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John Ortiz

Film Review: Animal Psychology Charges Rugged Thug Tale ‘The Drop’

The Drop

CHICAGO – For a film adapted from “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone” author Dennis Lehane, there are no children in danger in “The Drop,” but there is a pit bull puppy named Rocco. The dog’s involvement in the story, an animal who gets as many closeups this side of a Charles Martin Smith film, invites the uncharacteristically blunt metaphor of how creatures fight for power, or even just the impression of power.

Film Review: Amazing Ensemble Rewrites ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

CHICAGO – It’s funny that a movie with the word “Playbook” in its title is so clearly about how those of us who think we know exactly where life is taking us are merely kidding ourselves. Like so many of us, the hero of “Silver Linings Playbook,” Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), has a plan to find happiness, to find his silver lining.

TV News: HBO Ceases All Future Production on ‘Luck’ After Horse Deaths

Luck

CHICAGO – It has been a tragic week for the show “Luck,” the critical smash on HBO that stars Nick Nolte and Dustin Hoffman. After a third horse died during production of the show, it has been ceased entirely, according to a just received press release from HBO. Another David Milch show that ended far too soon.

TV News: HBO Renews ‘Luck’ With Dustin Hoffman For Second Season

Luck

CHICAGO – That was quick. Two days after it premiered on HBO to rave reviews, the network has renewed David Milch and Michael Mann’s “Luck” with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte for a second season.

TV Review: Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte Star in HBO’s Riveting ‘Luck’

CHICAGO – Legendary TV writer David Milch turns the world of horse racing and the people who populate it into a place not unlike the legendary title location in his beloved “Deadwood.” Just as everyone swirled around Al Swearengen’s saloon, almost all of the action in HBO’s stellar “Luck,” debuting January 29th, 2012, takes place at the track or the stables nearby.

DVD Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman Directs ‘Jack Goes Boating’

Jack Goes Boating

CHICAGO – There are few character actors in the history of cinema more mesmerizing and fearless than Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s created some of the most memorable characters ever to grace the screen: from the sexually arrested Allen in “Happiness” and the obsessed playwright Caden Cotard in “Synecdoche, New York” to the electrifying title role in “Capote.”

Film Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman Stars in Directorial Debut ‘Jack Goes Boating’

Jack Goes Boating - PSH & AR

CHICAGO – One of the best working actors takes his skills behind camera in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Jack Goes Boating,” a character drama about one couple forming as another relationship falls apart at the same time. This gentle story of modern relationships is a subtle, slow-moving drama of moments and repercussions that works due to the talents of its cast and quality of its source material despite a few notable flaws.

Interview: Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz Propel ‘Jack Goes Boating’

CHICAGO – When Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz were working on Bob Glaudini’s dramatic play “Jack Goes Boating,” they mentioned the cinematic potential of the project to each other on multiple occasions. Through a series of events, “Boating” would become Hoffman’s directorial debut, opening in Chicago this Friday, September 24th, 2010.

Slideshow: 38-Image Gallery From ‘Fast & Furious’ With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker

| Image 1 of 38 |
(L to R) Paul Walker and Vin Diesel reteam as agent Brian OConner and fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto for the ultimate chapter of the franchise built on speed

CHICAGO – This 38-image slideshow contains the press images for Universal’s “Fast & Furious,” starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, John Ortiz, and Laz Alonso. Written by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin, the film opens on Friday, April 3rd, 2009.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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