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Kodi Smit-McPhee

Film Review: Dull Soap Opera in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

CHICAGO – “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” just goes to show you can have the most expensive and best looking visual effects money can buy, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you haven’t got a good tale to tell.

Film Review: New ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is Almost Passable if You Haven’t Seen It, Unnecessary if You Have

CHICAGO – When I walked out of my screening for 2013’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Hailee Steinfeld (Oscar nominated for “True Grit”) and London’s Douglas Booth (previously unknown to the U.S.), I had to remember that not everyone’s seen this story in one way or another.

Film Review: Brilliant ‘ParaNorman’ Delivers For All Audiences

CHICAGO – “ParaNorman” is not only the best animated film of 2012 by a large margin but it’s better than anything that came out last year as well. The latest stop-motion gem from LAIKA (who made another one of the best animated films of the last several years in “Coraline”) is smart, funny, scary, imaginative, and, most surprisingly of all, moving. Don’t miss it.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 12 Admit-Four Family Packs to ‘ParaNorman’ From ‘Coraline’ Makers

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 12 admit-four family packs up for grabs for the advance movie screening of “ParaNorman” from the “Coraline” makers!

Blu-Ray Review: Great Horror Movie ‘Let Me In’ Gets Special-Edition Treatment

Let Me In

CHICAGO – Matt Reeves’ “Let Me In” was one of the most divisive choices on my ten best of 2010. I stand by it in every way, especially after checking out the great Blu-ray from Overture and Anchor Bay. With a spectacular HD transfer and some great special features, this is the best horror release of a season packed with them as the Halloween 2010 films start to hit the home format.

Film Review: Harrowing ‘Let Me In’ Stands Tall Next to Original

CHICAGO – Believing all remakes are pointless is as narrow-minded as suggesting that they’re all worthwhile. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Like a fantastic cover version of an amazing song, there can be room for more than one cinematic interpretation of the same story.

Blu-Ray Review: Flawed Adaptation of ‘The Road’ is Paved With Good Intentions

The Road Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Anyone who’s read Cormac McCarthy’s phenomenal 2006 novel, “The Road,” has already, in a sense, seen the movie. McCarthy’s deceptively simple, mesmerizing poetry produced such vivid and unforgettable images in the minds of his readers that a cinematic adaptation seems almost redundant.

Oppressively Bleak ‘The Road’ Buries Great Viggo Mortensen Performance

CHICAGO – The long-delayed and highly-anticipated adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” has moments of stark beauty and a typically fantastic lead performance from Viggo Mortensen, but the film ultimately misses its mark as a whole piece, coming off numbing its bleak, repetitive view of the end of the world instead of inspiring emotionally or creatively.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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