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Alan Arkin

Blu-ray Review: ‘Grudge Match’ is Strictly Lightweight

Grudge Match

CHICAGO – This forgettable time waster is mildly amusing as long as you don’t let yourself go into mourning over Robert Deniro’s career. But then again that almost goes without saying these days. Likewise Stallone who has had far more interesting career choices in the last decade than this. The pair play retired boxers who comes out of retirement for one last fight. One for the paycheck. The other to settle an old score.

Film Review: Two Old Stars Roast Their Images in ‘Grudge Match’

CHICAGO – Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro – between them they have over 150 film credits in careers stretching back to the 1960s. Two of their most famous roles, boxers Rocky and the Raging Bull, get the full make-fun-of treatment in the Christmas Day Film “Grudge Match.”

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ Isn’t Funny at Home Either

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

CHICAGO – Some comedies improve when they climb down off the big screen and take up residence on the small one. Perhaps it’s just that we’re more forgiving at home then we are when we’re paying a fortune for tickets, parking, and popcorn. Or we’re just more accustomed to bad comedy writing on TV. However, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” one of the more notable box office flops of 2013 so far (it couldn’t crack $23 million TOTAL) is not one of those better-at-home comedies. It’s still a stunniningly flat, boring piece of work and the scant special features do nothing to improve it.

Film Review: Nothing Magical About ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’

CHICAGO – It’s this simple – “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” just isn’t funny. Sure, there are a few laughs here and there and some of the supporting cast works but the leads are woefully miscast and most of the jokes hit with all the awkward silence of a Bennigan’s tableside magician who guesses the wrong card.

Blu-ray Review: 2013 Best Picture Winner ‘Argo’ Given Educational Edition

Argo

CHICAGO – Ben Affleck’s stellar “Argo” won three Oscars last night, including Best Picture of 2012, and Warner Bros. very purposefully timed the Blu-ray and DVD release to capitalize on the film’s wave of success. But they didn’t cut corners to do so. This is one of the best Blu-ray releases in some time, with a stellar collection of special features that don’t just enlighten viewers on the art of filmmaking but offer detailed histories of the true story that just won the Best Picture Academy Award.

Film Review: ‘Stand Up Guys’ Worst Waste of Talent Since Booth Shot Lincoln

Stand Up Guys

CHICAGO – Three actors, with three Oscars and an astounding 14 nominations between them, obviously have lost the ability to read a script late in their careers. That or the producers had dirt on them. There is no other reason why Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken would be the “Stand Up Guys.”

Slideshow: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken at Opening of 48th Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – It was true star power as the 48th Chicago International Film Festival kicked off on October 11th, 2012. The Opening Night film was “Stand Up Guys,” and appearing on behalf of the film was Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and director Fisher Stevens.

Film Review: Ben Affleck Reaches Career Peak with Masterful ‘Argo’

CHICAGO – Ben Affleck has reached the apex of his already impressive directorial career with the stunning “Argo,” a tight, tense machine of a film, a masterwork that delivers as comedy, action, drama, and more. Critics see movies all the time that we understand may produce a divided response. We get that many acclaimed films won’t make a dent with the populous.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Argo’ From Director Ben Affleck

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Argo” from “The Town” director Ben Affleck!

Film Review: Troubled ‘Thin Ice’ With Greg Kinnear Barely Works

Thin Ice
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Over a decade ago, Jill & Karen Sprecher made waves on the indie scene with “Clockwatchers” and “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” but then virtually disappeared. They’re back with another arthouse piece, a “Fargo”-esque black comedy called “Thin Ice,” starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, and more. The strong ensemble makes the relatively weak script (as presented…more on that later) easier to take as the film skates over some treacherous rough patches but never falls through.

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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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