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Joel David Moore

Blu-ray Review: Weak Filmmaking Drains Creative Pool of ‘Shark Night’

Shark Night

CHICAGO – There may be little LESS scary in horror than a CGI shark. From the very first scene of “Shark Night,” one knows they’re in movie-watching trouble. A personality-less drone in a bikini gets tossed around a seemingly placid lake by an unseen shark. One can’t tell what the hell is going on. There’s no shots below the surface (not really to build tension but because this movie is inexplicably PG-13). And there’s no fear, tension, or actual interest. From here, it’s much of the same. Dull, dull, shark attack, dull, shark attack, end. Throw this one back in the water.

Blu-ray Review: Despite Interesting Intentions, ‘Chillerama’ Misses Target

Chillerama

CHICAGO – I was SO with “Chillerama” when it started. The concept is right in my wheelhouse as I’ve long been a fan of B-movies, having been raised on the works of Roger Corman, Troma, and the writing of Joe Bob Briggs. If “Chillerama” can’t appease me, it’s unlikely to work for anyone. Bad news. Despite its best intentions and clever foundation, the execution here is just off, resulting in a hit-and-miss film that does way too much of the latter half of that equation.

Film Review: ‘Shark Night 3D’ is Stupid Enough to Be a Cult Film

CHICAGO – “Shark Night 3D” is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the people-so-stupid-they-lack-basic-survival-skills category of horror thrillers, and has so many wrong elements it nearly swings back to be right.

Blu-Ray Review: Incredible Release of ‘Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition’

CHICAGO – In April, Fox released one of the best Blu-rays of the year for James Cameron’s “Avatar,” an edition that proved that the film would still work even without the theatrical benefits of 3D or IMAX. It was one of the most impressive-looking HD releases in history but the lack of special features made clear that a double dip was on its way. Seven months later, Fox unveils the “Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition” and it is simply amazing.

Blu-Ray Review: Adam Green’s ‘Hatchet’ Continues to Divide Audiences

Hatchet

CHICAGO – Is Adam Green the next great horror director? There are many fans of the genre who love to make the case of the current-and-future importance of Green, pointing to films like “Frozen,” “Spiral,” and, most of all, “Hatchet” as their evidence. To some, including this horror junkie, the jury is still out. Watching Green’s breakthrough film, now available on Blu-ray, it’s easy to see what people adore about Green and what he still needs to work on.

Blu-Ray Review: James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Revolutionizes HD

CHICAGO – When “Avatar” played in theaters, many viewers wondered how it would look at home without the benefit of 3D or IMAX to help propel the awe of the experience. The recently-released Blu-ray should settle any arguments.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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