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Blu-ray Review: ‘Star Trek: The Compendium’ Provides Victory Lap for Revitalized Franchise

Star Trek Into Darkness

CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

Film Review: ‘Endless Love’ Remake Feels Like Endless Slog

Endless Love

CHICAGO – It’s Valentine’s Day movie remake weekend! Hot on the heels of the “About Last Night” redo, comes our love, our “Endless Love” – and it’s interesting that the film doesn’t use that song at all, not even for a hip-hop version. That’s just one of many problems in a remake that doesn’t generate any heat or dramatic conflict, unless you wonder if a rich woman will ever write another best seller.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Endless Love’ with Alex Pettyfer

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the new romantic dramaEndless Love” with Alex Pettyfer (“Magic Mike”) and Gabriella Wilde!

Blu-ray Review: Frustrating Release For ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Star Trek Into Darkness

CHICAGO – When you’ve got a movie as controversial among its core audience as J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness,” why would you court even more with a frustrating Blu-ray release pattern, one that essentially tries to milk the people who like the film for as much cash as conceivably possible?

Film Review: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Satisfies with Entertaining Adventure

CHICAGOJ.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” is like a really solid mid-season episode of a great TV series. Entertaining, for sure, but lacking the energy of a premiere or the stakes of a finale. It leaves fans wondering what’s next in the franchise, which will surely make Paramount happy, but doesn’t stand on its own like the truly great part twos (“The Dark Knight,” “The Empire Strikes Back”).

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ From J.J. Abrams

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new “Star Trek Into Darkness” starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto from J.J. Abrams!

Film Review: Crime, Fatherhood Intersect in ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

CHICAGO – Derek Cianfrance’s masterful “The Place Beyond the Pines” is a complex, epic piece of storytelling about the ripple effect of crime through families and across generations. Drastic action does not exist in a vacuum. It influences generations below and those impacted by their parent’s decisions.

Blu-ray Review: Incredible Performance, Complex Script Elevate ‘Flight’

Flight

CHICAGO – Robert Zemeckis’ brilliant “Flight” has garnered some interesting responses from my friends in that they seem to not like the film because they don’t like Whip Whitaker, Denzel Washington’s alcoholic asshole of a lead character that earned him an Oscar nomination. The fact that Whitaker doesn’t beg to be liked and allows for such a morally gray performance is why I love the film. It’s complex, character-driven storytelling that is becoming increasingly rare in cinema.

Film Review: Denzel Washington Pilots Nearly Flawless ‘Flight’

CHICAGO – Few films have more deftly walked the tightrope through a moral gray area than Robert Zemeckis’ stunning “Flight,” one of the best dramas of the year that also just happens to include the best performance from two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington in the last decade.

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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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