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Film Review: World War II Drama ‘Fury’ Fires on All Cylinders

Fury

CHICAGO – “Fury” just might be Brad Pitt’s “Saving Private Ryan.” At its heart it’s a crowd pleaser, but it never shies away from the sheer brutality of war. While it doesn’t have anything quite so devastating as “Saving Private Ryan’s” D-day sequence, it depicts the everyday horrors of killing the enemy and the men who must force themselves to make their peace with the casualties that pile up in the muck. “Fury” is equally successful in its battle sequences and in its smaller moments among its crew inside the tank. Most surprisingly of all it coaxes a decent, dare I say good, performance out of none other than Shia LaBeouf – wonders never cease.

Film Review: Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ a Deliciously Gluttonous Inspection Into Our Demons

CHICAGO – No matter how painfully bad it may be, I never walk out of a screening. It’s a professional rule I’ve set and keep it at all costs. But with Martin Scorsese’s latest stroke of genius, I experienced a kind of pain I don’t usually wrangle with: the survival of my bladder.

Film Review: Two Old Stars Roast Their Images in ‘Grudge Match’

CHICAGO – Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro – between them they have over 150 film credits in careers stretching back to the 1960s. Two of their most famous roles, boxers Rocky and the Raging Bull, get the full make-fun-of treatment in the Christmas Day Film “Grudge Match.”

Film Review: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is Cinematic Adrenalin

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) lives completely, entirely in the moment. It’s not that there’s no tomorrow, there’s not even “later that same day” in his world.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ with Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio

CHICAGOHighly anticipated! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes plus 3 soundtracks up for grabs for the highly anticipated new Martin Scorsese film “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio!

Blu-ray Review: Dwayne Johnson Shows Range in Nearly Effective ‘Snitch’

Snitch with Dwayne Johnson (review)

CHICAGO – “Snitch” is so close to being a movie that works. Dwayne Johnson shows more dramatic range than he ever has before, Jon Bernthal proves he can be a strong supporting actor, and the film’s true story sheds interesting light on the stupidity of mandatory drug sentencing. Why then is “Snitch” so flat? It’s a film with good ideas and performances but none of the grit, dread, or danger needed for its crime saga to be effective.

Film Review: Despite Low Hopes, Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Snitch’ Leaves You Pleasantly Surprised

CHICAGO – Dwayne Johnson doesn’t just want to be The Rock. And perhaps he is more after all. Despite his professional wrestling fame, “Snitch” is Johnson’s plea to be respected as a true, dramatic actor.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Snitch’ With Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “Snitch,” which is inspired by true events and stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!

Blu-ray Review: Second Season of AMC Smash Hit ‘The Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead Season 2 Premiere

CHICAGO – The second season of “The Walking Dead” displayed a few of the growing pains of a smash hit series both coming to terms with its own voice after a mini-first season and losing its high-profile showrunner in Frank Darabont. There were some tonal inconsistencies and some repetitive dialogue writing in the first half of the 13-episode season.

TV Review: Dark, Foreboding Return of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’

CHICAGO – The differences between the series premiere and the second-season premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” airing tonight on what has become the most critically-acclaimed network on basic cable, are striking. Frank Darabont brought an old-fashioned horror showman’s sensibility to the first episode, but that season had a different purpose.

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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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