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Josh Duhamel

Blu-ray Review: Even Nicholas Sparks Fans Will Be Annoyed by ‘Safe Haven’

Safe Haven

CHICAGO – At its best, Lasse Hallstrom’s “Safe Haven,” based on the book by the insanely popular Nicholas Sparks, is merely safe, Lifetime Channel TV Movie junk. At its worst, it’s pretty offensive and exploitative of women actually stuck in abusive situations and men forced into single parenthood after losing a spouse. As he has done before, Sparks takes real-world issues and turns them into manipulative devices. Hallstrom (“Chocolat”) has enough filmmaking skill to keep it from getting too boring despite the attempts on the part of the two remarkably dull leads to put you to sleep.

Film Review: Hey Lovers, ‘Safe Haven’ is a Decent Date Movie

Safe Haven

CHICAGO – It’s Valentine’s Day, and along with the impossible to get dinner reservations, the decision of which movie to see has probably spoiled this holiday as much as Walgreen roses. But the romantic drama ‘Safe Haven’ is a well performed, well paced narrative that won’t make you gag, and that includes you wishing-to-see-Die-Hard dudes.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Safe Haven’ With Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Safe Haven” starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel!

Blu-ray Review: ‘New Year’s Eve’ Wants to Ruin Your Holidays

New Year's Eve

CHICAGO – By now, you’re surely aware of the general hatred for Garry Marshall’s horrendous ensemble romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve.” HollywoodChicago.com said ““New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry.

Film Review: Shallow, Garish ‘New Year’s Eve’ Ruins Your Holiday

CHICAGO – “New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry. It is corporate junk at its worst, so shallow that it’s almost remarkably thin, as if director Garry Marshall were trying to win a contest for lack of subtlety.

Blu-Ray Review: Wild, Overlong ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’

CHICAGO – What is truly astounding about “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is how overwhelming it is to take in – there is so much going on that sensory overload is a distinct possibility. Shia LaBeouf stars in the latest Transformers film, now on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Film Review: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Gets Adrenalin Pumping

CHICAGO – The final 45 minutes of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” are such an orgy of CGI insanity, falling skyscrapers, and battling robots that the film approaches some sort of summer movie nirvana, or at least it will for the right audience.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 60 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’

Update: 11:17 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (added an additional 30 admit-two passes!)
CHICAGO – In our latest blockbuster edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 60 admit-two movie passes (increased from 30 admit-twos due to high demand!) plus three prize packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated new film “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”!

Blu-Ray Review: Misguided ‘Life As We Know It’ With Katherine Heigl

Life As We Know It

CHICAGO – I recently made a reference to Katherine Heigl being the symbol of the modern decline of the romantic comedy and was reminded that she’s done good work on “Grey’s Anatomy” and was actually quite good in “Knocked Up.” Then why has she made such horrible films since then? Why have we had to suffer through “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Killers,” and, now, “Life As We Know It,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD and a film that doesn’t break her downward slide even if it does slow it a bit.

Blu-Ray Review: Talented Pair of Young Actresses Carry ‘Ramona and Beezus’

Ramona and Beezus

CHICAGO – With junk like “Marmaduke” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” pitching themselves to children like bad fast food, it can be hard for an honestly-good and genuine family film to find an audience. “Ramona and Beezus” is the kind of family offering that will hopefully find a large audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s no classic and far from perfect but it’s definitely a success for its target audience that could surprisingly appeal to people outside of its demographic as well.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

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