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Hilary Swank

Blu-ray Review: ‘New Year’s Eve’ Wants to Ruin Your Holidays

New Year's Eve

CHICAGO – By now, you’re surely aware of the general hatred for Garry Marshall’s horrendous ensemble romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve.” HollywoodChicago.com said ““New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry.

Film Review: Shallow, Garish ‘New Year’s Eve’ Ruins Your Holiday

CHICAGO – “New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry. It is corporate junk at its worst, so shallow that it’s almost remarkably thin, as if director Garry Marshall were trying to win a contest for lack of subtlety.

Blu-Ray Review: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilary Swank Take Up Lodging in ‘The Resident’

The Resident

CHICAGO – “The Resident” is one of those thrillers in which you’re never supposed to be quite sure what the hell is going on and the deceptive description on the back of the box makes it sound like it could be a ghost story (as does the involvement of horror icon Christopher Lee). From the beginning, you’ll be asking yourself, is there something supernatural involved or is this more like “Sleeping With the Enemy” or “Psycho”? The answers come quickly and not in a very satisfying way.

Blu-Ray Review: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell Propel Engaging ‘Conviction’

Conviction, HIlary Swank

CHICAGO – The incredible true story of Betty Anne Waters and her beloved brother Kenny has enough dramatic potential for any pair of talented actors and a competent director to turn it into quality cinema. The fact that director Tony Goldwyn is just barely competent enough to pull it off is off-set by the fact that he was smart enough to perfectly cast the piece, no more so than in the mega-talented leads, Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell.

Film Review: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell Suffer From a Lack of ‘Conviction’

Conviction, HIlary Swank

CHICAGO – The United States, with the largest prison population in the Western world, obviously has used the system to incarcerate undesirables in the society, whether they are guilty or not. The access to real justice is played out in the cumbersome “Conviction,” featuring Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver and Melissa Leo.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Chicago Passes to ‘Conviction’ With Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell

Conviction with Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell

CHICAGO – In our latest biography/drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Conviction” starring Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher and Juliette Lewis!

Interviews: Juliette Lewis, Director Tony Goldwyn Create ‘Conviction’

CHICAGO – “Conviction” tells the true story of siblings Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) and Kenny (Sam Rockwell) Walters, and the quest of Betty Anne to free her brother from a prison sentence for murder. Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis lends her talent as key prosecution witness Roseanna Perry, and the film is directed by Tony Goldwyn.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Insomnia’ From ‘Inception’ Director Christopher Nolan

Insomnia

CHICAGO – In many ways, Christopher Nolan’s “Insomnia,” recently released on beautiful Blu-ray, is the perfect companion piece to his new masterpiece, “Inception,” now playing in theaters. The film may not get the international attention of “The Dark Knight” but it stands as further proof that this man is one of our best living directors.

Blu-Ray Review: Dull ‘Amelia’ Should Be Grounded

Amelia

CHICAGO – It seems downright sad that “Amelia,” a movie that was so widely predicted to be a part of the 2009 awards season, would be released on Blu-ray and DVD on the same day as the Oscar announcements. On paper, “Amelia” seemed like Oscar bait through and through with important subject matter headlined by one of the few women to have more than one Oscar. On Blu-ray, it’s easy to see why this cinematic plane crashed and burned.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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