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Emily Browning

Film Review: Vibrant Indie Pop Musical ‘God Help the Girl’

God Help the Girl

CHICAGO – Opening at Chicago’s Music Box Theater this weekend is a full-length musical conceived by Stuart Murdoch, the lead singer of indie pop darlings Belle & Sebastian, making his debut as a writer/director. Surpassing the notion of a concept album, Murdoch has engineered a vibrant experience that is missing all but the introduction of a new dance move.

Blu-ray Review: Tepid Volcano Movie ‘Pompeii’ Starring Kit Harrington’s Abs

Pompeii

CHICAGO – With regards to its production, Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Pompeii” is a period film based on current trends, honoring both the apocalypse fascination spurred by the Mayans’ recent miscalculation, and the ascent of Harrington’s star power via the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.” With neither guaranteeing a strong future for themselves through Pompeii, there is at least some bankability in Harrington’s abs.

Film Review: Explosive Conclusion is the Fate for ‘Pompeii’

CHICAGO – For a film in which everyone knows the ending walking in, “Pompeii” creates a decent good-versus-evil precursor to the volcanic big bang, and enough sword and sandals style fight sequences to provide some action. It all comes down to an active volcano, in modern digital design and 3D.

DVD Review: Emily Browning Stars in Daring ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Sleeping Beauty (Browning)

CHICAGO – “Sleeping Beauty” is such a unique modern fairy tale that it will almost certainly turn off many of the viewers who choose to rent it. As the gorgeous Emily Browning looks longingly over her shoulder, half-naked from the cover of the DVD case, renters may think they’re in for an erotic thriller on a Saturday night.

Preview: 47th Chicago International Film Festival, Part Three

CHICAGO – Illness has kept us from truly screening a majority of the films left to screen at the 47th Annual Chicago International Film Festival but there are three that we did get around to in the last month that are definitely worth your time, plus a handful of highlights that we wish we could have gotten to see that might draw your interest.

Blu-Ray Review: Extended Cut of Controversial ‘Sucker Punch’

Sucker Punch

CHICAGO – We’ve seen a lot of overly stylized films based on video games and comic books but rarely has there been a movie more derivative of other mediums yet not actually based on one than Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch,” a movie loathed by dozens of major critics (and defended by our very own Patrick McDonald) and recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in a 17-minute longer extended cut.

Film Review: ‘Sucker Punch’ Has Dazzling Imagery, Wham-Bam

CHICAGO – It’s a pleasure to see the comic book film done right, especially with the visionary guidance of director Zach Snyder (”300”). “Sucker Punch” is an amazing treat, a feast of eye candy and incredible adventure.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Chicago Passes to Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch’ With Vanessa Hudgens

Sucker Punch from Zack Snyder with Vanessa Hudgens

CHICAGO – In our latest fantasy/action edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Sucker Punch” from “Watchmen” and “300” director Zack Snyder!

Blu-Ray Review: Decline All Offers to See ‘The Uninvited’

The Uninvited
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Why does Hollywood keep screwing with Asian horror movies? Yes, Gore Verbinski’s “The Ring” was an effective adaptation of “Ringu,” but what the mini-genre of the ‘Asian horror remake’ has wrought since then has been downright terrifying. Take for example the truly horrific “The Uninvited,” a movie notable only in that it’s so much worse than its source material that maybe it will finally put an end to this ignominious trend.

Slideshow: 22-Image Gallery For ‘The Uninvited’ With Arielle Kebbel, Elizabeth Banks

| Image 1 of 22 |
Anna (Emily Browning, left) and Alex (Arielle Kebbel, right) are suspicious of their father’s new fiancée in the haunting suspense thriller The Uninvited.

CHICAGO – This 22-image slideshow contains official press images for Paramount’s “The Uninvited,” which stars Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, Arielle Kebbel and David Staithairn, from writers Craig Rosenberg and Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard and directors The Guard Brothers. The film opens on Jan. 30, 2009.

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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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