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Interview: Actor Michael Peña on the Fast Track in ‘Turbo’

CHICAGO – Michael Peña is a serious guy – dedicated to his career direction, acting craft and perspective on a life in show business. But that is not all he is, as he has dedicated a new role for his young son. It is the new animated film called “Turbo,” and Peña portrays the voice of Tito, the owner of the world’s fastest snail.

DVD Review: Russell Crowe Shines in Taut Remake ‘The Next Three Days’

The Next Three Days DVD

CHICAGO – Two equally ignored Oscar bait contenders from 2010 centered on the same basic question: to what extent would you go to free your beloved from prison? Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction” and Paul Haggis’s “The Next Three Days,” are less interested in the characters behind bars than they are about those on the outside looking (and breaking) in. While neither film is Best Picture material, both are certainly worth a look.

Interview: Thandie Newton on the Passion of ‘For Colored Girls’

CHICAGO – The expansive and intuitive prose poetry of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” comes to life in Tyler Perry’s film adaptation “For Colored Girls.” Thandie Newton portrays Tangie (color Orange) and saturates the character with a precise truth.

DVD Review: ‘Amreeka’ Balances Genuine Warmth with Obvious Clichés

Amreeka DVD

CHICAGO – Nominating Cherien Dabis’s “Amreeka” for an Independent Spirit Award is sort of redundant, since the film has, in a sense, been nominated many times before. The film will only seem original to audiences unfamiliar with “The Visitor,” “Real Women Have Curves,” and “Crash” (and no, I’m not referring to the one about James Spader’s fetish for car accidents).

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 ‘New York, I Love You’ Chicago Passes to New Powerhouse Cast Film

CHICAGO – In our latest romance/drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two passes up for grabs to the Chicago screening of the new film “New York, I Love You” from an eclectic group of some of today’s most imaginative filmmakers.

Hookup: 25 Admit-Two Passes to VIP Chicago Screening of TNT Series ‘Saving Grace’ With Holly Hunter

CHICAGO – In a special edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: TV, we have 25 admit-two passes up for grabs to the exclusive Chicago VIP screening party of the new TNT drama “Saving Grace” starring Academy Award-winning actress Holly Hunter (“Crash,” “The Firm”) with cast member Kenny Johnson in attendance.

Interview: Debut Film ‘Empathy’ From Israeli Filmmaker Adi Refaeli to Screen in Chicago

CHICAGO – Adi Refaeli, who’s currently touring the U.S. with her short film debut “Empathy,” has taken a circuitous route to the finished project. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, she spent three years in Toyko to start a family. All the while, she never let go of her interest to pursue filmmaking.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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