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Kodi Smit-McPhee

Interview: Writer/Director John Maclean of ‘Slow West’

Slow West, 2015

CHICAGO – Now playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theater and on VOD (but best seen on the largest screen possible), “Slow West,” is a tight genre journey pic that invigorates the western while confirming that its territory remains open, despite the many who have passed through.

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

  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

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