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Blu-Ray Review: Catherine Deneuve Anchors Great Cast of ‘Potiche’

Potiche

CHICAGO – Francois Ozon is one of my favorite working filmmakers. Sure, he misses his mark sometimes, but even when he does so it is with often-fascinating results. “Angel” and “Ricky” may not stand up to “8 Women” or “Swimming Pool,” but they’re still fascinating missteps with worthwhile elements. The good news is that “Potiche,” recently relesed on Blu-ray and DVD, is the writer/director’s best since his international breakthrough with “Pool.” It couldn’t be more different than that thriller but I think that’s another reason I value Ozon — you never quite what to expect.

Film Review: Vincent Cassel Gives Riveting Performance in ‘Mesrine: Killer Instinct’

Mesrine: Killer Instinct

CHICAGO – The film around its riveting central performance may be a little more flawed than the entire project’s international reputation would have you believe but Vincent Cassel alone makes a trip to “Mesrine: Killer Instinct” worth the time and emotional effort. Be warned that this is not a crime epic for the faint of heart and those who have difficulty with an anti-hero protagonist may be turned off but those attuned to this kind of storytelling will find a lot to like here.

Blu-Ray Review: Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Hamlet’ Was Made For HD

Hamlet - Branagh

CHICAGO – Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” got a raw deal. In the shadow of not just the legend of William Shakespeare’s play but the incredible film versions that had come before, “Hamlet” couldn’t even break $5 million at the box office. And yet this gorgeous, incredibly-made retelling of one of the most influential pieces of theater ever written looks simply amazing on Blu-ray. It’s a fantastic release.

DVD Review: Criterion Adds Roberto Rossellini, Andrzej Wajda Films to Collection

Criterion, DVD Review, Danton, HollywoodChicago.com Content, Il Rovere Della Generale, Roberto Rossellini, Andrzej Wajda
HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection expanded by two titles recently and fans of Andrzej Wajda and Roberto Rossellini will be happy to see two of their films in slots #463 and #464 in the most acclaimed series of DVDs in the history of the format. Rossellini’s “Il Generale Della Rovere” and Wajda’s “Danton” might not be as high-profile films as some recent Criterion releases, but they have been given the typically spectacular treatment that this company has been known for over the years.

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Continues Blu-Ray Expansion With Pair of Truffaut Classics

Last Metro
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection continues its foray into the world of HD with one of the most beloved directors of all time, taking a film already in the collection and giving it the HD treatment while simultaneously releasing a new edition of one of his later films. The legend is Francois Truffaut and the films are “The 400 Blows” and “The Last Metro”.

Blu-Ray Review: Vin Diesel’s ‘Babylon A.D.’ Passable Only in High-Definition

Babylon

CHICAGO – When did Vin Diesel go from “the next Bruce Willis” to the “the current Steven Seagal”? Diesel’s half-asleep, apathetic performance in the sci-fi action flick “Babylon A.D.” is only one of the problems with a film that was ignored in theaters but has been given a respectable treatment on Blu-Ray.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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