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Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Blu-ray Review: Creepy Jolts Compensate for Weak Drama in ‘The Possession’

The Possession Blu-ray

CHICAGO – In the last days of August 2012, three generically titled ghost pictures had the misfortune of opening at more or less the exact same time. None of them were particularly memorable, yet only one managed to produce any semblance of genuine chills. There are enough eerie moments in “The Possession,” the demonic thriller from gifted Danish director Ole Bornedal, that one wishes that it pushed past the boundaries of its tame PG-13 rating.

Film Review: Geopolitics Aside, ‘Red Dawn’ is Decent Action Movie

CHICAGO – Given the state of the post-9/11 world, and the delicate negotiations between nations, remaking “Red Dawn” posed a considerable risk. But the film takes a ‘“damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” approach, and pulls off an adrenaline rush featuring Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Josh Peck.

Interview: Josh Peck Keeps Kicking it in ‘Red Dawn’

CHICAGO – When we last saw teen idol Josh Peck (“Drake & Josh”), he was selling special ice cream in the 2008 film, “The Wackness.” That film established him as an actor who could handle more adult themes. He expands further in the action movie “Red Dawn,” playing a student turned soldier.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Red Dawn’ With Chris Hemsworth

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 “Red Dawn” with Chris Hemsworth!

Film Review: Real-Life Backstory of ‘The Possession’ More Titillating Than Cinematic Dybbuk Dramatization

CHICAGO – A film marketing itself as being “based on a true story” doesn’t hold the same teeth it once did. With truly original stories a financial high risk for Hollywood and many films leaning toward being based on a best-selling novel, the genre that is based on a true story or “inspired by true events” has increasingly taken creative liberties.

Film Review: Jane Fonda Misused in ‘Peace, Love & Misunderstanding’

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding

CHICAGO – Jane Fonda portraying an aging hippie seems like a slam dunk. She was a 1960s hippie at one time, right? Well, it’s obvious she wasn’t the type of hippie personified in “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding,” co-starring Catherine Keener and Elizabeth Olsen. Nobody was that type of of hippie.

TV Review: Starz Creates Luscious World in ‘Magic City,’ Lacks Memorable Characters

CHICAGO – The new Starz drama “Magic City” is a beautiful show to look at it with its “Mad Men”-esque degree of period detail and half-naked people looking smooth, suave, and sexy.

DVD Review: Well-Acted ‘Texas Killing Fields’ Favors Characters Over Clichés

Texas Killing Fields Film Review

CHICAGO – Is there anything Chloë Grace Moretz can’t do? She’s earned big laughs as a snarky yet concerned sister in “(500) Days of Summer,” performed her own stunts as a vengeful hit girl in “Kick Ass,” brought startling pathos to the role of a smitten vampire in “Let Me In” and exuded Hepburn-esque grace in “Hugo,” all before the age of 15. Needless to say, her versatility is unmatched by any of her peers.

Film Review: Incomprehensible Story, Uninteresting Characters Sink in ‘Texas Killing Fields’

Texas Killing Fields
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Ami Canaan Mann’s “Texas Killing Fields” is further proof of just how difficult it is to do what David Fincher does so well. “TKF” may have echoes of “Seven” and “Zodiac” but none of the character, mood, or even cohesion of those films. The best word to describe this misstep is a “mess” as the movie jumps around between plotlines and characters and never gives the viewer the footing that would make them resonate as something worth caring about or entertaining.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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