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Charlotte Gainsbourg

Film Review: Stellar Cast & Director Fail to Build ‘The Snowman’

Snowman, The

CHICAGO – The biggest mystery in “The Snowman” is what in the world talented actors like Michael Fassbender, Chloe Sevigny, Toby Jones, and Val Kilmer are doing here in the first place. Fassbender’s character’s name alone should have sent off alarm bells. This is based on a series of detective novels featuring detective Harry Hole, and characters have voluminous opportunities to repeat it, although with nary a snigger.

Interview: Actor Omar Sy Tackles Immigrant Issues in ‘Samba’

CHICAGO – The situation with in-country immigrants is not just an issue in the United States. The new French film “Samba” focuses on the ongoing status of immigrants in Paris, who often do menial jobs while surviving under the radar of immigration laws. French Actor Omar Sy portrays the title character with insight and humor.

Film Review: Nature, Morality Collide in ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1’

Nymphomaniac: Vol 1

CHICAGO – Director and writer Lars von Trier creates exposure through his film art. He is unafraid to explore the very nature of being human, while at the same time revealing the very foibles of barriers to our nature – social structures, economies, religion and our own conceits in life. Lars von Trier’s latest barrier breaker is “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1.”

2014 Sundance Diary, Day 6: Wrapping it Up with a Twisted Double Feature

Park City was abuzz on the final day with guesses as to what the secret screening known as “Film X” would be on Tuesday night. Could it be Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel”? Maybe “Foxcatcher,” which was almost done in time for awards season and so may be now? “Snowpiercer”? The new Kevin Smith? “Star Wars, Episode VII”?

Blu-ray Review: Gorgeous Transfer For Lars Von Trier’s Incredible ‘Melancholia’

Melancholia

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s incredible “Melancholia” gets better both in memory and on repeat viewing, especially with a pristine, jaw-dropping transfer like the one granted it by Magnolia on their recently-released Blu-ray. It may have been left out of all Academy Award categories but this was easily one of the best movies of last year. And the few before that as well. Most people missed it in theaters. Catch up on Blu-ray.

Film Review: Lars Von Trier’s Mesmerizing ‘Melancholia’ Turns Depression Into Art

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” is a mesmerizing, haunting portrayal of the world-shattering force of depression from a filmmaker who has first-hand knowledge of the debilitating disease. With career-best work by Kirsten Dunst and some of the most confident filmmaking from its controversial director, this is one of the best films of 2011, a stunningly original examination of that which is completely out of our control.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Antichrist’ Receives Pristine Treatment on Criterion

Antichrist Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – One of the most reliable scenarios in the horror movie playbook is the satanic possession of a human character. “Antichrist” is about a woman who isn’t possessed, but is nevertheless absolutely convinced that she is an instrument of the devil. This is a much scarier premise, since the greatest horrors externalized in the film are spawned entirely from the woman’s unstable psyche, deranged by guilt.

DVD Review: ‘The City of Your Final Destination’ Fails Spectacular Cast

City of Your Final Destination

CHICAGO – It’s unlikely that there will be a more A-list cast in a more frustrating film this entire year than on display in “The City of Your Final Destination.” Not only does it include a reunion of the great director James Ivory with star Anthony Hopkins (who appeared in the director’s “Howards End” and “Remains of the Day”) but it features two of my favorite actresses alive, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Laura Linney. And yet, the only word I can think of to describe the film is “disappointing.”

‘City of Your Final Destination’ Isn’t Worth a Visit

City of Your Final Destination
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Although “City of Your Final Destination” is not the latest installment of the Rube Goldberg-inspired splatter series, it does seem to be populated with the walking dead. The only similarity shared between the “Final Destination” franchise and this picturesque drama is an overwhelming abundance of tedium, generated by a plot that often seems as stagnant as its listless characters.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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