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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Usual Suspects’ Hosted By Adam Fendelman, Matt Fagerholm

CHICAGOKeyser Söze returns for one night only! On behalf of the Chicago Film Critics Association, HollywoodChicago.com critics Adam Fendelman and Matt Fagerholm have the rare honor to host movie lovers like you and bring one of the greatest mysteries back to the big screen!

TV Review: Riveting But Uneven ‘House of Cards’ Debuts on Netflix

CHICAGO – By now, many of you have probably worked your way through the thirteen episodes of Netflix’s highly anticipated and (mostly) highly acclaimed new dramatic original series, “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Corey Stoll, and Kate Mara.

Blu-ray Review: Underappreciated ‘Margin Call’ Deserves Larger Audience

Margin Call

CHICAGOJ.C. Chandor’s CFCA-nominated “Margin Call” is the kind of film that makes me concerned about the lack of mainstream audience for adult drama. There’s no reason at all that this excellent drama with several major actors shouldn’t have found a much-larger audience. Lionsgate needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s going on with their marketing and promotions since it’s total nonsense that a critically-acclaimed work like this and their even-better “Warrior” both flopped at the box office. “Warrior” was at least given a chance. “Margin Call” never went beyond 199 screens. So you probably haven’t seen it. You should.

Blu-Ray Review: Stellar Comedy Ensemble Rocks in ‘Horrible Bosses’

Horrible Bosses

CHICAGO – The summer of the R-rated comedy, which was SO clearly inspired by the success of “The Hangover” and its sequel, was an interesting case of the law of diminishing returns. If you over-saturate a market, critics and viewers will turn away. By the time that “The Change-Up” and “30 Minutes or Less” thudded into theaters, we all remembered why they don’t make that many R-rated comedies in a year any more — most of them are dumb. Looking back on the trend, two films stand out as the R-rated comedies of Summer 2011 — the widely-beloved (and a bit overrated) “Bridesmaids” and Seth Gordon’s very-funny and consistently-entertaining “Horrible Bosses,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Film Review: Talented Cast Carries Dark Comedy of ‘Horrible Bosses’

CHICAGO – There’s a theory that a film that should be judged based on how well it succeeds at what it attempts to do. If it’s a comedy, does it make you laugh? “Horrible Bosses” has some issues but it is an undeniably funny movie.

Blu-Ray Review: MGM Releases Catalog Hits For Father’s Day

Some Like It Hot

CHICAGO – Twentieth Century Fox & MGM released an onslaught of catalog titles on Blu-ray, many for the first time, on May 10th, and most seem well-timed to the upcoming Father’s Day holiday. The company was kind enough to send us a sample of the ten titles and it seems like this will be an odd mix, from which you can surely choose at least one or two faves.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Casino Jack’ Falls Short of the Jackpot

Casino Jack Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – While Alex Gibney’s enraging 2010 documentary “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” brought cinematic immortality to the life of recently imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff, George Hickenlooper’s narrative re-telling transforms the cinema-obsessed criminal into the larger-than-life movie hero of his dreams. I have a sneaking suspicion that Abramoff may love this picture.

Film Review: Kevin Spacey Comes Up Aces in ‘Casino Jack’

CHICAGO – The halls of the Capitol Building are paved with money. It takes a long time beyond civics class and history to realize that. Kevin Spacey illustrates that concept precisely playing “super lobbyist” and convicted larcenist Jack Abramoff in “Casino Jack”.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Kevin Spacey-Signed ‘Casino Jack’ Poster Plus ‘The Usual Suspects,’ ‘American Beauty’ DVDs

Casino Jack with Kevin Spacey

CHICAGO – In our latest Kevin Spacey edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have a Kevin Spacey-signed poster for the new film “Casino Jack” up for grabs plus these Kevin Spacey DVDs: “The Usual Suspects,” “American Beauty” and “Swimming With Sharks”!

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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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