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Guillermo del Toro

Book Review: ‘Guillermo Del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities’ is Film Lover’s Dream

CHICAGO – Guillermo Del Toro is one of the most imaginative filmmakers alive. Even when his films don’t fully come together, there’s that spark of creativity that is truly Del Toro. He has so much going on upstairs that he needs to put it on paper, producing pages and pages of notes, drawings, etc. I’ve seen it.

Blu-ray Review: Guillermo Del Toro Provides Explosive Fun in ‘Pacific Rim’

Pacific Rim

CHICAGO – Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, has so much of what the other 2013 Summer blockbusters were missing. There was a disturbing sense of familiarity this year. Even the decent ones like the “Iron Man” and “Star Trek” sequels felt like things we had seen before. “Pacific Rim” returned wonder and spectacle to the world of the blockbuster and the result was Del Toro’s best English-language film. It’s a blast.

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Dissects Del Toro’s Brilliant ‘Devil’s Backbone’

The Devil's Backbone

CHICAGO – Criterion Collection Blu-ray releases start from a more critically safe place than most films simply by their selection process. What I mean is that it’s easier to produce a quality Blu-ray from a Kurosawa or Hitchcock film than, say, “Scary Movie 5.” The implied stamp of quality given to the film itself before you even see the transfer or special features elevates the way we approach the material.

Film Review: ‘Pacific Rim’ is Classic Sci-fi Cult Movie Joy

CHICAGO – Leave it to the wondrous auteur, director Guillermo del Toro, to push the boundaries of giant science fiction epics simply by paying homage to their predecessors. The grand, glorious embrace of “Pacific Rim” leaves no stone of cult film fun unturned.

DVD Review: Criterion Edition of Original ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’

The Man Who Knew Too Much 1934

CHICAGO – Did everyone know that the great Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) is an expert on Alfred Hitchcock? So much so that he wrote a book on the legendary director and was asked by The Criterion Collection to do a wonderful interview on Hitch’s 1934 version of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”? Del Toro wonderfully expounds on the film, offering his insight as to how the work that would be remade into a more popular Jimmy Stewart film in later years actually represents the perfect transitional piece from Hitch’s British period to his American one. It’s just one of several great special features on another stellar Criterion release.

Film Review: ‘Mama’ is Everything Classic Horror Should Be

CHICAGO – Occasionally, along comes a filmmaker who completely understands what makes a horror film work. “Mama,” the debut of co-writer and director Andy Muschietti, contains creepy children, psychological ramifications, clueless victims and deep mystery. This is both scary and a thriller.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Mama’ From ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ Creator

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new horror film “Mama” from “Pan’s Labyrinth” creator Guillermo del Toro!

Film Review: Ineffective ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ From Producer Guillermo Del Toro

CHICAGO – Echoing elements of masterful works by Producer Guillermo Del Toro (most notably “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”), “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is an incredibly frustrating remake, a film that reminds one of scary movies instead of actually producing scares itself.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ With Katie Holmes

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark with Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce

CHICAGO – In our latest horror/thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of Guillermo del Toro’s highly anticipated “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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