CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
PARK CITY, Utah – This is the last batch of Sundance reviews I’ve got to offer. A tad late, but I couldn’t let these films go uncommented on, especially with their special offerings for those who seek them out. I hope that each of these films finds an audience.
CHICAGO – Few movies are as timeless as Elia Kazan’s amazing “On the Waterfront,” recently released in a Criterion Blu-ray edition that stands among the best classics-in-HD releases I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of them.
CHICAGO – Marlon Brando was at or near the peak of his screen charisma when Elia Kazan tapped him to star in his adaptation of Tennesse Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire,” recently released on Blu-ray in a digibook edition with a booklet about the making of the film but no new special features. The transfer is nice and the previously released special features are stellar, but this feels like something of a missed opportunity to do something a little more special for the HD debut of this influential film.
CHICAGO – What could “Last Tango in Paris,” “Moonstruck,” and “Rain Man” possibly have in common? Two won major oscars and the third should have? All three feature some of the career-best work by iconic actors? Honestly, all that they have in common is that they weren’t out on Blu-ray before and every catalog title needs a release date eventually and so MGM chose February 15th for the trio. Pick up all three.
CHICAGO – One of the most recent inductees into the most esteemed collection in the history of DVD is one of the most star-powered dramas of the ’60s with four Oscar-winning actors in Maureen Stapleton, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, and Marlon Brando, working in collaboration with a script co-written by Tennesse Williams and directed by Sidney Lumet. That “The Fugitive Kind” doesn’t quite live up to that incredible pedigree shouldn’t be too surprising, but it’s still a good addition for classic film collectors.
CHICAGO – The TCM Classic Film Festival, in Hollywood from April 22nd to the 25th, made a stop in Chicago during their “Road to Hollywood” fest promotion. Legendary star Eva Marie Saint introduced the film “North by Northwest.”
CHICAGO – A blue collar worker father who has a secret Marlon Brando obsession (gasp!), a son with an improbable fetish and a daughter who quits college to…strip, this is a normal day-in-the-life in the new film “City Island.”
CHICAGO – The film buff’s essential network, Turner Classic Movies, is having a film festival next month in Hollywood from April 22nd to the 25th, and as promotion for that festival, Eva Marie Saint will introduce “North by Northwest” in Chicago.