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Albert Brooks

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Guilt Trip’ Marred by Maddeningly Formulaic Script

The Guilt Trip Blu-ray

CHICAGO – “The Guilt Trip” is hideously uninspired dreck of the most shameful variety. It casts two major yet mismatched talents and refuses to utilize their distinctive gifts for the entirety of its running time. All they’re required to do is sleepwalk through a plot so uninspired that audiences will have no problem predicting its path with their eyes closed and their ears covered.

Film Review: Judd Apatow’s ‘This is 40’ Clutters Truth with Cliché

CHICAGO – Judd Apatow’s “This is 40” is a true disappointment, a comedy that purports to say something honest and insightful about approaching middle age in the ‘10s but blurs truth by smothering it in contrivance and cliché.

Blu-ray Review: Beautiful ‘Finding Nemo’ Was Made For HD

CHICAGO – Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” disappointed somewhat when it was recently re-released in 3D with grosses that paled in comparison to 3D reboots of “Beauty & the Beast” and “The Lion King.” Perhaps it’s because the movie was so beautiful in two dimensions that fans didn’t think it needed a third. The new Blu-ray release in time for the holiday season certainly makes the case as this is undeniably one of Pixar’s absolute best.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to Sort-Of ‘Knocked Up’ Sequel ‘This is 40’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “This is 40,” which is the sort-of sequel to “Knocked Up” from Judd Apatow!

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Free ‘Finding Nemo’ DVDs with Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 free DVDs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of the beloved Disney/Pixar film “Finding Nemo” starring Ellen DeGeneres!

Blu-ray Review: Brilliant ‘Drive’ Deserves Better Home Release

Drive

CHICAGO – “Drive” will surely be one of the most remembered and beloved films of 2011, no matter what Academy members (who notoriously snubbed the film except for one lone tech nod) may think. And so it is disappointing that the Blu-ray edition from Film District and Sony is surprisingly light on special features. The film itself looks (and especially sounds) incredible and, considering it was my #2 for 2011, is well worth a pick-up, but you can presume that this is a placeholder for a Special/Ultimate/Collector’s Edition inevitably down the road.

Film News: Screen Actors’ Guild Nominations Contain a Few Surprises

The Help

CHICAGO – The announcements keep coming for award season winners and nominees. Today, we have the list of nominees for this year’s Screen Actors’ Guild awards. The awards celebrate the best male and female performances in film and television, leaving out awards like Best Picture or Best Director. “The Help” leads this year’s films with four different nominations.

Film Feature: The Best Supporting Performances of 2011

CHICAGO – Kicking off our annual series of year-end film features, we begin with the ensemble players, the supporting cast members who provided the necessary dramatic support to allow their leading men and women to shine.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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