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Martin Balsam

Blu-ray Review: New HD Edition of Epic ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’

Tora! Tora! Tora!

CHICAGO – When I was younger, I considered the blockbuster flop “Tora! Tora! Tora!” pretty boring. Critics over the years and friends have remembered the film more fondly than when it was released and therefore made me feel like perhaps a re-appreciation was in order. Nope. It’s still boring. And now it’s boring in stunning HD!

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Edition of Timeless ‘12 Angry Men’

12 Angry Men

CHICAGO – Few films from the ’50s have held up quite as remarkably as “12 Angry Men.” It’s a human drama that’s constantly being remade, re-told, and even re-imagined into other stories. What is it about this one-room story that has such timeless power? Why has it survived generations, working as much today as it did 54 years ago? Does anyone think it won’t have the same power 54 years from now?

Blu-Ray Review: 50th Anniversary Edition of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’

CHICAGO – Are we going to have to wait for a major anniversary of every Alfred Hitchcock film for them to be released on Blu-ray? Only two of the films directed by the best filmmaker of all time are available in HD, last year’s 50th anniversary release of “North by Northwest” and the amazing new 50th anniversary edition of “Psycho.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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