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Film Review: Meditative ‘Transcendence’ Also Artificially Intelligent

CHICAGO – The Internet is for real in “Transcendence”, a B-movie with grade-A production quality, loaded with terabyte-size open-ended questions, so long as one can accept it lastly with a scientific mindset.

Film News: 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival Closes With ‘I Am From Chile’

30th Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – April 17th, 2014 is closing night for the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival. The CLFF is celebrating its 30th year, making it one of the oldest festivals of its kind in the United States. The closing film is ‘I Am From Chile,” which is followed by the presentation of the Gloria Achievement Award to actress Paulina Garcia.

Blu-ray Review: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The King of Comedy’ Crosses Generations

The King of Comedy

Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

Interview: Marlon Wayans Brings the Funny to ‘A Haunted House 2’

CHICAGO – Marlon Wayans will do practically anything for a laugh, and that is to the audience’s advantage in the sequel to last year’s smash comedy, “A Haunted House 2.” Joining him for the second go around is hot comic Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and the reliable Affion Crockett, who is reprising his role as Cousin Ray Ray.

Film Review: Spirituality Over Dogma Uplifts ‘Heaven Is for Real’

CHICAGO – It would be easy to dismiss “Heaven Is for Real,” given that it is based on the visions of the afterlife by a child, that just happens to coincide perfectly with Christian doctrine (Jesus, Angels, etc.). But there is more to this film in the sincerity of its spirituality, and it succeeds with that inspiration.

Interview: Greg Kinnear is Preaching in ‘Heaven Is for Real’

CHICAGO – The actor Greg Kinnear has been known for his neat and tidy image, but never has he portrayed a religious leader. His role as Todd Burpo – a pastor of a church and the father whose son believes “Heaven Is for Real” – brings the energy of spirituality to the movies just in time for the Easter holiday.

Film Review: Facing Life Transitions in ‘Hide Your Smiling Faces’

CHICAGO – The pain and passion of prepubescent youth and adolescence unravels in the excellent directorial debut of Daniel Patrick Carbone, “Hide Your Smiling Faces.” Carbone captures the isolation and meticulous boredom at a time of life when everything conspires to happen on a daily basis.

Film Review: Jude Law Tolls the Bell for ‘Dom Hemingway’

Dom Hemingway

CHICAGO – “Dom Hemingway” begins with a tight close-up on a barely recognizable Jude Law, portraying the title character. He’s giving a monologue, literally spraying the words. When the circumstance is revealed as to what is happening to him, there is an awareness that this is not going to be your Daddy’s petty safecracker ex-con film.

Film Review: ‘Oculus’ Succeeds Psychologically, Fails Supernaturally

CHICAGO – Films in general are knocked for being knockoffs of something else. Horror films in particular have it especially hard in the “new” department because we’re so quickly annoyed when we’ve “seen it all before”.

Film Review: Captivating Tale of Primal Manhood in David Gordon Green’s ‘Joe’

Joe - Nicolas Cage & Tye Sheridan

CHICAGO – This week in movies about men we have “Joe”, a wild drama about Texas males at their most primal. It is the newest film from director David Gordon Green, and features Nicolas Cage in some of his finest work.

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  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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