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Film Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman Lives Again in ‘God’s Pocket’

God's Pocket

CHICAGO – Watching Philip Seymour Hoffman perform, now that he has passed on, is a bittersweet reminder of his ability and power to embody his deeply felt characters. He does it again in one of his last roles, adding his special brand of acting to the messy story within the gritty noir drama, “God’s Pocket.”

TV Review: Characters of ‘Mad Men’ Getting Lost in Changing World

CHICAGO – Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is no longer the most popular person in the room. Time, depression, alcoholism, and the changing politics have altered this character, once such a vital force of human nature. Remember the days when everything Don said hit with the client? When he could juggle secret pasts and multiple mistresses? One of the most prominent arcs of “Mad Men” overall has been how that Don is fading away as the ’60s head toward the next decade.

Blu-ray Review: Strong Release For Fifth Season of ‘Mad Men’

Mad Men S5 (cropped)

CHICAGO – It may feel like the bloom is off the rose a little bit for “Mad Men” as the AMC hit has seen some of its acclaim stolen by other cable hits like “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” and “The Walking Dead.” And yet this is still a great show with yet another stellar Blu-ray season release from Lionsgate. Complete with commentaries and interesting special features, this release is in keeping with the stellar first four season releases for this multi-Emmy-Award winner.

DVD Review: ‘Return’ Features Oscar-Caliber Work From Linda Cardellini

Return DVD Review

CHICAGO – It’s an evening typical of so many American homes. Tom Bergeron’s smarmy voice fills the air as televised pratfalls are accompanied by the mechanical laughter of a studio audience. A father chuckles and winces at the mindless spectacle while relaxing on the couch with his children. His wife, on the other hand, remains restless. She fails to find any sense of comfort in the nightly routine.

TV Review: AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ Shows No Signs of Creative Fatigue in Fifth Season Premiere

CHICAGO – The long-awaited return of AMC’s four-time Emmy Best Drama winner “Mad Men” is finally here and there seems to be more doubt than ever before. Will the 17 months since a new episode hurt the show creatively? Can “Mad Men” stay as culturally important and creatively consistent this far into its run or will it start to struggle?

Blu-Ray Review: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt in ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

The Adjustment Bureau

CHICAGO – “The Adjustment Bureau” was a surprising success in a season full of them (“Hanna,” “Source Code,” “Win Win,” more), earning strong reviews and breaking $100 million worldwide. That may not seem like a blockbuster for Matt Damon but when one considers that this is an existential, sci-fi, noir, romantic action movie, it doesn’t exactly scream obvious financial success. And it’s the kind of film that I suspect will grow in esteem over the years as its fans share it with their friends. A great Blu-ray release with excellent supplemental material doesn’t hurt.

Film Review: Chemistry of Matt Damon, Emily Blunt Drives ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

CHICAGO – George Nolfi’s “The Adjustment Bureau,” starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, is a nearly-great movie, a rare piece that merges romance and science fiction into something that is at-times mesmerizing.

Despite Some Superfluous Story, ‘Iron Man 2’ Delivers Hollywood Oomph

CHICAGO – “Iron Man 2” with returner Robert Downey Jr. and newcomer Scarlett Johansson does what it can within the confines of what it has to do. The Hollywood machine has trained us to have certain expectations for blockbuster sequels and “Iron Man 2” neither deviates nor blazes new territory.

Blu-Ray Review: Another Stellar Release For AMC’s ‘Mad Men’

Mad Men S3

CHICAGO – The third season of the highly acclaimed and award-winning “Mad Men” was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of AMC and Lionsgate. Not only does TV simply not get much better than this hit drama but the show also continues a pattern of exceptional Blu-ray releases with perfect video, audio, and an unbelievable amount of special features.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Mad Men: Season Two’ Sets Standard For HD Television

Mad Men Season Two

CHICAGO – Television doesn’t get much better than “Mad Men” and the Blu-Ray release that brings home the second season, recently nominated for several Emmy Awards, is quite simply one of the best HD TV home releases yet produced. With perfect video and audio and an unbelievable amount of special features, “Mad Men: Season Two” is a must-add for any collector of great television.

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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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