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Blu-ray Review: Remarkably Talented Ensemble Gets Small in ‘The Big Year’

The Big Year

CHICAGO – Given the wacky nature of Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin in their family comedies and the tendency of all three talented actors to over-act, people will probably be surprised at how generally-subdued their collaboration on “The Big Year” ended up. In fact, while the movie is genial and good-natured, it’s also surprisingly dull. The characters never resonate beyond their descriptions - rookie, veteran, and the jerk in between. So, while the filmmakers deserve credit for not injecting the proceedings with gross-out humor, they needed to inject it with something to bring it to life.

Film Review: Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, Jack Black Flock Up in ‘The Big Year’

The Big Year

CHICAGO – “The Big Year” is advertised as a comedy. The subject is bird watching, or as the new film likes to express the proper term, “birding.” It stars comic legend Steve Martin, and funnymen Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It is both not funny and is ACTUALLY, seriously about birding. Time to fly away.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘The Big Year’ With Jack Black, Steve Martin

CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Big Year” with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson from “The Devil Wears Prada” director!

Film Review: Russell Crowe Goes Hitchcockian in ‘The Next Three Days’

CHICAGO – The suspense thriller is a delicate art that depends on situational realism and unlikely circumstances cohabiting in a heart-pounding plot. The Master of the genre was Alfred Hitchcock, who often put ordinary people in these nail biting scenarios. Director Paul Haggis (”Crash”) uses this theme and does the Master proud in “The Next Three Days.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Chicago Passes to ‘The Next Three Days’ With Russell Crowe

CHICAGO – In our latest crime/thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Next Three Days” with Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks!

Ron Howard, Brian Dennehy to Walk Chicago Red Carpet on June 12, 2010; ‘Cheaters’ Stars May Walk, Too

Ron Howard

CHICAGO – We have just confirmed that Ron Howard, Brian Dennehy and Jim Lovell will walk a Chicago red carpet (as part of the 46th Chicago International Film Festival) on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Science & Industry at 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Righteous Kill’ Represents New Low For Talented Actors

Righteous Kill

CHICAGO – “Is it killing time or is he just killing time?” If you don’t groan at a line of dialogue that shockingly horrendous then we’ve got a Blu-Ray release for you. Marking a new low in a baffling series of career decisions for two of the best actors of all time, “Righteous Kill” is as much an unqualified disaster on Blu-Ray as it was when critics ridiculed it and audiences ignored it in theaters.

Like a Bad ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Righteous Kill’ With Al Pacino, Robert De Niro Lacks ‘Heat’

CHICAGO – Last fall, Francis Ford Coppola made the comment that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro (along with Jack Nicholson) had lost their ambition. Coppola essentially said they have been phoning in their performances and picking safer movies. “Righteous Kill” could be the case study to that argument.

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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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