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Film Review: Thought Illuminating, Mind Blowing ‘Under the Skin’

CHICAGO – Imagine a stranger taking a journey around the landscape of their destiny, and that only begins to describe the audacity and power of director Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin.” Scarlett Johansson creates a character of undeniable mystery and truth, a stranger in a strange land.

Interview: Director Jonathan Glazer Gets ‘Under the Skin’

CHICAGO – The buzz for the new film, “Under the Skin,” is tremendous, both for Scarlett Johansson’s performance and the amount of symbolic and real exposure for the actress. Director Jonathan Glazer (“Sexy Beast,” “Birth”) has fashioned a metaphoric gem based on a novel by Michel Faber, about an alien visitor.

Book Review: ‘Alien: The Illustrated Story’ Emphasizes Lost Art of Film Adaptations

Alien: The Illustrated Story

CHICAGO – I’m old enough dear readers to remember when books were more interesting tie-ins for feature films than websites and video games. When we fell in love with a movie, we had action figures, Happy Meal toys, and, believe it or not, books. There was a time when collecting everything related to your favorite flick meant a novel adaptation and one of the absolute best, the graphic novel edition known as “Alien: The Illustrated Story” has just been reissued to show readers why this is an art form they should miss.

Book Review: Classic ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ Books Re-Released in Time For ‘Prometheus’

The Book of Alien

CHICAGO – How excited are you for “Prometheus”? The highly-anticipated Ridley Scott prequel to one of the most influential films ever made, his masterful “Alien,” will finally hit domestic theaters on June 8, 2012 (we’ve seen it and will have a review for you on Thursday). Are you ready? Have you watched the Quarilogy again? What else can you do to prepare?

Blu-Ray Feature: The 10 Best Blu-Rays of 2010

CHICAGO – As more and more homes become HD-enabled, the Blu-ray market has finally started to expand to the point that it’s getting difficult to narrow a list of the best releases down to only ten. But that’s what we’re here for — to do the difficult jobs. These are the ten best Blu-rays of 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: Jaw-Dropping ‘Alien Anthology’ Stands Alone

CHICAGO – I’ve reviewed hundreds of DVDs and Blu-ray box sets and I can’t think of any that top the HD release of “Alien Anthology,” an amazing release that should stand alone at the top of all holiday season wish lists and be one of the first purchases that happen after you buy a Blu-ray player.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Pandorum’ Puts Space Saga on Autopilot

Pandorum Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Christian Alvart’s “Pandorum” is the kind of efficient time-waster that sucks you in, spits you out, and leaves you two hours older. There’s nothing that can be said in its favor, apart from the fact that its not offensively awful (like the producers’ “Resident Evil” franchise). But it is thoroughly mediocre, and for some viewers, mediocrity is offensive enough.

Interview: To the Stars With ‘Moon’ Director Duncan Jones


CHICAGO – With “Star Trek,” “Terminator: Salvation,” and now Duncan Jones’ “Moon,” it’s been a good season for science fiction fans. Jones’ directorial debut is a stunning piece of psychological sci-fi about a man who is literally being replaced by a younger version of himself.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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