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Gerard Depardieu

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

  • 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.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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