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Philip Seymour Hoffman

Blu-ray Review: Excellent ‘Moneyball’ With Brad Pitt Rewards Repeat Viewing

Moneyball

CHICAGO – Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” is one of those films that was circling around my top ten when it came time to write it in December. Honestly I had about fifteen films that could have fallen anywhere between 6-20 (my top five was pretty set as I saw those films). I rewatched many of those movies to determine where they should be and one of the most rewarding second viewings in there was the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s. This is a great movie that only gets deeper the second and even third time (and ended up #7 on my list and #5 on Patrick McDonald’s before winning the CFCA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Don’t miss it.

Film Review: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney in ‘The Ides of March’

CHICAGO – George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” is a star-studded political thriller of the variety that was made much more commonly in the ‘70s and would therefore seem like a perfect vehicle to restart for today’s controversial times.

Film Review: Brad Pitt, Baseball Evolve in Magnificent ‘Moneyball’

CHICAGO – Using sports, especially baseball, as a metaphor for life can get dicey – sometimes the symbolic pieces don’t fit universally for everything. But “Moneyball, ” starring Brad Pitt, hits a grand slam with this old allegory, and educates regarding the true nature of modern large dollar sports.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Big Lebowski’ Really Ties Your Collection Together

The Big Lebowski

CHICAGO – Most Coen brother releases on Blu-ray are going to cause a ripple through the film-loving community. Who doesn’t want to own “Fargo,” “Miller’s Crossing,” and even less-beloved films like “The Man Who Wasn’t There” or “The Hudsucker Proxy” in 1080p? Joel and Ethan Coen have long been visually-gifted filmmakers and those gifts shine through brightly in HD. But the release of the massively-adored “The Big Lebowski” in a special Blu-ray edition? Well, that’s more of a wave than a ripple.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 ‘The Big Lebowski’ Blu-Rays With Jeff Bridges, John Goodman

The Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges and John Goodman

CHICAGO – In our latest comedy/crime/cult classic edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs to the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “The Big Lebowski” starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Steve Buscemi!

DVD Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman Directs ‘Jack Goes Boating’

Jack Goes Boating

CHICAGO – There are few character actors in the history of cinema more mesmerizing and fearless than Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s created some of the most memorable characters ever to grace the screen: from the sexually arrested Allen in “Happiness” and the obsessed playwright Caden Cotard in “Synecdoche, New York” to the electrifying title role in “Capote.”

Film Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman Stars in Directorial Debut ‘Jack Goes Boating’

Jack Goes Boating - PSH & AR

CHICAGO – One of the best working actors takes his skills behind camera in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Jack Goes Boating,” a character drama about one couple forming as another relationship falls apart at the same time. This gentle story of modern relationships is a subtle, slow-moving drama of moments and repercussions that works due to the talents of its cast and quality of its source material despite a few notable flaws.

Interview: Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz Propel ‘Jack Goes Boating’

CHICAGO – When Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz were working on Bob Glaudini’s dramatic play “Jack Goes Boating,” they mentioned the cinematic potential of the project to each other on multiple occasions. Through a series of events, “Boating” would become Hoffman’s directorial debut, opening in Chicago this Friday, September 24th, 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: Animated Masterpiece ‘Mary and Max’ Deserves Audience

Mary and Max

CHICAGO – A disturbingly small number of people were given the chance to see Adam Elliot’s brilliant and moving “Mary and Max,” one of the most notable releases in arguably the best year in the history of modern animation. While “Coraline,” “Up,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and even “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” made headlines, a beautiful little film about an unusual friendship went under the radar. Don’t miss it.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Pirate Radio’ Aims to Please, Somewhat Succeeds

Richard Curtis, Pirate Radio

CHICAGO – There are two ways moviegoers can respond to an unapologetic crowd-pleaser such as this: either resist its shamelessly manipulative fist-pumping, or dive into its pleasurably untroubled waters. The latter will certainly make for a better experience, though British filmmaker Richard Curtis certainly makes the former tempting at times.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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