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Abigail Breslin

Blu-ray Review: ‘Haunter’ Does More Than Simply Haunt

Haunter-Stephen-McHattie.jpg

CHICAGO – Director Vincenzo Natali’s name always gets my attention. You always get the sense tha the’s trying to do something new. He first came to prominence with “Cube” (1997), which is a gorily stylistic bit of cheap psychological horror masquerading as science fiction. “Nothing” (2003) put two men in a literal void reminiscent in some ways of the classic and surreal Chuck Jones Looney Tune “Duck Amuck”. “Splice” (2009) offered an updated Frankenstein myth mixed with sexual politics and a critique of profit-driven genetic engineering.

Film Review: Family Secrets, Fine Acting in ‘August: Osage County’

CHICAGO – There will be inevitable comparisons to the Pulitzer Prize winning stage version of “August: Osage County” from the thousands of people who have been touched by the stage play. But in giving the film version a chance, there is the same passion, drama and heat of family dysfunction within it, with a dream cast.

Interview: Finding Truth with Cast of ‘August: Osage County’

CHICAGO – Gathering an ensemble cast for a film version of a Pulitzer Prize winning stage play is a tricky assignment. Some of the actors selected for “August: Osage County” – play and screenplay by Tracy Letts – are a mix of veterans (Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale) and relative newcomers (Julianne Nicholson).

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘August: Osage County’ with Meryl Streep

August: Osage County with Meryl Streep

CHICAGOHighly anticipated! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the darkly searing “Tracy Letts” comedy “August: Osage County” starring Meryl Streep!

Film Review: ‘Ender’s Game’ Loses Personality in Journey From Book to Film

CHICAGO – Gavin Hood’s “Ender’s Game” may be the best example of a current problem with science fiction: From “Oblivion” to “After Earth” to most of “Star Trek Into Darkness” and now this adaptation of the Orson Scott Card book, modern science fiction has become so depressingly sterile as to drain the genre of most of its joy.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of IMAX Tix to ‘Ender’s Game’ with Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new sci-fi “Ender’s Game” starring Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield!

Blu-ray Review: Good Turn From Halle Berry Wasted on ‘The Call’

The Call with Halle Berry

CHICAGO – I love Brad Anderson and the vision he showed in films like “Session 9,” “Transsiberian,” and his amazing episode of “Masters of Horror,” “Sounds Like.” He’s also done great work on television on shows like “Fringe” and “Boardwalk Empire.” And so while it seemed clear that “The Call,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, was little more than a director-for-hire gig, there was no denying they hired a really talented director. Sadly, even Anderson can’t save a remarkably boneheaded script that exploits more than scares and really falls apart in a final act that needed a full rewrite. Halle Berry gives it her all but this just doesn’t work.

Film Review: Tense Thriller Has Halle Berry Answering ‘The Call’

CHICAGO – “The Call” rises above the usual crime drama for a couple of reasons. First, it is a thriller that runs at a breakneck speed, using the driving culture of Los Angeles in a cat-and-mouse chase. Secondly, it symbolically emphasizes the plight of women, and honors their empowerment.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Call’ With Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin

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 Call” starring Halle Berry from the director of “The Machinist”!

Blu-ray Review: ‘New Year’s Eve’ Wants to Ruin Your Holidays

New Year's Eve

CHICAGO – By now, you’re surely aware of the general hatred for Garry Marshall’s horrendous ensemble romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve.” HollywoodChicago.com said ““New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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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