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James Ransone

Blu-ray Review: Brilliantly Acted ‘Starlet’ Portrays Beauty of Unlikely Bond

Starlet Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Besedka Johnson was 85 years old when she was discovered at a YMCA. After devoting her life to astrology, the genial woman was suddenly brought to the attention of indie filmmakers intrigued by her vintage movie star features. At 86, she delivered a tour-de-force film debut in Sean Baker’s marvelous drama, “Starlet.” And at 87, she passed away.

Film Review: Crime Thriller ‘Broken City’ Fictionalizes its Crime Without Most of its Thrill

Broken City with Mark Wahlberg

CHICAGO – Rife with corruption and injustice, the setting for “Broken City” could have been picked from a litter of U.S. metropolitans. Said star Mark Wahlberg in a recent red-carpet interview with HollywoodChicago.com, it’s not Chicago.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Sinister’ From ‘Paranormal Activity’ Producer

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Sinister” from the producer of “Paranormal Activity”!

DVD Review: ‘Generation Kill’ Defines New Face of American War

Generation Kill

CHICAGO – David Simon and Ed Burns, two of the television geniuses behind “The Wire”, turned their eyes and ears from the gang-ridden streets of Baltimore to the bullet-strewn bodies of Iraq in the incredible seven-part HBO mini-series “Generation Kill”, now available in a box set from HBO Home Video.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 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.

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