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Richard Harris

Film News: ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Star Peter O’Toole Dies at 81

“I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star.” Peter O’Toole intoned that line as Alan Swann in 1982 farce, “My Favorite Year.” This was the truth as irony, because the Irish born O’Toole was both a movie star and one of the notable actors of the British stage.

Blu-ray Review: Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave in Classic Musical ‘Camelot’

Camelot

CHICAGO – I’ve never been a huge fan of “Camelot” but I love musicals of this era (including a few Lerner & Loewe hits like “Brigadoon” and “My Fair Lady”) and I adore both Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. So I approached the recent Blu-ray release hoping that the many years since I had last seen “Camelot” would improve the film. Sadly, it’s still not one of my favorites even if this is a strong HD release.

Blu-ray Review: Remastered Anniversary Edition of Clint Eastwood’s Masterful ‘Unforgiven’

Unforgiven

CHICAGO – Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” is one of the most influential movies on my decision to become a film critic. And yet, as most people are, I was concerned that perhaps I viewed the film through the rose-colored glasses of perspective. Was it as good as I remembered? Does it hold up? Hell yes it does and it’s never looked better than it does on the stunning new transfer from Warner Brothers for its 20th anniversary Blu-ray.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?,’ ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’

O Brother BD

CHICAGO – Touchstone Pictures have reached into the vault and pulled out two of their modest hits, a pair of films with little in common other than studio and that they’re both around ten years old. For teenagers, these films will be new again and the fact is that both have been a bit forgotten by history. “The Count of Monte Cristo” certainly has been more so than the Coen brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but you may want to revisit both now that they’re available in HD.

Blu-Ray Review: Visionary ‘Red Desert’ Joins Criterion Collection

Red Desert

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection recently inducted the great Michelangelo Antonioni’s first color film into their esteemed catalog with a Blu-ray transfer that stands next to the best HD pictures of the year to date. This striking visual composition has never looked better and the film remains as mesmerizing as it was almost a half-century ago, arguably more so.

Blu-Ray Review: Ultimate Edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

CHICAGO – Clear some shelf space for the gigantic Blu-Ray releases of the first two “Harry Potter” films, timed with the not-as-enormous edition release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” the same week. These ultimate editions, complete with collectibles and new special features, are great collector’s set gifts for the holidays for the Potter nut in your family but feel a bit like overkill for everyone else.

Ode to Ultimate Irish Director, Storyteller Jim Sheridan

HOLLYWOOD – What better way to wrap up a series of film columns on the Irish (earlier reading: part one; part two) than with an ode to the ultimate Irish storyteller? Dublin-born Jim Sheridan has brought some of the most influential Irish films to the big screen.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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