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Ashley Judd

Film Review: ‘Dolphin Tale 2’ is Fantastic Family Entertainment

CHICAGO – They don’t come along often, the rare fun-for-the-whole-family film. But “Dolphin Tale 2” fits that description perfectly, throws in some idealistic symbolism, and more importantly follows those symbols through to the end.

Interview: Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Nathan Gamble of ‘Dolphin Tale 2’

CHICAGO – When sequels are made, they are rarely better than the original and often have different cast members. “Dolphin Tale 2” defies both of those conventions, and the returning cast delivers the goods – including Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., and the teenage actors Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff.

Slideshow: Red-Carpet Portraits of ‘Divergent’ Stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James

| Image 1 of 6 |
Shailene Woodley portrays Tris in ‘Divergent.’

CHICAGO – The numbers are in and the new film “Divergent” – based on the popular novel by Veronica Roth – had the second best opening of 2014, with $56 million at the box office. On March 4th, 2014, photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com was at the Red Carpet Chicago premiere, and captured Exclusive Red-Carpet Portraits of cast members Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Amy Newbold, and Ansel Elgort, in addition to the Chicago-based author Veronica Roth.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Pairs of IMAX Passes to Chicago’s ‘Divergent’ with Shailene Woodley

CHICAGOHighly anticipated! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 15 pairs of advance-screening IMAX passes up for grabs to the new Chicago-filmed movieDivergent” starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James from Chicago author Veronica Roth!

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ With Morgan Freeman

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Olympus Has Fallen” starring Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler!

DVD Review: First Seasons of ABC’s ‘GCB,’ ‘Missing,’ ‘Scandal’

Scandal

CHICAGOABC/Disney has released three of their Spring 2012 mid-season shows on DVD in time for, well, to say goodbye to two of them and catch up on the third. The releases for “GCB” and “Missing” could have been labeled “Complete Series” as ABC pulled the plug on both shows but Shonda Rhimes’ “Scandal” is being given another chance to find a larger audience in the Fall. All three sets are well-loaded with special features.

TV Review: ABC’s Inconsistent but Intriguing ‘Missing’ with Ashley Judd

Missing

CHICAGO – I’m right on the critical median with ABC’s “Missing.” On one hand, it’s inconsistent, poorly written, and kind of just silly. It’s tempting to dismiss like an overheated Lifetime movie. On the other hand, Ashley Judd is better than most Lifetime leads, the action is actually pretty tight, and I like the creative potential of a show that’s promised viewers that it will wrap up its first story in ten episodes. Which hand wins out? You decide.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Dolphin Tale’ Surprisingly Delivers Quality Family Entertainment

Dolphin Tale Blu-ray

CHICAGO – As a refreshing departure from the snarky, shrill and soulless time wasters passing for children’s entertainment these days, this wholesome, fact-based drama works perfectly well. It captures some of the innocence and warmth that characterized ’60s-era Disney fare, as well as the blandness and exceedingly high cheese factor.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Flypaper’ Falters With Paper-Thin Characterizations

Flypaper Thumb

CHICAGO – After the not-so-surprising success of the heavily marketed farce “The Hangover,” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have quickly become Hollywood’s most overrated screenwriters. They specialize in injecting high concepts with frat-boy vulgarity, mean spirited gags and entirely superficial warmth. If Zach Galifianakis hadn’t bolstered “Hangover” with his deadpan genius, the film almost surely would’ve flopped.

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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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