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Evan Rachel Wood

Film Review: Annoying, Inconsistent ‘Charlie Countryman’ with Shia LaBeouf

Charlie Countryman
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – What happens when you give people two months in Romania to make a movie about a lost soul dealing with grief, love, drug use, and general excess? You get a spoiled, bizarre, annoying piece of work like “Charlie Countryman,” starring talented people given absolutely nothing to do that proves that talent. It’s a film more in love with slow-motion shots of its abrasive lead running to electronic dance music than anything approaching character or plot. It’s like watching the travel video of the most annoying guy you know.

Blu-ray Review: Oscar-Nominated ‘The Ides of March’ With Ryan Gosling

The Ides of March

CHICAGO – One of the more surprising choices this week by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was to cite the Adapted Screenplay for George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” recently released on DVD and Blu-ray. The Ryan Gosling-led drama has some strengths, but it’s script is the weakest element of the film. The sheer force of talent of the people who bring it to life may have led some to believe it’s better than it actually is. See for yourself.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Mildred Pierce: The Collector’s Edition’

Mildred Pierce

CHICAGO – I must admit that I am of the school that thinks that “Mildred Pierce” is one of the best things that has ever played on television. It is art of the highest caliber, featuring one of the best performances in the history of the form and were it eligible it would have been in my top ten films of 2011. It’s that good. And the “Collector’s Edition” of the award-winning series lives up to that title, marking the first time that HBO has ever released a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack and weighing the production down with special features. It’s the first must-own of 2012.

Film Review: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney in ‘The Ides of March’

CHICAGO – George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” is a star-studded political thriller of the variety that was made much more commonly in the ‘70s and would therefore seem like a perfect vehicle to restart for today’s controversial times.

Blu-Ray Review: Third Season of HBO’s Sex-Soaked Smash ‘True Blood’

True Blood S3

CHICAGO – The most blood and sex-soaked program on television returns at the end of this month for another round of supernatural chaos but there’s still time to catch up with the third season of HBO’s “True Blood,” recently released in a bonus-packed DVD and Blu-ray set.

Film Review: ‘The Conspirator’ Has Lessons That Resonate Today

CHICAGO – The Latin term “Inter arma silent leges.” (There is no law on the battlefield) is coldly stated in “The Conspirator,” directed by Robert Redford. In plain truth, the new film recreates one of the most controversial military trials in American history.

TV Review: Kate Winslet, Todd Haynes Elevate ‘Mildred Pierce’ to Masterpiece

CHICAGO – When HBO announced that they were producing a six-hour mini-series version of the James M. Cain (“Double Indemnity”) novel “Mildred Pierce” to star Kate Winslet and be directed by Todd Haynes, cinephiles everywhere let out an audible gasp.

TV Review: ‘True Blood’ Promises Bloody Good Time This Summer

True Blood S3 Premiere

CHICAGO – Vampire and werewolf fans may be counting the days until the release of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” at the end of this month but HBO’s spectacular “True Blood” returns this weekend with an excellent start to a third season of one of the most unusual and consistently entertaining shows on television.

Blu-Ray Review: Second Season of HBO’s Addictive ‘True Blood’

True Blood

CHICAGO – The second season of HBO’s wildly addictive “True Blood” may not have been quite as stellar as the first but Alan Ball’s often-mesmerizing creation still stands as one of the best shows on television. There’s nothing quite like it on the air and HBO pulls out all the stops with their best Blu-ray season release to date.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Whatever Works’ Coasts on Worn Formula

Whatever Works

CHICAGO – There was a time when a Woody Allen film starring Larry David would have been an obvious slam dunk. Both men have created comic personas so vivid and indelible that it’s hard for viewers to pinpoint the line separating “performance” from “personality.” They have mastered the art of neurotic kvetching, though their similarities are skin-deep at best.

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  • References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

    CHICAGO – In “References to Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot,” now at the Den Theatre in Chicago through September 7th, the intersect of author José Rivera and the strong cast of actors make for a formidable partnership. Committed and passionate interpreters take both the soft and edgy parts of the narrative to task.

  • Emmy Awards, Bryan Cranston

    LOS ANGELES – It was one more lap around the victory track for the AMC-TV show ‘Breakling Bad,’ as the gritty drama about a teacher turned meth dealer took home six Primetime Emmy Awards at the 66th ceremony on August 25th. ‘Modern Family’ took home the statue for Outstanding Comedy Series for a a fifth straight year.

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