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Alia Shawkat

Film Review: Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener in Inconsistent ‘The Oranges’

The Oranges
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Oranges” suffers from a common problem in these suburban comedies of error in that it assumes we care about these characters who are essentially less interesting than your actual neighbors. Infidelity, bad parenting, friendships collapsing – they’re happening every day on your street. Films like “The Oranges” may think they’re tapping a vein of picket fence peculiarity like “American Beauty” but the result actually plays more like a Showtime sitcom pilot that never got picked up because it was too boring to maintain week to week.

Film Review: Zoe Kazan Illuminates Fascinating Fable of ‘Ruby Sparks’

CHICAGO – Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris return to the spotlight this week with their first film since the award-winning “Little Miss Sunshine” and they completely defy the sophomore slump, delivering a smart, fascinating, fun gem in the spectacular “Ruby Sparks.”

TV News: Entire Cast, Writers Confirmed For ‘Arrested Development’ Revival

Arrested Development

CHICAGO – Ever since the final moments of the last episode of ‘Arrested Development’ (back in 2006), there have been rumors about a feature film being created for the TV series. Cast members and writers would be asked, “when is this movie coming out?” and responses would usually be “we are working on it” or “it’s coming.” Now, after six years, those responses may actually be true.

TV News: ‘Arrested Development’ May Return For New Season, Movie

Arrested Development

CHICAGO – Could this be the news fans of the old FOX series “Arrested Development” have been waiting for? Since the final episode of the canceled series aired on February 10, 2006, rumors and hope have swirled around that the comedy series would come back for a full length feature film. Now, the long wait may be over and fans could be getting more than just a movie.

Blu-Ray Review: Strong Cast Makes For Fun Trip to ‘Cedar Rapids’

Cedar Rapids

CHICAGO – Millions more people have seen his work in the two “The Hangover” films but Ed Helms’ best performance to date is actually in the recently-released-on-Blu-ray “Cedar Rapids,” a clever and enjoyable slice of midwestern comedy that co-stars John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, and more. The excellent cast elevates a somewhat-inconsistent screenplay, making this fun film worth the trip.

Film Review: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly Find the Heart in ‘Cedar Rapids’

Cedar Rapids, John C. Reilly & Ed Helms

CHICAGO – It is great to witness a star being born. Ed Helms, who so memorably stole the show in “The Hangover,” breaks out even further with a career defining performance as Tim Lippe in the warm and funny new comedy, “Cedar Rapids.” John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver and Isiah Whitlock Jr. lend essential support.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 ‘The Runaways’ Chicago Passes With Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning

CHICAGO – In our latest dramatic edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Runaways” with Kristen Stewart (“Twilight,” “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) and Dakota Fanning!

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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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