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Katee Sackhoff

Film Review: ‘Oculus’ Succeeds Psychologically, Fails Supernaturally

CHICAGO – Films in general are knocked for being knockoffs of something else. Horror films in particular have it especially hard in the “new” department because we’re so quickly annoyed when we’ve “seen it all before”.

Film Review: Richly Complex ‘Oculus’ is Also Scary as Hell

Oculus front

CHICAGO – The affect of horror works in five basic ways. There’s the sense of Dislocation where the lead character suddenly loses bearing, becomes unsure of what where or even who they are. Next is Dread, which is the sense that something awful is coming.

Film Review: Vin Diesel Returns to Iconic Character in B-Movie ‘Riddick’

CHICAGO – Did anyone else think there would be another film about Richard Riddick, Vin Diesel’s character from the great “Pitch Black” and not-great “The Chronicles of Riddick”? Me neither. But writer/director David Twohy won’t give up on this character, one he turns into even more of an iconized superhero in his third film, “Riddick,” the most B-movie of the three.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Riddick’ with Vin Diesel, Karl Urban

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated thriller with Vin Diesel reprising his role as “Riddick”!

TV Review: A&E Mystery Series Return in ‘Longmire,’ ‘The Glades’

CHICAGO – A&E’s “Longmire,” returning tonight for its second season, can be a great show. It’s an underrated Western-mystery hybrid with a stellar lead performance from Robert Taylor and a heavy dose of “No Country For Old Men” atmosphere. “The Glades,” also returning tonight for its fourth season, is a more inconsistent program but has produced some solid episodes over its run.

TV Review: Strong Characters, Interesting Setting Elevate ‘Longmire’

CHICAGO – Taking a modern day cowboy character from an Elmore Leonard novel and giving him his own show turned out to be a smart move for FX when they green-lit “Justified,” so one can hardly blame A&E for attempting a similar transition with Craig Johnson’s “Longmire” mystery novels, now a weekly series.

Blu-Ray Review: Stellar Adaptation of Still-Amazing ‘Batman: Year One’

Batman: Year One

CHICAGO – After a few releases that felt like perhaps the DC Universe line of straight-to-video animated films were in decline, they recently released what is arguably their best installment and a work that deserves to sit on the shelf of any Batman fan — the often-brilliant “Batman: Year One.” So remarkably loyal to one of the most influential comic books of all time that it sometimes recreates it verbatim and including some of the best voice work in the entire DC Universe line, this is a great animated film and possibly the best Blu-ray gift you could buy for a comic fan this season.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Battlestar Galactica: Season Four’ Finally Closes HD Chapter

BSG BD

CHICAGO – The high-def releases for “Battlestar Galactica” have been somewhat baffling. The problem for Universal was that A.) They had started releasing the series on standard-def when Blu-ray took off and B.) They needed a way to milk one of their most impressive cash cows for a bit longer. Consequently, the chance to individually buy all of one of the best science fiction programs of all time didn’t come until 2011. But that day has finally arrived with the release of the impressive “Battlestar Galactica: Season Four.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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