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Film Review: Bill Murray Rolls Downhill in ‘Rock the Kasbah’

Rock the Kasbah

CHICAGO – What’s up with this movie? Everything in it is so wrong headed, despite movie star casting and a attempt toward “current events.” Setting itself in a modern and complex country – Afghanistan – but creating a perspective on that country that is straight ugly American, “Rock the Kasbah” is a total downer.

Film Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Breaks No New Ground

CHICAGO – When the first “Sin City” (2005) was released – based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller – the conversion of a film to a noir-like comic book atmosphere was pioneering. The sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” has heightened that look, but this time has much less to say.

Blu-ray Review: Features-Packed Edition of ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

CHICAGO – “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” may have been overly slammed by critics but audiences definitely liked the film, pushing it to over $370 million worldwide, more than 20% more than its predecessor (even if the domestic total for the sequel was less than the first film). Paramount has put together a solid release for the film, including over an hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, a commentary track, and a great transfer. It’s what one wants from a major theatrical Blu-ray.

Film Review: Despite Flopping as a Comic Book Movie, ‘Red 2’ Coasts By with Well-Written Characters

CHICAGO – If you didn’t see the DC Entertainment splash screen when this “Red 2” sequel kicks off with the fake death of one of its usual suspects, you wouldn’t mind that the rest of the film feels nothing like a comic book movie except for its animated transitions between scenes.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Red 2’ With Bruce Willis, John Malkovich

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated sequel “Red 2” starring Bruce Willis!

Blu-ray Review: ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ May Kill Off Franchise

A Good Day to Die Hard Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy can’t be blamed for the deteriorating state of modern action films any more than Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” can be held accountable for commercializing American cinema. Yet the spectacular box office performance of Nolan’s terrific series has naturally caused studios to misinterpret the root of their success.

Film Review: ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ Almost Turns Macho Stupidity Into Art

CHICAGO – “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is the kind of dumb summer action blockbuster that works in the season when the kids aren’t in school and the movie theater is used as an excuse to get in the air conditioning as much as see anything approaching filmmaking. It nearly works in March. Nearly.

Blu-ray Review: Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall in Dull ‘Lay the Favorite’

Lay the Favorite

CHICAGO – Every once in a Hollywood while, a true head-scratcher comes along. How on Earth did this movie, with this many talented people involved, end up so boring? If you told me that Stephen Frears (“The Grifters,” “The Queen”) was re-teaming with his “High Fidelity” scribe D.V. DeVincentis on a dramedy with the great Rebecca Hall and Bruce Willis, I would probably put that flick on a highly-anticipated list.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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