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Radha Mitchell

Film Review: Gerard Butler Stars in Violent, Stupid ‘Olympus Has Fallen’

CHICAGO – Antoine Fuqua’s “Olympus Has Fallen” (or “Die Hard in the White House”) is a stupid, exploitative movie that wants to be “Call of Duty: Black Ops” in film form but ends up more like one of its countless, ineffective rip-offs. There are moments of goofy, B-movie fun (certainly more of them than in the much-worse “A Good Day to Die Hard”) but not enough to get over the brutal nonsense that makes up most of this action flick.

TV Review: Great Cast But No Reason to Care About ‘Red Widow’

CHICAGO – While the broadcast networks midseason continues to set records for overall incompetence and ABC’s “Zero Hour” appears to be the latest casualty (as it was pulled from this week schedule in advance of a likely cancellation), the newest attempt to revive flatlining numbers comes in the form of ABC’s “Red Widow.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Crazies’ Updates Classic For a New Generation

The Crazies

CHICAGO – Horror remakes almost always fall flat as too many filmmakers fail to recapture the magic of the original but there seems to be something about George A. Romero’s films that defies that rule. Take for example Breck Eisner’s take on “The Crazies,” a shockingly good genre entry that should find a loyal cult following on Blu-ray and DVD.

‘The Crazies’ Defies Rule That Horror Remakes Never Work

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

CHICAGO – Horror remakes are almost never a good idea but there seems to be something about George A. Romero’s work that defies that expectation. Zack Snyder delivered with his version of “Dawn of the Dead” and now Breck Eisner has shocked genre fans with his effective take on the low budget classic “The Crazies”.

Blu-Ray Review: Check Out Original ‘The Crazies’ Before Remake

The Crazies

CHICAGO – Before you go and check out Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell in Breck Eisner’s remake of George A. Romero’s “The Crazies” this weekend, pick up the original on Blu-ray from the great indie horror house Blue Underground. “The Crazies” is a fantastic example of low budget horror filmmaking and ’70s paranoia from one of the genre’s best directors.

Blu-Ray Review: Forgotten ‘Surrogates’ Worth Another Look

Surrogates Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – We have grown accustomed to experiencing the world through technology. One of the great gifts cinema grants us is the ability to experience the world vicariously through the lives of others. The reason why mainstream movie stars are unnaturally beautiful and glamorous is because they represent how we’d like to envision ourselves.

Video: Trailer For Remake of ‘The Crazies’ With Timothy Olyphant

The Crazies

CHICAGO – We know that remakes aren’t supposed to get us excited, especially when they’re remakes of classics like George A. Romero’s “The Crazies,” but this preview totally works and we just had to share.

Blu-Ray Review: Vin Diesel’s Riddick Flicks Hit HD in Time For New Game

Riddick
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Has one star ever had such an assault on their demographic as Vin Diesel is having in April 2009? He’s the star of two original video games (“Wheelman,” “The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena”), a blockbuster movie (“Fast & Furious”), and has two catalog titles in “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick” hitting Blu-Ray. And all of it happens in the span of two weeks.

Interview: Director Roger Spottiswoode Captures Spirit of China’s Past in ‘The Children of Huang Shi’

Guang Li, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Children of Huang Shi (1)

CHICAGO – The second Chinese/Japanese war, which was a 1937 prelude to the great conflict of World War II, is notable today mostly because modern China rose from its ashes. Largely forgotten except for the survivors, it is a backdrop for “The Children of Huang Shi,” which is a new film from veteran director Roger Spottiswoode.

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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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