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Laura Dern

Film Review: Reese Witherspoon Takes a Tedious Trip Into the ‘Wild’

CHICAGO – At times “Wild” resembles the hallucinatory fever dream of a dehydrated and delirious hiker (played by Reese Witherspoon), alone in the world. I only wish her fever dreams were more interesting for the rest of us.

DVD Review: Historical Figures Cheersed in Brilliant ‘Drunk History: Seasons 1 & 2’

Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

Film Review: ‘When the Game Stands Tall’ a Sermonizing Snooze

CHICAGO – “When The Game Stands Tall” has more sermons than a month of Sundays. Its heart is in the right place, but it’s more likely to put its audience to sleep than bring it to its feet. By now the tropes of the inspirational sports drama have become as familiar as the West Coast Offense, but this film can’t effectively figure out how to execute them.

Film Review: Tearjerking ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is ‘The Notebook’ of This Decade

CHICAGO – Sure, I’ll admit it. With so many new films to screen and review, I’ll choose the sci-fi action/thriller from the man behind the Bourne flicks over a movie that’s being called “the greatest romance story of this decade”.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ With Shailene Woodley

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new romantic dramaThe Fault in Our Stars” with “Divergent” co-stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort!

Interview: Tapping Bruce Dern for His New FIlm ‘Nebraska’

CHICAGO – Veteran actor Bruce Dern is now up to bat. That is how he describes what is at stake in his role as Woody in director Alexander Payne’s new film, “Nebraska.” But this film icon – with an over 50 year career – also has plenty other stories to offer, regarding Jack Nicholson, his family, his life and performing a “Derns-ser.”

Blu-ray Review: Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ Released in 3D Version

Jurassic Park

CHICAGO – Few films from the first half of the ’90s have held up as well as Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park,” recently released in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that includes the 3D version of the film. How HUGE is “Jurassic Park”? Adjusted for inflation, it’s made $728 million domestically, 16th all-time and sandwiched between two “Star Wars” movies (“Jedi” and “Phantom”). Everyone talks about Indy. The dinos have actually made more.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Pairs of Family 4-Packs to ‘Jurassic Park in 3D’ From Steven Spielberg

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 15 pairs of family movie 4-packs up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Jurassic Park in 3D”!

Blu-ray Review: P.T. Anderson’s Divisive ‘The Master’ Continues to Mesmerize

The Master

CHICAGO – I’m always stunned when anyone calls P.T. Anderson’s very divisive “The Master” boring. There are a number of totally valid criticisms that can be thrown at the film but it’s never boring.

TV Review: Laura Dern Returns to Carry HBO’s Clever ‘Enlightened’

CHICAGO – The season premiere of HBO’s “Enlightened,” directed by the great Nicole Holofcener (“Please Give,” “Lovely & Amazing”) is a stunner. With a great script by co-star Mike White and one of the best single performances by Laura Dern to date, it perfectly captures the current state of so many people

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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