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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 100 Pairs of Tix to ‘Mary Poppins’ Backstory ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 100 pairs of advance-screening tix up for grabs to the “Mary Poppins” backstory “Saving Mr. Banks” with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks!

Blu-ray Review: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain in Stunning ‘Take Shelter’

Take Shelter

CHICAGO – Two of the performances most disturbingly missing from the line-up that will be read at the Academy Awards on Sunday are Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain’s in the stunning “Take Shelter,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Jeff Nichols’ film is a stirring, moving drama about not just the potential end of the world but the impact of mental illness and the anxiety of the modern era in which our job, our family, and our friendships are more fragile than you might ever think.

Film Review: Michael Shannon Mesmerizes in Moody ‘Take Shelter’

Take Shelter Film Review

CHICAGO – It starts with a clap of thunder. Fierce winds cause the once serene landscape to shiver with unease. When the rain comes, it’s the color of motor oil. All it takes is a single glance at the looming gray clouds overhead to realize that the impending storm could be capable of anything. It’s enough to rock a level-headed man to his very foundation.

Film Review: Story Too Broad to Execute in ‘Machine Gun Preacher’

Machine Gun Preacher 2

CHICAGO – When one movie has an ex-con, drug retribution violence, his religious conversion, his building of a church, his preaching, his trip to Southern Sudan in Africa, his opening of an orphanage and his family, then it’s too big a story to tell. Therein lies the challenge for “Machine Gun Preacher.”

Interviews: Gerard Butler, Sam Childers on ‘Machine Gun Preacher’

CHICAGO – Gerard Butler is movie star good looking, that is very apparent when meeting him. What wasn’t expected was his keen insight, passion and perspective on taking on a challenge and playing a true-life Pennsylvania preacher, who ends up helping children in the most corrupted areas of the Southern Sudan in Africa, in “Machine Gun Preacher.”

Film Review: Preachy, Absurd ‘Seven Days in Utopia’ Weakens Own Message

Seven Days in Utopia

CHICAGO – What do Robert Duvall and Melissa Leo have in common? They both have won an Oscar and they both cashed a paycheck for the fake virtuous hack job called “Seven Days in Utopia.” For Duvall especially, maybe the mortgage payment is due on the vacation home.

DVD Review: Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman Shine in ‘Last Chance Harvey’

Last Chance Harvey

CHICAGO – Most audiences missed one of the most charming romantic comedies of the last year during the holiday rush and the start of the new year. Joel Hopkins’ “Last Chance Harvey” isn’t perfect but it’s a surprisingly effective heart-tugger, anchored by fantastic performances from its Oscar-winning stars, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Catch up on DVD.

TV Review: Jeff Goldblum Joins Cast of ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’

Law & Order: Criminal Intent
HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 3.5/5.0
Television Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The revolving door of casting in the world of “Law & Order” continues this month when Jeff Goldblum joins the cast of USA Network’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” as the new partner for Detective Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson). The season kicks off with a well-paced and intriguing episode featuring the old cast on Sunday, April 19th, 2009 and the new member joins the squad a week later.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 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.

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