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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Vanishing on 7th Street’ Likely to Disappear Into Horror History

Vanishing on 7th Street

CHICAGO – Horror writers and directors have been afraid of the dark since the start of the genre. Sadly, that fear of blackness has never translated to film as successfully as one would hope. There’s an inherent problem in watching a movie about darkness in that it can never make that fear fully real unless it goes to complete black screen. The latest entry in this flawed subgenre is Brad Anderson’s “Vanishing on 7th Street,” a minor work from a major director.

Film Review: Matthew McConaughey Nearly Saves Problematic ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’

CHICAGO – Proving yet again that he can deliver when he avoids horrendous romantic comedy cliches, Matthew McConaughey does his best work in years in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” but the film doesn’t quite come together like one wishes that it would due to the common traps that befall big screen adaptations of best-selling thrillers.

Blu-Ray Review: Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge!,’ ‘Romeo + Juliet’ Made For HD

Moulin Rouge

CHICAGO – Baz Luhrmann has made two great films and one masterpiece in “Strictly Ballroom,” “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet,” and “Moulin Rouge!” and the latter two are finally available on Blu-ray, the format for which they were made. In the only way we should expect from a perfectionist like Luhrmann, both films have been lovingly remastered in HD and accompanied by excellent special features. They’re a pair of great HD releases.

Blu-Ray Review: Third ‘Ice Age’ Sticks to Frigid Formula

Ice Age 3

CHICAGO – When did “gentleness” first become “unhip” in children’s films? Practically every studio in America, with the exception of Pixar, feels the need to make their “all ages” entertainment as abrasive, dumb and crude as their escapism targeted at teens and simple-minded adults.

DVD Round Up, Oct. 30, 2009: ‘Sauna,’ ‘The Tournament,’ ‘The Butcher’

The Tournament

CHICAGO – Many editions of the DVD Round-Up have featured a different genre and focus for each title within it. This week seems a little more thematically linked as we have a trio of foreign horror films and a few more independent films than usual. Of course, there has to a holiday comedy to spice things up.

Video: Teaser Trailer For ‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ Game

Ice Age 3 game

CHICAGO – All good summer movies come with video game tie-ins and Activision sent over a new vignette from their summer offering, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which will ship to retail stores in June for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, and PC.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Righteous Kill’ Represents New Low For Talented Actors

Righteous Kill

CHICAGO – “Is it killing time or is he just killing time?” If you don’t groan at a line of dialogue that shockingly horrendous then we’ve got a Blu-Ray release for you. Marking a new low in a baffling series of career decisions for two of the best actors of all time, “Righteous Kill” is as much an unqualified disaster on Blu-Ray as it was when critics ridiculed it and audiences ignored it in theaters.

‘Nothing Like the Holidays’ Does Nothing to Stand Out From Christmas Movie Crowd

Nothing Like the Holidays

CHICAGO – When it was still called “Humboldt Park” and was probably more closely related to Chicago’s thriving Hispanic neighborhood, Alfredo De Villa’s “Nothing Like the Holidays” was probably a lot more interesting than the cookie-cutter dramedy that ended up on the big screen.

Exclusive Red-Carpet Portraits: Luis Guzman, Freddy Rodriguez, Elizabeth Pena For ‘Nothing Like the Holidays’

CHICAGO – Luis Guzman, Freddy Rodriguez and Elizabeth Pena were in Chicago on a snowy Dec. 1, 2008 for the red-carpet premiere of the new Chicago-filmed movie “Nothing Like the Holidays” at the Music Box Theatre.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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