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Niels Arestrup

Blu-ray Review: Lavish Set For Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’

War Horse

CHICAGO – Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” is a well-intentioned and well-made film that nonetheless comes off as a major disappointment both in the context of the filmography of one of our most important filmmakers and the potential of the storytelling here. It’s a technically strong film and so its strengths are amplified by HD and the Blu-ray includes a healthy quantity of special features but the movie is a disappointment.

Blu-ray Review: Mélusine Mayance Mesmerizes in ‘Sarah’s Key’

Sarah's Key Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Sometimes one performance can bolster the impact of an entire production. That’s certainly the case with Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s overlooked adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestseller. Though the picture’s marquee name is Kristin Scott Thomas, her character merely provides a modern framework for the real story, set during the massive 1942 deportation of Jewish civilians from France.

Film Review: ‘Sarah’s Key’ Unlocks the Ever-Present Past

Sarah's Key

CHICAGO – The old saying, “those who cannot remember the past is doomed to repeat it” applies succinctly in “Sarah’s Key,” a Holocaust film with a French twist. Kristin Scott Thomas plays an American journalist who uncovers the facts in a less-remembered incident that reverberates to now.

Interview: Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner Opens the Door With ‘Sarah’s Key’

Sarah's Key

CHICAGO – For every instance of “monumental” history, there are a series of events surrounding it that gets swept under the rug, but have the same bearing as the bigger occurrence. Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner tells one of those background stories in “Sarah’s Key,” a sorrowful piece of French history during World War II.

Blu-Ray Review: French Drama ‘A Prophet’ Demands Your Attention

CHICAGO – One of the best films of the last several years was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics in the riveting, remarkable, and simply amazing “A Prophet.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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