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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Film Review: Sharpness Wears Down to Dull in ‘The Other Woman’

CHICAGO – Cameron Diaz has a firm grasp on her…image. She has carefully transitioned throughout her career from ingenue to comedienne to voiceover to the new film “The Other Woman.” But what begins as a sharp revenge comedy collapses into a bonding-sticky-sweet dullness.

Blu-ray Review: Jessica Chastain Stars in Effective ‘Mama’

Mama

CHICAGO – “Mama” isn’t exactly an original piece (it borrows heavily from horror archetypes, particularly those that turned Asian horror into a trend) but it isn’t always the originality of the composition but how well it’s played that matters. “Mama” is, mostly, well-played. The atmosphere brought to it by director Andy Muschietti, the character depth provided by Jessica Chastain, the brilliant touch of producer Guillermo Del Toro — “Mama” deliveres. Mostly. Some decisions made in the CGI department are disappointing but there’s still a lot to like here. Definitely worth a rental.

Film Review: Eyegasmic ‘Oblivion’ With Tom Cruise Wins Your Optics, But Loses Your Brain

CHICAGO – “Oblivion” is a Pyrrhic victory that wins its battle, but loses the overall war. While this is the kind of visual production value you’d expect on a $120 million budget, an ostentatious steak dinner in the special effects department never makes up for a story that tastes more like cheap ramen noodles.

TV Review: HBO Returns to Dark World of Beloved ‘Game of Thrones’

CHICAGO – Millions of viewers will return this week to a land of dragons, swords, magic, and characters that are difficult to tell apart when HBO’s “Game of Thrones” premieres its third season tonight, March 31, 2013 at 8pm CST. What is it about “Game of Thrones” that has engendered such incredible loyalty?

Film Review: ‘Mama’ is Everything Classic Horror Should Be

CHICAGO – Occasionally, along comes a filmmaker who completely understands what makes a horror film work. “Mama,” the debut of co-writer and director Andy Muschietti, contains creepy children, psychological ramifications, clueless victims and deep mystery. This is both scary and a thriller.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Mama’ From ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ Creator

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new horror film “Mama” from “Pan’s Labyrinth” creator Guillermo del Toro!

Blu-ray Review: Clever Thriller ‘Headhunters’ Deserves Wider Audience

Headhunters

CHICAGO – “Headhunters” is such a clever little thriller. It’s old-fashioned in the sense that it features a small number of characters in a game of cat-and-cat-and-mouse with two-guys-and-a-girl structure but it’s also very technologically advanced. It takes the best traits of the ’70s thriller and marries them to ’10s technology. And it’s so strikingly well-made and confidently directed. The end is a little disappointing but the trip there is fun ride.

TV Review: HBO’s Amazing ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns With Dark, Foreboding Premiere

CHICAGO – I know what you’re saying — how can a show that ended with as much death as the first season of “Game of Thrones” return even darker? Watch the season premiere of HBO’s brilliant (and, currently, best) series — “The North Remembers” — and tell me I’m wrong.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season’ is One of Best TV-HD Releases to Date

Game of Thrones

CHICAGO – Being an entertainment critics calls for top ten lists in December of every year but I’ve always been someone who believes that these things are not written in stone. I don’t think there’s a single top ten for film or television that is the same today as on the day I wrote it. Oh, they’re close, but the fact is that not only do some things age better than others but sometimes it takes time to fully appreciate something or to realize one was incorrect the first time around.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

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