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

  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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