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Billy Connolly

Film Review: Too-Long ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ Delivers on Intimate, Hand-to-Hand Combat

CHICAGO – Though he’s never been called it before in scientific speak, I’m saying it now: Peter Jackson is a master of mitosis. He’s one of Hollywood’s best in splitting up the cinematic cellular DNA of one story into three because, apparently, he can’t do epics unless they’re in groups of three.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

CHICAGO – To celebrate the release of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in cinemas, HollywoodChicago.com, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and New Line Cinema are giving away 30 pairs of advance-screening passes to the highly anticipatedThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”!

Film Review: Great Cast Receives Winning Showcase in Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Quartet’

CHICAGO – There are few things more fragile than an actor’s ego. It must be treated with the utmost care in order to prevent a split-second meltdown. The enormous pressure of audience expectations coupled with the piercing eye of an ever-present media is enough to send sensitive folk to a sanitarium. Thick skin is a necessity in show business, but what happens when that skin begins to age?

Blu-ray Review: Pixar’s ‘Brave’ Already Deserves Critical Second Look

Brave

CHICAGO – Disney/Pixar’s “Brave” was largely dismissed by most critics when it was released in theaters this Summer, even if audiences did seem more engaged, pushing the flick to over half-a-billion dollars worldwide and making heroine Merida one of Halloween’s most common costumes. Domestically, the film made more than “WALL-E,” “Ratatouille,” or “Cars 2.” So why did critics let it go so easily?

Film Review: ‘Brave’ Connects While Not Matching Pixar Standard

CHICAGO – Pixar’s 13th film has been lauded as a major first for the company – the inaugural adventure aimed squarely at young females. Luckily, there’s nothing here that diminishes that goal in any way. “Brave” features a strong, well-designed, interesting heroine, perfectly voiced by Kelly Macdonald, and it doesn’t pander to its demographic, proving that girls can play with the big boys while also giving them a fable of their own.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Boondock Saints: Truth & Justice Edition’

Boondock Saints

CHICAGO – The word “phenomenon” is too liberally thrown by critics but it absolutely applies to “Boondock Saints,” a movie that made no waves at all upon its initial release but now has an incredibly loyal following, enough so that Fox has released yet-another edition of the movie to mark its tenth anniversary — “The Boondock Saints: Truth & Justice Edition.” Is the double dip worth your dime?

Film Review: Jack Black, Emily Blunt Think Big in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

CHICAGO – Call it too much holiday eggnog, but the re-imagining of the immortal classic “Gulliver’s Travels,’ starring Jack Black, Emily Blunt and Jason Segal, has a little Yuletide fun and hurts no one. If you like Jack Black, you’ll enjoy the film. If you don’t, find another way to spend 93 minutes this tinsel time weekend.

Blu-Ray Review: Cult Phenomenon Continues in ‘Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day’

Boondock Saints II

CHICAGO – The first “Boondock Saints” was so over-the-top that its abundance of style actually became substance. While I certainly don’t bow to the film like so many of its devoted fans, I totally get the obsession with it that led to a surprising sequel and even a comic book. The movie is fun. And that’s where the sequel fails. “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” is bloated and boring, missing the spark that made the first a surprising cult hit.

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