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Jack Nicholson

Interview: Tapping Bruce Dern for His New FIlm ‘Nebraska’

CHICAGO – Veteran actor Bruce Dern is now up to bat. That is how he describes what is at stake in his role as Woody in director Alexander Payne’s new film, “Nebraska.” But this film icon – with an over 50 year career – also has plenty other stories to offer, regarding Jack Nicholson, his family, his life and performing a “Derns-ser.”

Film Review: Mystery of Stanley Kubrick Explored in ‘Room 237’

Room 237

CHICAGO – Every film buff remembers the first time they laid eyes on director Stanley Kubrick’s memorable horror classic, “The Shining.” In the film, Scatman Crothers’ character warns young Danny, “There ain’t nothing in Room 237…so stay out.” Filmmaker Rodney Ascher has ignored that warning in his documentary, “Room 237,” and takes us inside one of the most analyzed films in cinema history.

Interview: Director Rodney Ascher Opens the Door to ‘Room 237’

Room 237

CHICAGO – The mystery of Stanley Kubrick is one of his great attributes. He directed a scant 12 major films in a forty year career, each with its own genre-busting stamp. His work has inspired an overall passion for films, numerous analytical studies and a new documentary about the theories behind his 1980 masterpiece, “The Shining.” Rodney Ascher directs this strange and compelling film, “Room 237.”

Blu-ray Review: Fantastic Release for Timeless Classic ‘Chinatown’

Chinatown

CHICAGO – There are a few movies that I absolutely adore — the ones that come to mind when people ask me what I think are the best films ever made. More often than not, they are the films that first shaped the way I look at cinema when I first moved past the New Releases section at the video store to the classics of the medium. One such film is Roman Polanski’s stunning “Chinatown,” a film that has lost absolutely none of its timeless power in its recently-released Blu-ray restoration complete with new special features and interviews. It may sound cliched, but “Chinatown,” especially in HD, really looks like it could have come out last year. And it would have been the year’s best movie.

DVD Review: Great James L. Brooks Misfires With ‘How Do You Know’

How Do You Know

CHICAGO – You won’t find a much bigger fan of James L. Brooks’ “Broadcast News,” one of my favorite romantic comedies of the ’80s, but there’s simply no denying that he’s lost his touch for character that once made him one of the best living writers. It may not be quite as big a disaster as “Spanglish,” but his newest romantic comedy “How Do You Know,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a mess, a blend of unbelievable characters, awkward pacing, and forgettable plotting that makes it one of the biggest disappointments of 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: Brilliant ‘Broadcast News’ Joins Criterion Collection

CHICAGO – James L. Brooks “Broadcast News” should serve as a stark reminder of how far the romantic comedy has fallen. Believe it or not, young readers, there was a time, not that long ago, when rom-coms weren’t mostly horrendous dreck. There have even been a few nominated for Oscars, including even Best Picture.

Film Review: Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon in Gloriously Romantic ‘How Do You Know’

How Do You Know

CHICAGO – Writer/Director James L. Brooks has been producing prime entertainment for nearly 50 years now, and proves he has not lost a step in ‘How Do You Know.’ This film of love, loss, power and especially romance is a great showcase for the talents of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and the great Jack Nicholson.

Blu-Ray Review: Amazing Criterion Box Set of ‘America Lost and Found: The BBS Story’

Easy Rider

CHICAGOBBS Productions changed cinema. As the sixties were coming to a close, they jumped on the revolutionary bandwagon and took the cultural zeitgeist to the cinema. With a few other visionaries, they ushered in the most important era of film history and several of their best works have been collected in the amazing Criterion box “America Lost and Found: The BBS Story.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Ultimate Collector’s Edition’

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

CHICAGO – One of the most-beloved films of arguably the most important period in film history hits Blu-ray this week in a lavish “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” courtesy of the studio that does this kind of thing better than anyone else. With unique physical collectibles to go with great special features and a new HD transfer of the 35-year-old film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” has lost none of its power.

Blu-Ray Round Up, Oct. 15, 2009: ‘Wolf,’ ‘Waterworld,’ ‘Frankenstein’

Waterworld

CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray Round-Up is back with this week’s collection of HD titles that may not get the buzz of something like the latest Sandra Bullock romantic comedy or what Sam Raimi brought back from Hell but could be just what you’re looking for at the mall this weekend. A few modern horror movies, a notable box office bust, and a beloved BBC show highlight this week’s list. Pick your favorite.

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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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