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Film Review: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez in Numbing, Awful ‘Getaway’

CHICAGO – You know a car chase movie is poorly made when you’re longing for more dialogue scenes between Selena Gomez & Ethan Hawke just to break up the tedium of the neverending, personality-free vehicular nonsense.

TV Review: Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ is Next Great Drama

Ray Donovan

CHICAGO – “I like you. You say what you mean.” Showtime’s brilliant new show, “Ray Donovan,” is titled after a straightshooter in a town where no one is honest; a problem solver in a place built on mountains of problems. Ann Biderman’s stunning drama (directed and produced by “Sopranos” vet Allen Coulter) is the kind of dense patchwork quilt of character and theme that separate great shows from merely good ones.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Deliverance’ Still Resonates Four Decades After Its Release

Deliverance

CHICAGO – The new digibook Blu-ray for John Boorman’s incredibly influential and timeless “Deliverance” features one of the best special features of the year as stars Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty sit for half an hour at the Burt Reynolds Museum in Florida and just reminisce about the movie that changed their lives. It alone makes this a great purchase for true movie historians. The stellar HD transfer and imported special features don’t hurt.

TV Review: FOX’s ‘Lone Star’ Features Charismatic Cast, Intriguing Premise

CHICAGO – In a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many people to hold one job or keep together one family, it’s not hard to see audiences entertained by watching a man try to juggle two of each.

Blu-Ray Review: Tiresome ‘Four Christmases’ is Four Too Many

Four Christmases

CHICAGO – How has Vince Vaughn become one of the most boring actors in America? It has little to do with his performances and everything to do with his career choices. Sure, Vaughn has pretty much made a habit out of playing the exact same guy since “Wedding Crashers”: a fast-talking, self-absorbed, overgrown adolescent whose funniest quips are delivered under the breath and between punch-lines.

Blu-Ray Review: Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’ a Modern Masterpiece

Heat

CHICAGO – Michael Mann might first seem the ideal fit for Blu-Ray. He’s a notorious perfectionist, apparent in every frame of his remarkable output of films that includes such great modern classics as “Manhunter,” “The Insider,” “Collateral,” and “Public Enemies”.

Blu-Ray Review: Kiefer Sutherland, ‘24’ Continue to Set the Bar

24

CHICAGO – The standard DVD season sets for “24” have long been setting the bar for what TV on DVD “should be”. Winning awards for their technical transfers and detailed, copious special features, the producers of “24“‘s home releases took it a step further this year by changing the game yet again with the Blu-Ray release of “24: Season Seven”.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Pride and Glory’ Wastes Two Talented Stars in Generic Drama

Pride and Glory
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray package for Gavin O’Connor’s “Pride and Glory” features shots of stars Edward Norton and Colin Farrell wielding guns on both the front and back of the case. The artistic intention is clear - Try and sell this generic, dull cop drama as an action film, as that’s the genre that takes off on the home market. Don’t buy it.

‘24’ Reflects Changing Times With Excellent Season-Seven Premiere

24

CHICAGO – The world has changed significantly since Kiefer Sutherland and the rest of the team behind Fox’s “24” were forced to save it repeatedly over the first six seasons of one of the most popular shows of the last decade. Will “24” still be relevant with controversy over real-life torture dominating the headlines and a new regime getting ready to take office?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

  • Transcendence

    CHICAGO – The Internet is for real in “Transcendence”, a B-movie with grade-A production quality, loaded with terabyte-size open-ended questions, so long as one can accept it lastly with a scientific mindset. It is a film that perceives technology to be more expansive than a box of wires and computer chips, and actualizes the expanse of the internet as limitless to the realm of spiritual.

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