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Blood Simple

Blu-Ray Review: Coen Brothers Hit HD With Four of Their Best

Coen Brothers Collection

CHICAGO – Few directors have ever kickstarted their career more confidently than Joel and Ethan Coen. And they did it with such an array of genre and subject matter from the gritty noir of “Blood Simple” to the subversive comedy of “Raising Arizona” to the gangster epic “Miller’s Crossing” to the heavily-symbolic drama “Barton Fink” to the whimsical charmer “The Hudsucker Proxy” and head-first into one of the best movies ever made — “Fargo.” Four of their first six films have been collected in the “Coen Brothers Collection” and while Fox was, very sadly, only able to send over one of them individually, we didn’t want this stellar collection to go unmentioned.

Blu-Ray Review: Zhang Yimou’s Odd ‘A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop’

A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop

CHICAGO – I could never quite get my finger on why the super-talented Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “House of the Flying Daggers”) chose to make “A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop,” a loose remake of the film that introduced Joel and Ethan Coen to the world, “Blood Simple.” It is a case of a talented Chinese director attempting to make a very American genre: noir. To what end? Would it be interesting to watch the Coens remake “Hero”? Sure, but mostly as curiosity and I expect more than curiosities from someone as notable as Yimou.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Don McKay’ Fails to Evoke the Coen Brothers’ Spirit

Don McKay Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – The Duplass Brothers recently told me that they avoid making movies blatantly modeled after the work of other filmmakers because they often end up “derivative and bad.” Jake Goldberger’s debut feature “Don McKay” is living proof of this principle. It is a monumentally awkward rip-off of the debut feature from the most well-known filmmaking team of brothers in modern cinema.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Remember Me, Rita Moreno

    CHICAGO – Academy Award winner (in 1962!) Rita Moreno is in the midst of a big media comeback. The 86 year-old actress, who famously portrayed Anita in that Oscar-winning role in “West Side Story,” is in her second season of the “One Day at a Time” reboot on Netflix, and is featured in the indie film “Remember Me,” available now for download and Video On Demand.

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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