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Hayden Panettiere

TV Review: Connie Britton Carries a Dramatic Tune to ‘Nashville’

Nashville

CHICAGO – It seems unlikely to be the artistic accomplishment of “Friday Night Lights” or “American Horror Story,” but Connie Britton has done it again, bringing another character vibrantly to life on “Nashville” and cementing her position as one of the best actresses on television. She’s easily the best thing about this entertaining if inconsistent show, a program that too often submits to its soap opera trappings but has enough rhythm to presume that it could be a solid weekly diversion.

Blu-Ray Review: Entertaining ‘Scream 4’ Makes Great Horror Rental

Scream 4 with Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox

CHICAGO – This upcoming Halloween will give you dozens of options in theaters and on Blu-ray to choose from for your scary dollar. You may have dismissed Wes Craven’s latest entry in the most influential franchise of the last twenty years. Don’t. Sure, the “Scream” movies are over the hill, more so than I think The Weinstein Company expected as evidenced by the pathetic box office returns (less than 50% of the last “Scream” movie and less than $100 million worldwide (the first three broke $150), but this is a fun genre flick. If you wrote this movie off in theaters, you might be surprised to learn that it’s worth a rental.

Film Review: Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts Trapped in Dull ‘Fireflies in the Garden’

Fireflies in the Garden
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s always risky for a screenwriter to craft a film about a family of writers in that when the result is a script so generically awful as that for “Fireflies in the Garden” it’s going to stick out even more prominently. After sitting on the shelf for years (it played festivals in 2008 and was supposed to be released that year) and reportedly undergoing some reshoots, this stale drama is finally getting a limited release and will prove just how limited it is to the poor saps who pay to see it.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Rays For Wes Craven’s ‘Scream 4’ With Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox

Scream 4 with Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox

CHICAGO – In our latest horror/mystery edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the home entertainment release of Wes Craven’s “Scream 4” starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Anna Paquin!

Blu-Ray Review: Horrible ‘Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil’

Hoodwinked Too

CHICAGO – Rarely has a theatrical kids movie been more of a complete disaster than “Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. The film was such a train wreck that it sat on the shelf for years and was unceremoniously dumped in theaters in early 2011 with nearly no marketing and no promotion. The film barely crested $10 million at the domestic box office (only 20% of the original’s take) and I feel sorry for those paying customers. This is a truly soulless, horrendous piece of animated filmmaking, one of the worst films of 2011.

Film Review: Wes Craven Returns to Form With Entertaining ‘Scre4m’

CHICAGO – Wes Craven’s legendary franchise returns this weekend with a decade since its last installment and to a genre that has been almost entirely bereft of creativity since its director started to lose his prominence as one of its best. Can “Scre4m” rejuvenate the slasher genre like the first film did or will it fall victim to the rule that horror sequels almost always suck?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 3 VIP Prize Packs For ‘Alpha and Omega’ With Hayden Panettiere

Alpha and Omega poster with Hayden Panettiere

CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 3 VIP prize packs up for grabs to the new animated film “Alpha and Omega” with the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover, Justin Long and Christina Ricci!

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Heroes: Season 4’ Concludes Botched Sci-Fi Series

Heroes: Season 4 Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Here’s one of the saddest casualties of the recent writer’s strike. Tim Kring’s sci-fi series, “Heroes,” came on like gangbusters when it debuted in 2006. It intriguingly fused the formulas of “X-Men” and “Unbreakable,” as it followed a colorful assortment of earthlings who discover that they have powers unsettlingly akin to those seen comic books.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘I Love You, Beth Cooper’ Inspires Nothing But Hate

I Love You, Beth Cooper

CHICAGO – Chris Columbus is not a filmmaker renowned for his use of subtlety. He seems incapable of telling a relatable human story without relying on his trademark brand of sophomoric slapstick. I was surprised that Macaulay Culkin didn’t pop up in Columbus’s “Rent,” and start hurling paint cans at the characters during their “Seasons of Love.” Even at age 51, Columbus is still an unruly child at heart.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

  • 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.

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