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Blu-ray Review: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt Amaze in ‘The Sessions’

The Sessions Blu-ray

CHICAGO – It’s a shame how box office numbers play such a large factor in Oscar votes. Just imagine if “The Blind Side” was a flop. Sandra Bullock wouldn’t have been allowed within a billion miles of the Oscar podium. If Ben Lewin’s “The Sessions” was given a fair shot with audiences, it would’ve easily brought its star, John Hawkes, an Oscar nomination.

Film Review: John Hawkes’ Honest Work Just Saves ‘The Sessions’

CHICAGO – Sometimes an actor can deliver on so many levels at once that it makes flaws of a film easier to overlook. I’ll admit that while watching “The Sessions,” I was so caught up in the honest, true performance from the great John Hawkes that I didn’t consider many of the film’s dramatic failings until I began to consider my review.

Interview: John Hawkes, Director Ben Lewin on ‘The Sessions’

CHICAGO – Sure to be one of the best performances of 2012 is John Hawkes as Mark O’Brien, a polio victim who lived on his own and was a poet, despite no movement from his neck down, and confined for most of the day in an iron lung. Ben Lewin wrote the screenplay and directed the extraordinary story of “The Sessions.”

TV Review: Riveting, Action-Packed Return For TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’

CHICAGO – Rarely has a program returned for its second season with as much confidence, improved storytelling skills, and overall entertainment value as TNT’s “Falling Skies,” returning tonight, June 17, 2012.

TV Review: Noah Wyle Fights to Survive in ‘Falling Skies’

CHICAGO – It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the ragtag resistance fighters of “Falling Skies,” starring Noah Wyle from “ER,” are defending themselves against a surprise extraterrestrial colonization of earth. Live free or die hard.

Film Review: Emotional Journey For Maria Bello, Michael Sheen in ‘Beautiful Boy’

Beautiful Boy

CHICAGO – The family unit, now in a constant battle with technology, changing morality and a fracturing social structure, comes under psychological siege in the mortally sad but ultimately compelling “Beautiful Boy,” featuring Maria Bello and Michael Sheen.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 Pairs of Chicago Passes to TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’ From Steven Spielberg

CHICAGO – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: TV, we have 35 admit-two passes up for grabs to the Chicago VIP early screening party for TNT’s new sci-fi series “Falling Skies” from executive producer Steven Spielberg!

Film Review: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton Are Redemptive in ‘Faster’

Faster, Dwayne Johnson

CHICAGO – The Action Film is getting a bit creaky, relying more on computer generated eye candy than character or plot. It is refreshing to experience a film like “Faster,” featuring Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton, because it is an action film that means something, and puts its inhabitants on a path to their own salvation.

Blu-Ray Review: Forgettable ‘Terminator Salvation’ Gets Supreme Treatment on Blu-Ray

Terminator Salvation

CHICAGO – The “Terminator” series is not one of the great modern movie franchises. The films have mainly served as ideal vehicles for the limited acting range of Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose muscular build and Austrian accent were perfect for the role of a formidable, oft-mute cyborg.

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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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