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Rachel Weisz

Blu-ray Review: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Sinks Like Leaky Balloon

Oz the Great and Powerful

CHICAGO – Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” starts so promisingly. The full-frame black-and-white scenes that open the film have a clever charm as they introduce us to the title character (James Franco) and whisk him off to the legendary land of witches and talking scarecrows. And that scene where the film expands as he reaches his fantasy land is a beauty.

Film Review: Story Dims Visionary ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

CHICAGO – “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a great and powerful visual and 3D experience. It expands the landscape of what cinema can produce in a visceral and evolutionary way. But a great film also needs a great story, and this Land of Oz tale is not equivalent to the awe-inspiring imagery.

Blu-ray Review: Reboot of ‘The Bourne Legacy’ Deserves Wider Audience

The Bourne Legacy

CHICAGO – I was surprised by some of the animosity that greeted the August release of Tony Gilroy’s “The Bourne Legacy,” recently released in a nicely-packed Blu-ray with interesting special features and a very strong HD video and audio transfer. Action films have always done well on Blu-ray and DVD and I hope audiences catch up with this solid genre pic, a movie that may not hold up to the best of Matt Damon’s installments as the Jason Bourne character but is a fun action adventure with a strong cast and a talented writer behind it.

Film Feature: The Best Lead Performances of 2012

CHICAGO – I worked my way through the best supporting performances of 2012 earlier today and I’m back with the much-stronger array of actors and actresses who challenged themselves with great leading performances in film this year.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-ray, DVD Combo Packs to ‘The Bourne Legacy’ With Jeremy Renner

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “The Bourne Legacy” starring Jeremy Renner!

Film Review: Jeremy Renner Propels Clever ‘The Bourne Legacy’

CHICAGO – Tony Gilroy’s world of double crosses, super spies, and covert government programs returns in the writer/director’s clever expansion of the world he created as the writer of “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

Blu-ray Review: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston Star in Stunning ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

The Deep Blue Sea

CHICAGO – “The Deep Blue Sea” is a beautiful film. It is a master class in visual storytelling combined with deep, emotional performances of the kind that we too rarely see in cinema. A couple of times a year, a film critic will admit to an error. I was simply wrong in my first review of “The Deep Blue Sea,” when it was in theaters. I liked the film then but had reservations about its tone. On second viewing, this excellent drama is much better than I first believed.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 35 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Bourne Legacy’ With Jeremy Renner

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 35 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new film “The Bourne Legacy”!

Film Review: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston Bare Their Souls in ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

The Deep Blue Sea
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Terence Davies’ “The Deep Blue Sea” has been earning raves around the world for its dramatic portrayal of doomed love. Personally, I found the film more inert than engaging but the two lead performances are so consistently powerful that the talent of their performers ultimately drew me into this depressing whirlpool. It’s not the film it could have been but the sheer skill of the great Rachel Weisz and the great Tom Hiddleston make it a film worth seeing.

DVD Review: Rachel Weisz Delivers Oscar-Caliber Work in ‘The Whistleblower’

The Whistleblower DVD Review

CHICAGO – I have a sneaking suspicion that if The Weinstein Company had acquired this film and released it during the 2011 awards season, Rachel Weisz would currently be an Oscar nominee. After playing an assortment of vulnerable, photogenic damsels throughout her career, Weisz delivers her most potent and compelling work to date in Larysa Kondracki’s fact-based thriller.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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