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Matt Fagerholm

DVD Review: ‘Only the Young’ and ‘Tchoupitoulas’ Form Nostalgic Double Bill

Only the Young DVD

CHICAGO – With an intelligence typical of its brand, Oscilloscope Laboratories has released two cinema vérité gems on an impeccably matched double bill. One wishes more microbudget features barely clocking in at the feature length mark would receive similar releases. Here’s hoping Joe Swanberg’s “Marriage Material” and Todd Looby’s “Be Good” will one day be available on their own two-disc set.

DVD Review: Andrea Arnold’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ Puts ‘The Great Gatsby’ to Shame

Wuthering Heights DVD

CHICAGO – First Joe Wright sucked the life out of “Anna Karenina” with his meticulously choreographed, self-conscious pageantry. Then Baz Luhrmann proved that while heavy-handed spectacle may have appealed to Jay Gatsby himself, it was a recipe for disaster when applied to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prose. Nothing kills off the power of a metaphor more than a large neon sign erected to underline its significance.

Blu-ray Review: Alan Cumming Delivers Oscar-Caliber Work in ‘Any Day Now’

Any Day Now Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Evoking the civil rights melodramas of the ’60s, such as Guy Green’s wrenching “A Patch of Blue,” with a dash of Robert Benton’s 1979 masterpiece, “Kramer vs. Kramer,” Travis Fine’s “Any Day Now” shamelessly aims to tug at the heartstrings. And tug at them he does with considerable success, thanks in large part to the riveting, career-best performance delivered by Alan Cumming. It’s the sort of work that could’ve easily been honored with an Oscar nod, had Fox Searchlight or Harvey Weinstein picked it up.

Blu-ray Review: John Magaro Shines in Nostalgic ‘Not Fade Away’

Not Fade Away Blu-ray

CHICAGO – David Chase, the man who seduced audiences with HBO’s “The Sopranos” before leaving them hanging in one of the most brilliantly audacious finales in TV history, is certainly not a fan of tidy endings. He understands that suggestion and implication can be infinitely more powerful than closure, and he beautifully applies this principle to his feature directorial debut, “Not Fade Away.”

Film News: Kentucker Audley Explores ‘Sun Don’t Shine’ on Indie Outlook

Kentucker Audley Indie Outlook Interview

CHICAGO – Actor/filmmaker Kentucker Audley gave an exclusive interview to Indie Outlook, the independent film blog and podcast founded by Hollywood Chicago staff writer Matt Fagerholm. Audley stars opposite Kate Lyn Sheil in Amy Seimetz’s acclaimed crime drama, “Sun Don’t Shine,” which premieres in Chicago on Friday, May 3rd, kicking off a week-long run at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Guilt Trip’ Marred by Maddeningly Formulaic Script

The Guilt Trip Blu-ray

CHICAGO – “The Guilt Trip” is hideously uninspired dreck of the most shameful variety. It casts two major yet mismatched talents and refuses to utilize their distinctive gifts for the entirety of its running time. All they’re required to do is sleepwalk through a plot so uninspired that audiences will have no problem predicting its path with their eyes closed and their ears covered.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Promised Land’ Leaves Potential of Premise Unrealized

Promised Land Blu-ray

CHICAGO – When a film promises to tackle a timely topic like fracking, it has raised the bar of expectations considerably. Sure, the filmmakers don’t need to take a stand on the issues they raise, but they have an obligation to explore them with some level of depth or insight. Otherwise, they risk getting charged with committing a “bait and switch,” and that’s precisely what Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land” does.

DVD Review: ‘Gate of Hell’ Gets Extra-Free Criterion Release

Gate of Hell DVD

CHICAGO – Beneath every honorable warrior is a cold-hearted opportunist hell-bent on dominating his victimized prey at all costs. That’s a theory indelibly illustrated by Teinosuke Kinugasa’s revered 1953 classic, “Gate of Hell,” a melodrama populated by such frustrating characters that it nearly loses the viewer’s interest before its admittedly splendid finale, when the tale takes on grand dimensions of Greek tragedy.

Film Review: Sensual ‘Renoir’ Fails to Explore Titular Giants’ Genius

Renoir Film Review

CHICAGO – Naming a picture after two of the great artistic minds in human history is quite a high bar to set. Director/co-writer Gilles Bourdos attempts to tell the tale of both impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) and his son, the future filmmaker Jean Renoir (Vincent Rottiers), who would go on to helm controversial masterpieces such as 1939’s “The Rules of the Game.” These are fascinating people, but the script doesn’t even begin to do them justice.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Usual Suspects’ Hosted By Adam Fendelman, Matt Fagerholm

CHICAGOKeyser Söze returns for one night only! On behalf of the Chicago Film Critics Association, HollywoodChicago.com critics Adam Fendelman and Matt Fagerholm have the rare honor to host movie lovers like you and bring one of the greatest mysteries back to the big screen!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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