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Film Review: Sprightly Bear Tale ‘Paddington’ is Good Fun

Paddington with Ben Whishaw

CHICAGO – It may prove hard to recall an era of talking creatures in live-action movies before the napalm hellfire of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” or “The Smurfs.” But, lest we forget, “Babe” has more Academy Awards than “The Master.” Arriving at the coy and wise time of the film year where expectations are either golden or underneath the barrel, talking bear Paddington arrives stateside as a well-behaved throwback to brighter days for a simple genre, with an efficient sense of humor and a few globs of vision, too.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 20 Family 4-Packs to ‘Paddington’ Based on Beloved Novels

CHICAGOFamily 4-packs! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 family 4-packs (80 seats in total) up for grabs to the family comedy “Paddington” from “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman based on the beloved novels by Michael Bond!

Film Review: ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ Not Worth Remembering

CHICAGO – “Before I Go To Sleep” is a lobotomized amnesiac thriller that sure hopes its audience can’t remember “Memento.” It presents its promising concept as a slow, poorly paced potboiler that is packed with unpleasantness.

Film Review: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman on Track in ‘The Railway Man’

CHICAGO – One the hidden implications of World War II was the suffering of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) from the millions of soldiers who survived the horrors of that war. The difficulties associated with PTSD are communicated with honor by Colin Firth in “The Railway Man”

Film Review: Thought Illuminating, Mind Blowing ‘Under the Skin’

CHICAGO – Imagine a stranger taking a journey around the landscape of their destiny, and that only begins to describe the audacity and power of director Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin.” Scarlett Johansson creates a character of undeniable mystery and truth, a stranger in a strange land.

Interview: Director Jonathan Glazer Gets ‘Under the Skin’

CHICAGO – The buzz for the new film, “Under the Skin,” is tremendous, both for Scarlett Johansson’s performance and the amount of symbolic and real exposure for the actress. Director Jonathan Glazer (“Sexy Beast,” “Birth”) has fashioned a metaphoric gem based on a novel by Michel Faber, about an alien visitor.

Blu-ray Review: Naggingly Hollow ‘Hemingway and Gellhorn’ Falls Flat

Hemingway and Gellhorn blu-ray

CHICAGO – It doesn’t sound like a particularly bad idea. In exploring the globe-trotting adventures of author Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, why not use archival footage of the actual sights and sounds that they encountered, while nesting the actors into the frame, a la “Forrest Gump”? I didn’t think it was a bad idea at all until roughly three minutes into the movie.

Film Review: Mia Wasikowska Finds Trippy Mystery in ‘Stoker’

CHICAGO – There is cause and effect in life, and there are times when random acts of circumstance rinses it all away. Those emotions are realized in the strange yet compelling composition of the new film “Stoker,” featuring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

  • 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.”

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