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Park Chan-Wook

Film Review: Surprising Fun in Revenge Tale of ‘The Handmaiden’

CHICAGO – Although “The Handmaiden” is based in deceit, fetishes, thievery and subservience, director Park Chan-Wook (“Stoker”) keeps it light by the addition of some subversive humor, and weaves a mystery with a pitch that is like the “The Sting” meets “In the Realm of the Senses.”

Film Review: Kim Ki-duk’s Pitch Black Morality Play of ‘Pieta’

CHICAGO – Korean cineastes know the name Kim Ki-duk. While Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy,” “Stoker”) and Bong Joon-ho (“The Host,” “Mother”) may get more international attention, anyone who has seen “3-Iron” or “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring” knows that Kim is an important international filmmaker. While his recent output hasn’t been as well-received as those early ‘00s arthouse hits, “Pieta,” opening in some markets this Friday and now playing On Demand, is a return to form.

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.

Film Review: Korean Erotic Thriller ‘The Housemaid’ Offers Twisted Ride

The Housemaid
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Movies don’t get much weirder than “The Housemaid.” And I mean that in a good way. Mostly. The extreme Gothic elements of this twisted thriller work even if the ludicrous finale somewhat falls apart on recollection. “The Housemaid” opens this week at the Music Box Theater in Chicago after playing the International Film Festival in October 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: Stylish, Fascinating ‘The Good, The Bad, The Weird’

The Good The Bad The Weird

CHICAGO – Our film critic Matt Fagerholm may have felt that “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” valued style over substance to a fault (read his review) but this critic still holds it as one of the best films of the year; a joyful cavalcade of modern action and spaghetti western archetypes that’s unlike anything else released in 2010. Don’t miss this excellent movie now that it’s on Blu-ray.

Blu-Ray Review: Park Chan-wook’s ‘Vengeance Trilogy’ Earns Amazing Release

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance

CHICAGO – Park Chan-wook’s “Vengeance Trilogy” stands as one of the most essential cinematic achievements of the new millennium and should be seen anyone who dares call himself a movie fan. The three thematically linked films (although not sequels in a traditional sense) — “Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance,” “Oldboy,” and “Lady Vengeance” — have been collected in a gorgeous, extras-packed, simply spectacular release from Palisades Tartan that is now available to all after a limited exclusive deal with Best Buy for the last few months. If you haven’t already, buy it. Now.

Interview: From Norman Bates to ‘Mother’ With Director Bong Joon-ho

Mother

CHICAGO – The masterful young director of “Memories of Murder” and “The Host,” two of the best films of the ’00s, has done it again with the incredible thriller “Mother,” opening in Chicago tomorrow, March 26th, 2010. He recently called over to discuss his new film and its inspirations, along with upcoming work with “Thirst” director Park Chan-wook and even a sequel to “The Host”.

DVD Review: Excellent ‘Thirst’ Deserves Better Treatment

Thirst

CHICAGO – Easily one of the most interesting and original films of 2009, “Thirst” deserves at least the basic Blu-Ray treatment being given nearly every theatrically released film in the current market or, failing that, at least a special edition DVD. Instead, Focus/Universal has gone the baffling route of releasing a bare bones disc featuring only the film. The movie itself is great enough to warrant a look, but that’s in spite of its home release.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Downward Dog

    CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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