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James Van Der Beek

Film Review: ‘Labor Day’ Provides Meaning to Romantic Tension

CHICAGO – There is a real power when the right filmmaker connects with the right performers. What appears on the surface to be a slight and well-worn story, gains a decided psychological edge. ‘Labor Day’ features Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and writer/director Jason Reitman.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Labor Day’ with Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new drama “Labor Day” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin!

TV Review: ABC’s Promising But Inconsistent ‘Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23’

CHICAGO – “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23” may seem at first like a cynical, modern program, but it’s really a throwback to sitcoms of the ’70s and ’80s when you think about it’s structure.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Stolen’ Wastes Talented Cast on Melodrama

Stolen

CHICAGO – On paper, “Stolen” probably looked like the kind of competent thriller that could get once-rising star Josh Lucas back into the spotlight and prove to producers that “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm could carry a motion picture. Sadly, lackluster direction of what is essentially no more interesting than an extended episode of “Cold Case” squanders the talent of both men, a pair of actors who deserve better showcases.

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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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