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Blu-Ray Review: Entertaining ‘Scream 4’ Makes Great Horror Rental

Scream 4 with Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox

CHICAGO – This upcoming Halloween will give you dozens of options in theaters and on Blu-ray to choose from for your scary dollar. You may have dismissed Wes Craven’s latest entry in the most influential franchise of the last twenty years. Don’t. Sure, the “Scream” movies are over the hill, more so than I think The Weinstein Company expected as evidenced by the pathetic box office returns (less than 50% of the last “Scream” movie and less than $100 million worldwide (the first three broke $150), but this is a fun genre flick. If you wrote this movie off in theaters, you might be surprised to learn that it’s worth a rental.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘The Mighty Macs’ on Women’s Basketball

CHICAGO – In our latest sports edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the original Cinderella story “The Mighty Macs” about women’s basketball!

Film Review: Wes Craven Returns to Form With Entertaining ‘Scre4m’

CHICAGO – Wes Craven’s legendary franchise returns this weekend with a decade since its last installment and to a genre that has been almost entirely bereft of creativity since its director started to lose his prominence as one of its best. Can “Scre4m” rejuvenate the slasher genre like the first film did or will it fall victim to the rule that horror sequels almost always suck?

Film Review: ‘Elektra Luxx’ Offers Middling Showcase For Carla Gugino

Elektra Luxx review

CHICAGO – Sebastian Gutierrez is the sort of filmmaker who thrives best on the festival circuit. His work is just quirky and distinctive enough to garner overenthusiastic praise from jaded festival goers in the mood for markedly lighter fare. Yet when screened out of the celebratory atmosphere at SXSW, Gutierrez’s films fail to register as anything more than mediocre trifles.

Interview: Director Jonathan Parker Reveals Art Behind ‘(Untitled)’

CHICAGO – One of the great overlooked films of 2009 was the slyly titled “(Untitled).” Jonathan Parker, the writer/director of the film, fashions a sharp yet human tale about the world of art galleries and the next-big-thing. The (Untitled) DVD and Blu-Ray is being released on September 21st, 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: Unfunny ‘Women in Trouble’ Confuses Vulgarity With Insight

Women in Trouble Blu Ray

CHICAGO – The best thing about this alleged comedy is its title, evocative of David Lynch’s signature premise: “A woman in trouble.” Yet while Lynch has been accused of misogyny by some filmgoers, Sebastian Gutierrez’s “Women in Trouble” purports itself to be an empowering portrait of strong female characters. Their strength is often demonstrated by their ability to cuss and talk about sex. Boy, how far we have come.

Art World Bares its Soul in Adam Goldberg’s Superlative ‘(Untitled)’

Adam Goldberg and Marley Shelton in "(Untitled)"

CHICAGO – One of the best and most exciting surprises of the 2009 film year is a smaller, claustrophobic film starring Adam Goldberg and set in the art gallery world of New York City. “(Untitled)” is an honest, uncompromising character study.

Interview: Adam Goldberg on the Art of Performance in ‘(Untitled)’

CHICAGO – The Adam Goldberg character is well known to fans of TV’s “Friends” and the movie’s “Saving Private Ryan.” With his heart-on-his-sleeve persona, he takes that character to rarified heights in the new film “(Untitled).”

DVD Review: Complete Set For ‘Eleventh Hour’ Available Online

Eleventh Hour

CHICAGO – There simply wasn’t space on television for both “Fringe” and “Eleventh Hour”. As soon as I saw them, I knew one or both of the fall 2008 shows would have to go. With the strong lead performances by the great Rufus Sewell and beautiful Marley Shelton, I thought “Eleventh Hour” had the edge, especially after it did pretty well in its first season.

Preview: The Best of the 45th Chicago International Film Festival, Week One

CHICAGO – We’ve been working our way through the schedule for the upcoming 45th Annual Chicago International Film Festival, kicking off tonight with the premiere of “Motherhood,” starring Uma Thurman, Anthony Edwards, and Minnie Driver.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • 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.

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