CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, “Paradise,” now available everywhere On Demand and released this Friday in some markets theatrically, is an unmitigated disaster. It’s the most tonally inconsistent film of 2013, a flick that fluctuates wildly from broad satire to manipulative drama to something altogether indescribably bad.
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.
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.
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!
CHICAGO – How can the same man who made one of the most lovable movie musicals of the last decade go on to make one of the most hatable? Adam Shankman’s bouncy, broad approach was a splendid fit for the playful “Hairspray,” but it is all wrong for Chris D’Arienzo’s raunchy, melodramatic ode to ’80s rock. His show, “Rock of Ages,” may have been a hit on Broadway, but it was a complete flop with moviegoers and critics alike.
CHICAGO – Although the jukebox musical needs an available pasture to be put out onto, the new film “Rock of Ages” – based on the Broadway stage play – improves on that genre by having a little fun and lots of tongue-in-cheek. Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand rock the cashbox.
CHICAGO – If you’re gonna cut loose, “Footloose,” it is best to do what the production team and cast did in cutting this remake of the 1980s kitschy classic – pay deep homage to the source and modify it with a energetic and contemporary spin on the dance floor.
CHICAGO – We have learned that there will be a dance contest in Chicago on Oct. 23, 2010 in celebration of the upcoming film “Burlesque” starring Cher, Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming and Peter Gallagher.
CHICAGO – Paramount Pictures on Thursday announced its casting search for the feature film “Footloose” from writer and director Craig Brewer. The film, which is slated to hit theaters in 2011, stars Julianne Hough (as Ariel Moore) and Thomas Dekker (as Ren McCormack) is currently listed as rumored.