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Jennifer Ehle

Film Review: Beneath its Curious Surface, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ a Dangerous Menace to Society

CHICAGO – Strike one of far too many: “Fifty Shades of Grey” author Erika Leonard (better known as E.L. James) has never lived the BDSM lifestyle. And therefore, nor should she be writing about, romanticizing and profiteering on it. On a $40 million budget, the film earned $30.2 million on its opening Friday and is on track for a record-breaking international weekend grab of $158 million.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘Black or White’ With Kevin Costner

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new film “Black or White” starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Anthony Mackie and introducing Jillian Estell!

Film Review: ‘RoboCop’ Reboot Lacks Fun Factor, Fearful Villain

CHICAGO – You get the sense that a writer for the new “RoboCop” felt very proud of himself when he coined the cheeky word “robophobic” as a play on a current cultural hot button. The Samuel L. Jackson moment of self-fulfilled glory reminded me of the rest of the plot that was missing.

Film Review: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Turns CIA Procedural Into Riveting Thriller

CHICAGO – Kathryn Bigelow opens her stunning “Zero Dark Thirty” with a date and a series of voice mail recordings. The date is, of course, September 11, 2001 and the recordings are the ghosts of the people who died that day, perfectly setting the stakes for the story to come – the hunt for and capture of Osama Bin Laden.

Blu-ray Review: Steven Soderbergh Delivers Again With Riveting ‘Contagion’

Contagion

CHICAGO – January 2012 is Steven Soderbergh month. The man’s newest film, “Haywire,” opens in theaters on January 20th (and we’ll have a review up shortly before it opens) while Criterion is upgrading his Oscar-winning “Traffic” to Blu-ray and re-releasing their DVD edition on the 17th of the month (you can, of course, also expect a review of that to run soon). The first wave of the Soderbergh trifecta is the Blu-ray and DVD release of “Contagion,” another expertly-made piece of filmmaking from a man who seems to know how to do nothing less.

TV Review: Great Cast, Crew Elevate ‘A Gifted Man’ Into Fine Cheese

CHICAGOCBS’s new Friday night drama “A Gifted Man” has the kind of cheesy plot designed to appeal to fans who miss “Highway to Heaven,” “Touched by an Angel,” or “The Ghost Whisperer”.

Film Review: Steven Soderbergh’s Riveting ‘Contagion’ With Matt Damon

CHICAGO – A few weeks ago saw the release of the R-rated “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” a gore-free creature feature that was given the MPAA stamp of 17-plus due to “pervasive scariness.” This week sees the PG-13-rated “Contagion,” a film SO much more pervasively scary than the movie about goblins in a distant mansion because, well, it’s about the fact that the world is pervasively scary.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Chicago Passes Plus Prize Packs to ‘Contagion’ With Matt Damon

CHICAGO – In our latest special edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two advance-screening movie passes plus three grand prize packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated new film “Contagion” with Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jude Law!

Interview: ‘The King’s Speech’ Director Tom Hooper on Colin Firth’s Masterful Stutter

CHICAGO – As “The King’s Speech” will almost certainly earn multiple Oscar nominations in tomorrow’s announcement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, we bring you this behind-the-scenes glimpse inside the mind of the masterful production.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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