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David Mamet

Film Review: ‘About Last Night’ Remake Suffers from Lack of Focus

CHICAGO – The remake of the 1986 Chicago-based movie, ‘About Last Night,’ has potential for a thematic redo. That opportunity seems squandered in this 2014 version, as the focus is just on casting and crudeness, as practiced by co-stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant and Regina Hall.

Interview: Co-Stars Michael Ealy, Regina Hall Tell ‘About Last Night’

CHICAGO – The path to this year’s remake of the 1986 film “About Last Night” starts right here in Chicago, based on the original 1974 stage version, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet. Two co-stars in the remake – Michael Ealy and Regina Hall – visited the source city to talk about their version.

Film Review: Intriguing ‘Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay’

Deceptive Practice
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Ricky Jay is a fascinating character. He went from a staple of late night TV on shows like “Dinah Shore” and “The Tonight Show” to a notable collaborator with David Mamet, co-starring in most of his films, to an author and performer on Broadway. The man is one of the true living masters of his chosen art form – magic. As one might imagine, getting behind the curtain of this particular wizard proves difficult for “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay” but the film about him remains an entertaining bio-doc regardless of the fact that the bio portion really only stays within its subject’s profession.

Blu-Ray Review: Akira Kurosawa’s Riveting Thriller ‘High and Low’

High and Low

CHICAGO – Very few films from 1963 have the timelessness of Akira Kurosawa’s perfect thriller “High and Low,” a daring piece of tension-building work that takes place almost entirely in one room and in real-time. With people like Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and David Mamet circling a potential remake for years, it’s no wonder the film was chosen for the Blu-ray upgrade this month by Criterion. It’s a classic from one of the form’s best directors.

DVD Review: Criterion Edition of David Mamet’s Great ‘Homicide’

Homicide

CHICAGO – I am an unabashed defender of nearly everything that David Mamet has ever made and the arrival of another one of his films under the Criterion banner makes for a special occasion in this critic’s household. The new release of Mamet’s “Homicide” (1991) is a must-own for fans of one of the most important playwrights of the last fifty years and an underrated filmmaker as well.

Interview: Chiwetel Ejiofor on American Samurai Journey ‘Redbelt’ From Mind of David Mamet

CHICAGO – Chiwetel Ejiofor (pronounced choo-ih-tell edge-o-for) has been a stalwart film actor ever since his dramatic debut in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad”. Since then, he has been a go-to character actor for directors as diverse as Spike Lee, Woody Allen and Stephen Frears.

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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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