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Christopher Lee

Film Review: Too-Long ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ Delivers on Intimate, Hand-to-Hand Combat

CHICAGO – Though he’s never been called it before in scientific speak, I’m saying it now: Peter Jackson is a master of mitosis. He’s one of Hollywood’s best in splitting up the cinematic cellular DNA of one story into three because, apparently, he can’t do epics unless they’re in groups of three.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

CHICAGO – To celebrate the release of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in cinemas, HollywoodChicago.com, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and New Line Cinema are giving away 30 pairs of advance-screening passes to the highly anticipatedThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”!

Blu-ray Review: Amazing Transfer Brings Oscar-Winning ‘Hugo’ Home

Hugo

CHICAGO – Two films tied for the most Oscars this week and only one is available on Blu-ray as Martin Scorsese’s beloved “Hugo,” winner of five Oscars, hit the home market with one of the best HD transfers I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen hundreds). This movie looks beautiful in HD, arguably more so than it did in 3D in theaters. I have more issues with the film than most critics but the transfer perfectly amplifies the film’s strengths, downplaying its weaknesses. The special features are light but the video is strong enough not to complain.

Film Review: Gorgeous ‘Hugo’ Plays Like Cinematic Snow Globe

CHICAGO – Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” is a deeply personal piece, a magical tale about imagination and the importance of film preservation presented with some of the most technical expertise in years.

Blu-Ray Review: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilary Swank Take Up Lodging in ‘The Resident’

The Resident

CHICAGO – “The Resident” is one of those thrillers in which you’re never supposed to be quite sure what the hell is going on and the deceptive description on the back of the box makes it sound like it could be a ghost story (as does the involvement of horror icon Christopher Lee). From the beginning, you’ll be asking yourself, is there something supernatural involved or is this more like “Sleeping With the Enemy” or “Psycho”? The answers come quickly and not in a very satisfying way.

Blu-Ray Review: Cult Favorite ‘The Last Unicorn’ Gets Lavish Release

The Last Unicorn

CHICAGO – History has a funny way of distorting the quality of a film. Don’t worry. I’m not here to tell you that “The Last Unicorn” only works through the haze of memory. It still features some striking visuals and reasonably strong storytelling, but it may not be the ’80s classic you conjure up when you hear a tune that reminds you of that cheesy theme song. The legions of adoring fans should definitely check this out but be prepared for what could be a let down.

New Trailer, Stills Released For ‘Alice in Wonderland’ With Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska

| Image 1 of 8 |
Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

CHICAGO – This eight-image slideshow contains new imagery from the highly anticipated Tim Burton film “Alice in Wonderland,” which stars Johnny Depp (as The Mad Hatter), Mia Wasikowska (Alice Kingsley), Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen) and Anne Hathaway (The White Queen).

‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Boldly Goes Animated With Potent Story, Mediocre Animation, Anemic Acting

Matt Lanter, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (1)

CHICAGO – “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which is the inaugural animated “Star Wars” project from Lucasfilm Animation and “Star Wars” architect George Lucas, feels and looks every bit as introductory as a foundational attempt could be.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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