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Blu-ray Review: Dwayne Johnson’s Ferociously Generic Warrior Tale ‘Hercules’

Hercules with Dwayne Johnson

CHICAGO – Dwayne Johnson slams and jams in the bland “Hercules,” the “Space Jam” he never made when known as a brow-raised wrestler under his birth name “The Rock.” This ferociously generic take on the mythological hero focuses on Hercules with a group of mercenaries (played by Rufus Sewell among others) as they train a group of gee-shucks farmers to become warriors, while they project legends of immortality onto Johnson’s secretly mortal hero.

Film Review: Forced ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Sequel Lacks Passion, Sci-Fi Basis

CHICAGO – For me and the subculture as a whole, so much of science fiction came from “Star Trek”. If creator Gene Roddenberry were alive today to witness “Thor: The Dark World,” he’d tell it to focus on being a superhero film rather than failing to dabble in science fiction.

Film Review: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ is Little More Than Marketing For ‘The Avengers 2’

CHICAGO – Few major films have felt less creatively inspired and more commercially conceived than Alan Taylor’s dull “Thor: The Dark World,” a wannabe blockbuster with all the personality and ingenuity of a straight-to-DVD sequel.

Film Review: Director Ron Howard Delivers a Meticulous ‘Rush’

CHICAGO – Defining the glory days of any sport is often centered on personal rivalries. The 1970s – notable for stand-offs like John McEnroe and Björn Borg – had a similarly contentious rivalry between Formula One car racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, portrayed in Ron Howard’s “Rush.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Rush’ with Chris Hemsworth

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipatedRush,” which is based on a true story and stars Chris Hemsworth from Ron Howard!

Film Review: Geopolitics Aside, ‘Red Dawn’ is Decent Action Movie

CHICAGO – Given the state of the post-9/11 world, and the delicate negotiations between nations, remaking “Red Dawn” posed a considerable risk. But the film takes a ‘“damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” approach, and pulls off an adrenaline rush featuring Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Josh Peck.

Interview: Josh Peck Keeps Kicking it in ‘Red Dawn’

CHICAGO – When we last saw teen idol Josh Peck (“Drake & Josh”), he was selling special ice cream in the 2008 film, “The Wackness.” That film established him as an actor who could handle more adult themes. He expands further in the action movie “Red Dawn,” playing a student turned soldier.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Red Dawn’ With Chris Hemsworth

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

Blu-ray Review: Great Release For Awesome ‘The Cabin in the Woods’

The Cabin in the Woods

CHICAGO – “Why do these bad things keep happening to these blonde girls?,” Joss Whedon. The producer/co-writer of “The Cabin in the Woods” admits that his great horror movie, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, came about from that question which he and director Drew Goddard had explored on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for years.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Dazzles the Eyes, Dulls the Mind

Snow White and the Huntsman Blu-ray

CHICAGO – To say that Rupert Sanders’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” is one of the year’s best-looking films would be entirely accurate, but it’s also one of the least involving. The more sumptuous the visuals became, the more infuriating I found the tedious script, which plods along from A to B to C without any real sense of urgency, before making a tired plea for a franchise. How depressing.

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  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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