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Aidan Quinn

TV Review: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu Carry CBS’s ‘Elementary’

CHICAGO – “Elementary,” starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and debuting tonight on CBS at 9pm CST, is a tough show to review. Yes, it’s another procedural mystery show and I wouldn’t blame you if you’re just not interested in one of those. Who has time for all the fictional crimes being solved on TV every week?

TV Review: Maria Bello is Best Reason to Interrogate ‘Prime Suspect’

CHICAGO – Watching the premiere of NBC’s “Prime Suspect” again, I was struck by something undeniable — this feels like a TNT show. Yes, we’ve officially reached the point where basic cable is influencing network TV more than the other way around.

Film Review: ‘Sarah’s Key’ Unlocks the Ever-Present Past

Sarah's Key

CHICAGO – The old saying, “those who cannot remember the past is doomed to repeat it” applies succinctly in “Sarah’s Key,” a Holocaust film with a French twist. Kristin Scott Thomas plays an American journalist who uncovers the facts in a less-remembered incident that reverberates to now.

Interview: Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner Opens the Door With ‘Sarah’s Key’

Sarah's Key

CHICAGO – For every instance of “monumental” history, there are a series of events surrounding it that gets swept under the rug, but have the same bearing as the bigger occurrence. Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner tells one of those background stories in “Sarah’s Key,” a sorrowful piece of French history during World War II.

Film Review: Liam Neeson Fails to Find Missing Identity of ‘Unknown’

CHICAGO – “Unknown,” the latest thriller to attempt to turn Liam Neeson into an unusual choice for an action star (a la “Taken” and “The A-Team”), is one of those films that nearly works but falls just short of its audience’s expectations. The elements are there — a (mostly) strong ensemble, an interesting concept, an intriguing location, a promising director — but the film never comes together because the script needed one more rewrite that it just never received.

Slideshow: 28-Image Gallery For ‘Unknown’ With Liam Neeson, January Jones

| Image 1 of 28 |
Liam Neeson

CHICAGO – This 28-image slideshow contains most of the official press images for the highly-anticipated “Unknown,” starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, and Frank Langella. The film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. It will be released on February 18th, 2011.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Flipped’ Could Nearly Send You Head Over Heels

Flipped

CHICAGO – Director Rob Reiner’s career is undeniably a shadow of what it used to be with critical failures like “The Bucket List,” “Alex and Emma,” and “Rumor Has It…” diminishing the fact that this talented man gave us “Stand By Me,” “This is Spinal Tap,” and “The Princess Bride.” “Flipped” certainly doesn’t merit consideration with Reiner’s best but it is closer to form than he has been recently and it’s a film that’s easy to fall at least halfway in love with if not fully flipping head over heels.

Blu-Ray Review: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox Stumble Through ‘Jonah Hex’

Jonah Hex

CHICAGO – Modern audiences aren’t stupid enough to fall for lackluster product like “Jonah Hex” in theaters (it barely made over $10 million on a reported $47 million budget and currently hovers around 4.5 on IMDB) but it’s the kind of film that looks appealing on the Blockbuster shelf (or Netflix page). Don’t fall for it. Warner Bros. continues to produce excellent HD video and audio but even they can’t shine this turd into something worth your time.

Film Review: Excellent Young Actors Carry Rob Reiner’s Nostalgic ‘Flipped’

Flipped
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Rob Reiner’s “Flipped” is not merely nostalgic for an era when life seemed simpler and sweeter but for an age when every minor detail meant the world and love was as simple as looking into the eyes of a new neighbor. We all remember the days when the smallest act of kindness or meanness changed everything and, thanks to two very strong central performances, “Flipped” captures the essence of those times in a gentle, sentimental romance.

Josh Brolin, Megan Fox Dash Between the Explosions in ‘Jonah Hex’

Megan Fox and Josh Brolin in "Jonah Hex"

CHICAGO – Delving deep into the comic book lexicon, the latest page-to-film adaptation is “Jonah Hex,” featuring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich. Hex is a scarred bounty hunter whose primary job seems to be saving America, when he isn’t in the midst of or causing things to blow up real good.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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