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TV Review: Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’ is Next Great Drama

Ray Donovan

CHICAGO – “I like you. You say what you mean.” Showtime’s brilliant new show, “Ray Donovan,” is titled after a straightshooter in a town where no one is honest; a problem solver in a place built on mountains of problems. Ann Biderman’s stunning drama (directed and produced by “Sopranos” vet Allen Coulter) is the kind of dense patchwork quilt of character and theme that separate great shows from merely good ones.

Film Review: Profiling Transforms ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’

CHICAGO – Given the recent media coverage of the Boston bombings, the issue of profiling – judging a individual as suspect based on religion or appearances – is an ongoing problem. Director Mira Nair explores profiling in the context of September 11th in “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ With Kate Hudson

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” starring Kate Hudson!

Film Review: Hard to Wrap Head Around Misguided ‘Mental’

CHICAGO – Despite boasting the talented efforts of the always-great and tragically underrated Toni Collette, P.J. Hogan’s “Mental,” opening this weekend in Chicago, is a tonal mess. It’s a bewilderingly strange movie, the kind of thing that one might write off as being lost in translation from its Australian origin before realizing it wasn’t that funny there either.

Blu-ray Review: Raunchy Hockey Comedy ‘Goon’ is Surprising Fun

Goon

CHICAGO – Seann William Scott (“American Reunion”) does the best work of his career in the raunchy hockey comedy “Goon,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Co-written by “Superbad” writer Evan Goldberg and co-star Jay Baruchel, this is a clever little sports comedy that should find a loyal audience on the home market.

Film Review: Seann William Scott Skates Through Funny ‘Goon’

Goon
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Seann William Scott gives a surprisingly engaging, even sweet performance as the title character in the brutal, raunchy hockey comedy “Goon,” written by “Superbad” scribe Evan Goldberg and comedy actor Jay Baruchel. This “Slap Shot meets Fight Club” is a definite must-see for hockey fans but feels a little too slight for everyone else. Still, there’s a lot to like here, especially for those who want an interesting alternative On Demand (it’s already available there and opening in Chicago theaters today, March 30th, 2012).

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Goon’ With Sean William Scott

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new ice hockey comedy “Goon” starring Sean William Scott!

Blu-Ray Review: First Three ‘Scream’ Movies Prepare You For ‘Scream 4’

Scream

CHICAGO – Wes Craven’s “Scream” is one of the most influential horror films of all time. And it’s one of the best of its era. The film has held up remarkably well in the fifteen years since it was released and is a must-own for fans of the genre, especially with an extras-laden Blu-ray release timed to coincide with the upcoming April 15th release of “Scream 4.” The sequels are inferior but more worthwhile than average horror sequels. Why not own ‘em all?

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Repo Men’ Butchers Attempt at Social Satire

Repo Men Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – “Paying homage” and “ripping off” are not the same thing. A picture like Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” gathers fragments of our collective cinematic memories, and places them in an entirely fresh dreamscape of the mind. Miguel Sapochnik’s “Repo Men” assembles pieces of other movies and claims them as its own creation. The film opens like “Blade Runner,” ends like “Brazil,” and looks suspiciously like plagiarism.

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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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