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Heather Graham

Film Review: Worse Than a Real One, ‘The Hangover Part III’

CHICAGO – With a lazy, over-plotted story, and a cast that are desperately going through the motions, “The Hangover Part III” is the latest example of a contract obligation disguising itself as a movie. Writer/director Todd Phillips sluggishly pounds out another one, with simply no originality.

Film Review: Frustrating ‘At Any Price’ with Dennis Quaid

CHICAGO – Writer/director Ramin Bahrani is interested not in agendas, special effects, or broad statements. He makes films about characters, including the widely acclaimed “Chop Shop,” “Man Push Cart,” and “Goodbye Solo.”

Interview: Dennis Quaid, Ramin Bahrani of ‘At Any Price’

CHICAGO – Writer/director Ramin Bahrani delivers his most mainstream film this weekend with the Chicago release of “At Any Price,” an old-fashioned melodrama starring Dennis Quaid as a grain farmer caught in some awful situations in order to protect his family.

Film Review: ‘About Cherry’ is Little More Than a Pretty Face

About Cherry
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Stephen Elliott’s “About Cherry” takes what could have been an interesting journey into the porn industry and turns it into what is essentially a TV-Movie-of-the-Week without the rating restrictions of the Lifetime Channel. Newcomer Ashley Hinshaw makes an impression and the supporting cast of Elliott’s drama is strong but the film never finds its focus, refusing to get under the beautiful surface of its lead character and present her as anything more than a sexy plot device.

Film Review: Bad Aura For ‘Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer’

CHICAGO – Films based on children’s book series can’t all be good. The law of averages eventually catches up to the literary moppets who turn their charms towards the big screen. Case in point, the below average “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.”

Blu-Ray Review: Extreme Edition of Comedy Smash ‘The Hangover’

The Hangover

CHICAGO – Holiday shopping season always inspires studios to try and find new ways to market their most successul films. If people loved a movie enough to buy it once, maybe they’ll buy it again with a few new special features and collectibles. Such is how we end up with releases like “The Hangover: Extreme Edition,” a cash grab that seems awfully quick considering most people probably bought the original Blu-ray less than a year ago. This is for hardcore fans only.

Blu-Ray Round-Up: ‘American Beauty,’ ‘Boogie Woogie,’ ‘Bored to Death,’ More

Boogie Woogie

CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray Round-Up has looked around the office after the dust has settled on the major September HD releases and realized that there are a few remaining titles worthy of a mention. Before frost warnings, Halloween decorations, and planning for Thanksgiving, pick up one of these five titles. You won’t regret it.

Blu-Ray Review: Two Amazing P.T. Anderson Films in ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Magnolia’

Magnolia

CHICAGO – Has any director watched their reputation rise as rapidly as the amazing Paul Thomas Anderson? With only five films under his belt - “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” and “There Will Be Blood” - the man has become one of the most respected and adored filmmakers in the world. Why? He not only hasn’t made a bad film, he hasn’t even come close. His second and third are now available on Blu-ray.

Blu-Ray Review: Mega-Hit ‘The Hangover’ Drunk on Comedy Success

The Hangover

CHICAGO – “The Hangover” is arguably the most successful comedy of all time (only a few dollars below “Meet the Fockers” that would probably disappear if you adjust for inflation). The comedy that proved that star power and sequelitis don’t have to drive every Summer movie was wildly beloved by audiences and fans of the film have been given a Blu-Ray release drunk on the film’s success and loaded with special features, including an unrated version of the movie itself.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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