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Dan Hedaya

Blu-Ray Review: Coen Brothers Hit HD With Four of Their Best

Coen Brothers Collection

CHICAGO – Few directors have ever kickstarted their career more confidently than Joel and Ethan Coen. And they did it with such an array of genre and subject matter from the gritty noir of “Blood Simple” to the subversive comedy of “Raising Arizona” to the gangster epic “Miller’s Crossing” to the heavily-symbolic drama “Barton Fink” to the whimsical charmer “The Hudsucker Proxy” and head-first into one of the best movies ever made — “Fargo.” Four of their first six films have been collected in the “Coen Brothers Collection” and while Fox was, very sadly, only able to send over one of them individually, we didn’t want this stellar collection to go unmentioned.

Film Review: Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly Are Eccentric New Yorkers in ‘The Extra Man’

Extra Man, The

CHICAGO – The beauty of watching creative character actors like Kevin Kline and John C. Reilly is that they seem to revel in the craft of embodying their roles. In “The Extra Man,” they both take a trippy and literate script and apply some additional magic that helps to flesh out a young man’s journey into the heart of Manhattan.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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