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Carrie-Anne Moss

Film Review: Explosive Conclusion is the Fate for ‘Pompeii’

CHICAGO – For a film in which everyone knows the ending walking in, “Pompeii” creates a decent good-versus-evil precursor to the volcanic big bang, and enough sword and sandals style fight sequences to provide some action. It all comes down to an active volcano, in modern digital design and 3D.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Silent Hill: Revelation’ is Shockingly Bad

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D with Sean Bean

CHICAGO – You may be rolling your eyes. Oh, look, another critic ripping on a bad horror movie. But you may not know that not only am I a horror movie fan in general but I particularly liked the first “Silent Hill” film, to the point that I’m quoted on the DVD case for the flick. I approached the critically reviled “Silent Hill: Revelation” thinking that I might again be in the minority but would be happy to be so. I am not.

TV Review: Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis Bring Blinding Star Power to ‘Vegas’

CHICAGO – There’s something still magical about the way that charisma can make faulty screenwriting or mediocre design easy to overlook. And I’m not even really saying that either of those are significant problems on “Vegas,” debuting tonight on CBS.

Film Review: Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts Trapped in Dull ‘Fireflies in the Garden’

Fireflies in the Garden
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s always risky for a screenwriter to craft a film about a family of writers in that when the result is a script so generically awful as that for “Fireflies in the Garden” it’s going to stick out even more prominently. After sitting on the shelf for years (it played festivals in 2008 and was supposed to be released that year) and reportedly undergoing some reshoots, this stale drama is finally getting a limited release and will prove just how limited it is to the poor saps who pay to see it.

Blu-Ray Review: Christopher Nolan’s Masterful ‘Memento’ Hits Decade Mark

Memento

CHICAGO – Now’s the time that a lesser writer would make some plot-related pun related to ask if you remember “Memento,” one of the best films of the ’00s that also happens to feature a protagonist suffering from memory loss. One thing fans of writer/director Christopher Nolan would like to forget is how cruel the Academy has been to their favorite filmmaker over the last decade, failing to nominate him yet for Best Director and never giving him an Oscar. For shame.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Unthinkable’ Wastes First-Rate Cast, Solid Premise

Unthinkable thumb

CHICAGO – Samuel L. Jackson is an A-list actor stuck in the persona of a B-movie crowd-pleaser. His preference for schlock has made it difficult for viewers to take him seriously in roles that aren’t intended to be quoted by fanboys at Comic-Con. When his formidable interrogator in “Unthinkable” declares, “What I have to do, Agent Brody, is…unthinkable,” the line hits the exact wrong note of credibility-killing cheese that has marred Jackson’s career.

Blu-Ray Review: Everyone Needs to Own ‘The Matrix’ in HD

The Matrix
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Like a lot of movie fans, one of the first DVDs I owned in the early days of the technology was the revolutionary “The Matrix,” starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano from directors Andy and Larry Wachowski. Not only was this sci-fi action extravaganza an easily re-watchable film but it looked amazing with DVD quality. Of course, HD was developed for movies like “The Matrix,” now available as a stand-alone Blu-Ray release for the first time.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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