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Eddie Redmayne

Film Review: Heartfelt Tale of Human Needs in ‘The Theory of Everything’

CHICAGO – The life story of iconic physicist Stephen Hawking is given a well-deserved cinematic treatment this weekend with “The Theory of Everything,” an earnest presentation of an existence that defies the usual.

Interview: Eddie Redmayne Explains ‘The Theory of Everything’

CHICAGO – Portraying Stephen Hawking, as Eddie Redmayne did in “The Theory of Everything,” required an intense physicality and emotionalism that was projected from different angles, much more challenging than a usual biographical role. In this instance, Redmayne projects the feeling of Hawking’s time and space.

Blu-ray Review: Nice, Deep Release For Beloved ‘Les Miserablés’

Les Miserables

CHICAGO – I stand by my swooning praise for Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” when I reviewed it in theaters. Mostly. I must admit that its flaws are easier to see on the small screen as the grand, epic scope suits itself better to the movie theater (although I think people who claim to hate this movie simply don’t like musicals). It doesn’t hold up quite as well as that first, glorious experience with it in theaters. Even if the Blu-ray is one that will appeal greatly to fans of this beloved, Oscar-winning flick.

Film Review: ‘Les Misérables’ Paints Emotion in Widescreen Colors

CHICAGO – Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables,” the best movie musical in over a decade, is what a musical like this should be – unabashed, unashamed emotion painted in vibrant, broad colors across a massive screen. It is gloriously bereft of the cynicism that has sapped so many stage-to-film adaptations from achieving the heights of their source material and features some of the most striking performances in the history of the genre.

Film Review: Story Lets Down Chloe Grace Moretz in Stupid ‘Hick’

Hick

CHICAGO – It’s understandable that people from the Southern or rural United States would criticize the general media. With films like “Hick,” which generally portray them as idiots or sociopathic, there is no balance or honest characterizations. Chloe Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne and Alec Baldwin add their take on it all.

Film Review: Michelle Williams is Luminous in ‘My Week With Marilyn’

CHICAGO – Bringing the popular culture past back to life in a movie is always a tricky proposition. No matter what, there are always inevitable comparisons to the real thing.

Interview: Director Simon Curtis Realizes ‘My Week With Marilyn’

CHICAGO – Marilyn Monroe will never go away. The iconic actress of a long-gone era is the subject of a new film, “My Week with Marilyn,” directed by Simon Curtis. Ms. Monroe is portrayed during a in collaboration with Sir Lawrence Olivier, and their characters are played with sublime grace by Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh.

Julianne Moore Pushes Freudian Implications to Limit in ‘Savage Grace’

CHICAGO – The national acting treasure Julianne Moore never shies away from a performance challenge. From her memorable exposure in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” to her willingness to go all the way in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” Moore has proven that true vulnerability in a role requires the ability to bare – and bear with – all.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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