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Colm Meaney

Film Review: British Import ‘Alan Partridge’ With Steve Coogan is Just Plain Silly

CHICAGO – Before earning Oscar nom validation for his “Philomena” screenplay last year, British comedian Steve Coogan led a separate life as Alan Partridge, a dopey media personality who symbolized the danger of empowering clowns like him with a microphone, whether on a news program, a late night show, or in a radio booth.

TV Review: Strong Cast Drives AMC’s Inconsistent ‘Hell on Wheels’

CHICAGO – Do you know what separates AMC from a majority of networks? The art of the ensemble. The multi-Emmy-winning casts of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are the bars against which most current dramas are measured. There were issues with some of the writing behind “The Killing” but no one ever complained about the performances. And it’s the people of “The Walking Dead” that keep it interesting.

Film Review: Robert Pattinson Drains Life From Misguided ‘Bel Ami’

Bel Ami
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Robert Pattinson is such a divisive actor. While he’s clearly one of the most popular young stars in the world thanks to his work in the “Twilight” films, he has yet to prove to most people that he can really act. While some who have seen David Cronenberg’s upcoming “Cosmopolis” claim that this will be the film that finally allows Pattinson to break out of the franchise that has defined him, we’re stuck with something far lesser for now, the misguided and depressing “Bel Ami,” a film that does nothing to help the critical reputation of the man otherwise known as Edward Cullen.

Blu-ray Review: First Season of AMC’s Watchable Western ‘Hell on Wheels’

Hell on Wheels Season One Blu-ray

CHICAGOAMC’s watchable western series “Hell on Wheels” is just good enough to sustain audience interest despite its meandering plot. As soon as Gustavo Santaolalla’s catchy theme music kicks in over the brooding title sequence, it’s effortless to become absorbed within Joe and Tony Gayton’s handsomely photographed dramatization of the first transcontinental railroad’s epic construction in 1865.

TV News: AMC Renews ‘Hell on Wheels’ For Second Season

Hell on Wheels

CHICAGOAMC has had quite the up and down year for itself. While the basic cable network has had some behind the scenes struggles with some of its hit shows (including contract struggles for “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” showrunner Frank Darabont stepping down this past summer), the network has still had good enough ratings to renew all four of its series that ran during 2011.

TV Review: AMC’s Western ‘Hell on Wheels’ Dramatically Derails

CHICAGOAMC has been on such a creative streak lately that it’s tempting to think (or at least hope) that every new offering will be of the caliber of “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Killing,” or “The Walking Dead.”

Blu-Ray, DVD Review: Alternate Versions of ‘Alice’ to Coincide With Tim Burton’s

Alice

CHICAGO – As a character in Syfy’s version of “Alice” says, “Does this look like a kid’s story to you?” Excepting, of course, the beloved Disney version, there have actually been a number of takes on “Alice in Wonderland” arguably made more for adults than children. Two such versions from very different eras have been released on Blu-ray and DVD to coincide with the theatrical dominance of Johnny Depp & Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”. Can’t get enough of Alice and The Mad Hatter? Pick up one or both of these.

Interview: Director F. Gary Gray of ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ With Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx in "Law Abiding Citizen"

CHICAGO – Justice is the theme of “Law Abiding Citizen,” a new film starring Jamie Foxx as a district attorney in Philadelphia who is targeted for revenge by a former client (Gerald Butler). Directing the film is veteran F. Gary Gray (”Friday,” “The Italian Job”).

Top Five Irish Actors: The Old School, New School and Hollywood Dropouts

HOLLYWOODSilver Screen Indie Queen here with some post-St. Patty’s Day film buzz. What better way to start a column than with the Irish?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

  • References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

    CHICAGO – In “References to Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot,” now at the Den Theatre in Chicago through September 7th, the intersect of author José Rivera and the strong cast of actors make for a formidable partnership. Committed and passionate interpreters take both the soft and edgy parts of the narrative to task.

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