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Daniel Stern

Film Review: Russell Crowe Goes Hitchcockian in ‘The Next Three Days’

CHICAGO – The suspense thriller is a delicate art that depends on situational realism and unlikely circumstances cohabiting in a heart-pounding plot. The Master of the genre was Alfred Hitchcock, who often put ordinary people in these nail biting scenarios. Director Paul Haggis (”Crash”) uses this theme and does the Master proud in “The Next Three Days.”

Blu-Ray Review: Girl Power Drives Entertaining ‘Whip It’

Whip It

CHICAGO – Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut “Whip It” is the kind of fun, girl-power driven comedy that I honestly expected would find a huge word-of-mouth audience in theaters. Its absolutely dismal box office ($13 million) was one of the biggest financial surprises of 2009. People are likely to catch up with the Ellen Page comedy on Blu-ray and DVD.

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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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