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Penelope Cruz

Film Review: ‘The Counselor’ Disguises Lackluster Storytelling in Philosophy

CHICAGO – “That’s not what greed does; that’s what greed is.” Cormac McCarthy’s script for “The Counselor” is so weighed down with allegedly insightful philosophy like this that it collapses into a heap of laughable, unbelievable exchanges between characters who simply don’t exist in the real world.

Film Review: Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome with Love’ is Episodic, Choppy

CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen continues his film travelogues in “To Rome with Love,” touring The Eternal City with four separate vignettes. An all-star cast – including Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Woody himself – hit and miss with this varying blend of stories.

Blu-Ray Review: Boring ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

CHICAGO – When I heard that Johnny Depp had been sucked back into the cash cow that was the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise so shortly after everyone agreed that the series had run its course with the original trilogy, I was more than a little sad. Depp is still one of our most interesting actors and I’m not alone in wishing he would show a bit more of his range in recent years instead of taking easy roles (and, yes, Jack Sparrow is fun but this is not challenging work for the movie star). And the mediocre reviews caused a bit of dread when the Blu-ray showed up on my desk. So, consider it faint praise when I tell you that “On Stranger Tides” is, well, okay.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

CHICAGO – In our latest blockbuster edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”!

Film Review: Entertaining ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

CHICAGO – It’s easy to remember that the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is on its fourth formulaic film, but harder to remember that it’s based on a freaking amusement park ride! Director Rob Marshall livens it up with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Blu-Ray Review: Glorious ‘Nine’ With Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard

Nine

CHICAGO – History will be kind to “Nine”. Due to wildly extreme expectations caused by the pedigree of the film’s cast, many critics and audiences dismissed Rob Marshall’s musical on its release in late 2009. “Nine” falls short of perfection but the Blu-ray release proves that it gets a lot closer than most people thought the first time they saw it.

Blu-Ray Review: Great ‘Broken Embraces’ With Penelope Cruz

Broken Embraces

CHICAGO – Very few directors have known how to utilize a star more effectively than the way Pedro Almodovar has turned Penelope Cruz from a gorgeous face into one of our best working actresses. Just the two films she’s made recently with Pedro - “Volver” and the new-to-DVD “Broken Embraces” - would earn her that title. “Broken Embraces” may not be perfect Pedro but sub-par Almodovar is still required viewing for all cineasts.

‘Avatar,’ ‘The Hurt Locker’ Lead Academy Award Nominations

CHICAGO – The nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, February 2nd, 2010 and “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” led the way with nine nominations each, closely followed by fellow Best Picture nominees “Inglourious Basterds,” “Up in the Air,” and “Precious”.

Slideshow: 34-Image Gallery For 16th-Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

| Image 1 of 34 |
Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston

CHICAGO – This 34-image slideshow contains the official press images of red carpet arrivals at The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which were handed out on Saturday, January 23rd, 2009.

Star-Studded ‘Nine’ With Daniel Day-Lewis Delivers Grand Musical Spectacle

CHICAGO – Rob Marshall’s highly anticipated “Nine” isn’t quite the complete piece that it could have been, but its flaws are easy to overlook in favor of old-fashioned, pure entertainment.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Emmy Awards, Bryan Cranston

    LOS ANGELES – It was one more lap around the victory track for the AMC-TV show ‘Breakling Bad,’ as the gritty drama about a teacher turned meth dealer took home six Primetime Emmy Awards at the 66th ceremony on August 25th. ‘Modern Family’ took home the statue for Outstanding Comedy Series for a a fifth straight year.

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

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