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Reese Witherspoon

Interview: Producer, Actors of ‘The Good Lie’ Tell Us the Truth

CHICAGO – “The Good Lie” is a honorable film overview of the Sudanese “Lost Boys,” who were refugees from a horrific civil war in that African country. Many of those boys came to America, and producer Molly Smith (“The Blind Side”), with actors Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal, were part of the team that brought the film to life.

Film News: Sneak Peek at the 50th Annual Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the finest places in the world to witness its best cinema is the Chicago International Film Festival, which is now hitting its golden year of 50. This year’s festival boasts a lineup of top tier entries from world renowned filmmakers, packaged in the distinct Chicago flavor that keeps the city on a level all its own.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Mud’ Has the Feel of a Modern American Classic

Mud

CHICAGO – Maybe it’s the indeterminate time period that doesn’t rely on modern pop culture references or technology. Maybe it’s the sense that we’re watching a great Young Adult novel turned into a film. Maybe it’s the timeless themes of rebellion, love, and loss. Whatever it is, “Mud” already feels like a classic.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Mud’ With Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Mud” with Matthew McConaughey!

Blu-ray Review: Terrible ‘This Means War’ Denies Its Obvious Romantic Subtext

This Means War Blu-ray

CHICAGO – McG’s “This Means War” could’ve been an interesting comedy if it had actually been about the undeniable love between its two male leads. Not since Lynn Shelton’s “Humpday” has a film so blatantly portrayed the homoerotic tendencies within close male friendships. Yet by denying its own subtext, the film is ultimately as clueless and insufferable as its one-note characters.

Film Review: ‘This Means War’ With Reese Witherspoon is an Attack on Movie Decency

CHICAGO – McG’s “This Means War” with Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon is an aggressively annoying movie. It isn’t just bad. It grates. It frustrates. It baffles with its incompetence.

Blu-ray Review: Old-Fashioned Melodrama of Effective ‘Water For Elephants’

Water For Elephants

CHICAGO – Given my general aversion to modern soap operas, I was understandably nervous about reviewing Francis Lawrence’s “Water For Elephants,” an over-heated romance based on the best-selling book. Much to my surprise, this is an effective drama that should remind viewers of “the kind of movies they don’t make any more.” It would have been right at home in the Hollywood of the ’40s and ’50s and should make a satisfying rental for nearly any audience willing to go for the cheesy ride.

Trailer Tracking: ‘Wanderlust,’ ‘Safe House,’ ‘This Means War,’ More

CHICAGO – Now that we’re so close to the holiday season, it means that the whole movie trailer landscape has changed yet again. We’ve spent the last three months watching the previews for the Christmas season blockbusters and the end-of-the-year Oscar hopefuls nonstop.

Film Review: Tensionless ‘Water For Elephants’ Fatally Mismatches Leads, Casts Spot-On Supporters

CHICAGO – While Robert “Twilight” Pattinson has persuasively branched out beyond his typecasting of reanimated and preternatural corpses, his miscast union in the tensionless “Water for Elephants” with pin-up circus spectacle Reese Witherspoon works as well as an elephant trying to spoon a sworn-enemy lion.

DVD Review: Great James L. Brooks Misfires With ‘How Do You Know’

How Do You Know

CHICAGO – You won’t find a much bigger fan of James L. Brooks’ “Broadcast News,” one of my favorite romantic comedies of the ’80s, but there’s simply no denying that he’s lost his touch for character that once made him one of the best living writers. It may not be quite as big a disaster as “Spanglish,” but his newest romantic comedy “How Do You Know,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a mess, a blend of unbelievable characters, awkward pacing, and forgettable plotting that makes it one of the biggest disappointments of 2010.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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