up #7 on my list and #5 on Patrick McDonald’s before winning the CFCA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Don’t miss it.

Slideshow: 37-Image Gallery of Celebrities at 69th Annual Golden Globes

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Ricky Gervais

CHICAGO – This 37-image slideshow contains a selection of NBC-provided images from the 69th Annual Golden Globes, which were handed out on January 15th, 2012 on NBC. Celebrities featured include Ricky Gervais, Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kate Beckinsale, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Jean Dujardin, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Emily Blunt, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Madonna, Peter Dinklage, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and many more.

Film Feature: The Best Lead Performances of 2011

CHICAGO – Yesterday, we brought you some of the most engaging and memorable supporting performances of 2011. As much as I love some of the acting work in that feature, it’s nothing compared to the talent on display below.

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 Review: Fate Doesn’t Fail Them Now in ‘Happy Feet Two’

CHICAGO – Dancing animated penguins, a tradition dating back to Disney’s “Mary Poppins” and brought to further life in the first “Happy Feet” movie, finds more stepping pep in “Happy Feet Two.” Robin Williams and Elijah Wood return to lend their vocal talents in this enjoyable sequel.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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