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Anthony Mackie

Film Review: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Pledges Allegiance to Strong Action, Twists

CHICAGO – In record-breaking time, even for Marvel, a comic book character has had their existence (basically) rebooted. The arc may be continued from the previous film, and some of the actors may reappear, but this take on Captain America is bonafide divergent.

Film Review: Ben Affleck Can’t Save Limp ‘Runner Runner’

CHICAGO – Off shore internet gambling sites, tons of money, glorious glamorous women, parties all the time – how the heck can all of that be dull? The new film “Runner Runner” found a way. Ben Affleck phones it in and Justin Timberlake is name recognition window dressing in this limp drama.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Runner Runner’ with Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated thrillerRunner Runner” starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck!

Film Review: Clever Cast Can’t Quite Save Crazy ‘Pain & Gain’

CHICAGO – Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” tells such a ridiculous story that it has to be true. Based on the infamous case of the Sun Gym Gang, a trio of bodybuilders who committed some unspeakable, bizarre crimes, “Pain & Gain” nearly works through the sheer charisma and talent of its A-list cast.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Pain & Gain’ With Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly recommended “Pain & Gain” (based on a true story!) with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson!

Film Review: Josh Brolin, Sean Penn Sleep Through Dull ‘Gangster Squad’

CHICAGO – I know it’s only January but Ruben Fleischer’s “Gangster Squad” is sure to be one of the most disappointing films of 2013. Look at that cast! Look at them playing caricatures and doing absolutely nothing of interest! “Gangster Squad” is a total mess and absolutely none of it has to do with notorious reshoots after the shooting in Aurora that pushed the flick back four months.

Film Review: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Proves History Bites

CHICAGO – In this new film, don’t describe the 16th U.S. President as “The Great Emancipator,” call him “The Great Kick-Ass-ipator.” In this high concept romp, the President who presided over the Civil War is now winning it single-handedly by fighting his demons in “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.”

Blu-ray Review: ‘Man on a Ledge’ Jumps Into Convoluted Abyss

Man on a Ledge with Sam Worthington

CHICAGO – “Man on a Ledge” wants to be “Dog Day Afternoon” for the ’10s recession (it’s not coincidental that a man screams “Attica!” at one point). A tale of a man screwed by a corrupt system who stages a complex heist and galvanizes the people of New York in the process could have worked so well. There are great actors and great ideas here. And there’s also the most convoluted, ridiculous, and poorly written script that I’ve suffered through in a very long time.

Film News: First Trailer Released For ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

CHICAGO – Fans of the mash-up work of Seth Grahame-Smith will be pleased to know the first trailer for “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” was released today, giving a first look at the 16th president in bloody and explosive vampire action. Based on the book written by Grahame-Smith (who also wrote the mash-up “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”) the first trailer gives a minute and twenty second look into the new film, accompanied by a little Johnny Cash.

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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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