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Joe Anderson

Film Review: Sam Rockwell Carries Harrowing ‘A Single Shot’

CHICAGO – Sam Rockwell does no wrong. He takes parts in movies major (“Iron Man 2”) and minor (“A Single Shot,” now available On Demand and opening theatrically in limited release this Friday, September 20, 2013) and makes decisions that other actors wouldn’t even consider. He is so completely, believably in the moment.

DVD Review: Only Season of ‘The River’ Hints at What Could Have Been

The River

CHICAGO – I had some notable problems with ABC’s “The River,” saying in my review of the series premiere, “…while the show has effective moments of horror, they never quite build the way you want them to in a cohesive piece due to the creators feeling the need to get at least one major scare between every break.” Watching where the show went with the first season DVD, hitting stores this week, I stand by my criticisms (I have problems with every episode) but I kind of wish that the creators had been given time to iron out their kinks. The fact is that there simply isn’t enough programming on network TV that one could call daring and while I think “The River” was flawed it was undeniably unlike anything else in your DVR.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Free ‘The Grey’ Blu-rays With Liam Neeson

The Grey Blu-ray with Liam Neeson

CHICAGO – In our latest action/adventure edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “The Grey” starring Liam Neeson!

TV Review: ABC’s ‘The River’ is Original But Not Always Effective

CHICAGO – Two hours of ABC’s found footage horror drama tonight, “The River,” from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, should at least do one thing for the show — weed out those not interested in following it long-term.

Film Review: ‘The Grey’ With Liam Neeson Chills to the Bone

CHICAGO – Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey” might cause you to think that the multiplex in which you’re seeing it has started skimping on the heat. As wind whips snow in below-freezing temperatures, Carnahan deftly conveys what it’s like to be trapped in a natural nightmare.

DVD Review: Fascinating Cast Can’t Save ‘Operation: Endgame’

Operation: Endgame

CHICAGO – As someone who has often gone home with a straight-to-DVD action movie that I hadn’t heard of before entering the video store, I know how easy it is to get drawn into something that looks a little bit left-of-center. “Operation: Endgame” is undeniably unusual but that doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Crazies’ Updates Classic For a New Generation

The Crazies

CHICAGO – Horror remakes almost always fall flat as too many filmmakers fail to recapture the magic of the original but there seems to be something about George A. Romero’s films that defies that rule. Take for example Breck Eisner’s take on “The Crazies,” a shockingly good genre entry that should find a loyal cult following on Blu-ray and DVD.

‘The Crazies’ Defies Rule That Horror Remakes Never Work

The Crazies
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Horror remakes are almost never a good idea but there seems to be something about George A. Romero’s work that defies that expectation. Zack Snyder delivered with his version of “Dawn of the Dead” and now Breck Eisner has shocked genre fans with his effective take on the low budget classic “The Crazies”.

Blu-Ray Review: Dull ‘Amelia’ Should Be Grounded

Amelia

CHICAGO – It seems downright sad that “Amelia,” a movie that was so widely predicted to be a part of the 2009 awards season, would be released on Blu-ray and DVD on the same day as the Oscar announcements. On paper, “Amelia” seemed like Oscar bait through and through with important subject matter headlined by one of the few women to have more than one Oscar. On Blu-ray, it’s easy to see why this cinematic plane crashed and burned.

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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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