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Jena Malone

Film Review: Grim Conclusion for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’

CHICAGO – This has to be what the filmmakers intended when they split the final book of the “Hunger Games” series into two films. While “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” was all set up, Part 2 doesn’t just lead up to a huge climax.

Film Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ Shouldn’t Have Been Split in Two

CHICAGO – My issue with the “one movie split into two parts” debate isn’t even about money, which is clearly the main reason why we’ve seen blockbuster films do it like the two-part “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and now the two-part “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”.

Film Review: Entertaining, Complex ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

CHICAGO – Second acts to incredibly popular and entertaining mainstream fare can be a tough prospect. For every “The Dark Knight,” there are too many films like “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” – works that essentially just repeat what audiences fell in love with instead of trying to expand on the world of their predecessors.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Pairs of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Passes with Live Red-Carpet Stream

CHICAGORare! One of 2013’s most anticipated films! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson with a live red-carpet stream from the Los Angeles premiere!

Blu-ray Review: Impressive Scope of Mini-Series ‘Hatfields & McCoys’

Hatfields & McCoys

CHICAGO – The History Channel waited years to debut their first narrative property but the wait seemed to be worth it both for fans and for the network that’s probably still counting their profits from one of the biggest TV events of 2012 and one of the year’s most notable Emmy nominees. I had my doubts going into the recent Blu-ray release of “Hatfields & McCoys” but this is an impressive mini-series of the type they don’t really make any more. It’s not surprising it was huge in the ratings and I expect the Blu-ray to sell for years (especially around Father’s Day and the holidays).

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Donnie Darko: 10th Anniversary Edition’ Feels Like Overkill

Donnie Darko

CHICAGO – A little over two years ago, Fox released a two-disc director’s cut Blu-ray of “Donnie Darko” that had a somewhat-mediocre HD transfer but enough quality special features to make up for it. With hours of bonus material, it seemed like the definitive edition. Nothing is definitive with Fox and now we have a 10th Anniversary Edition of this cult classic with four discs in one set. If you already own it and don’t need the digital copy, then this is overkill. If not, it’s the NEW definitive edition of a beloved film. For now.

Blu-Ray Review: Extended Cut of Controversial ‘Sucker Punch’

Sucker Punch

CHICAGO – We’ve seen a lot of overly stylized films based on video games and comic books but rarely has there been a movie more derivative of other mediums yet not actually based on one than Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch,” a movie loathed by dozens of major critics (and defended by our very own Patrick McDonald) and recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in a 17-minute longer extended cut.

Film Review: ‘Sucker Punch’ Has Dazzling Imagery, Wham-Bam

CHICAGO – It’s a pleasure to see the comic book film done right, especially with the visionary guidance of director Zach Snyder (”300”). “Sucker Punch” is an amazing treat, a feast of eye candy and incredible adventure.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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