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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Family 4 Packs to ‘The Croods’ With Nicolas Cage

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of family 4 packs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “The Croods” starring Nicolas Cage!

Blu-ray Review: Predictable ‘Safe House’ Salvaged by Top-Notch Cast

CHICAGO – Some studios seem hellbent on going out of their way to diminish audience expectations prior to a film’s release. The thoughtful, quietly powerful thriller, “The Grey,” was marketed to resemble a silly man vs. wolf action blockbuster, and yet still managed to have a big opening weekend at the box office. Are mainstream audiences seduced by the promise of dreck?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Free ‘Safe House’ Blu-rays With Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds

Safe House Blu-ray with Denzel Washington

CHICAGO – In our latest action-packed thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!

Film Review: Stephen Dorff Gets Trapped in Deeply Flawed ‘Brake’

Brake
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – With obvious comparisons to “24” and “Buried,” Gabe Torres’ “Brake” comes with a bit of referential baggage in its trunk. Also in there is Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff), a man trapped in a nightmarish kidnapping situation in the trunk of a car. He wakes up there and it’s where the vast majority of “Brake” takes place as he’s tortured physically and mentally by a group of terrorists trying to find the Executive Branch’s secret bunker.

Film Review: Denzel Washington Lives in Boring ‘Safe House’

CHICAGO – “Safe House” is so overly familiar that you not only will think that you’ve seen it before and know exactly where it’s going before it gets there, but you will also barely remember having seen it once it’s over.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Safe House’ With Denzel Washington

CHICAGO – In our latest crime/mystery edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new film “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!

Blu-ray Review: Awful ‘The Change-Up’ Wastes Talented Cast

The Change-Up

CHICAGO – Just today, we wrote of the stellar ensemble in this summer’s “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and how well-used they were in that enjoyable romantic dramedy. On the other end of the comedy scale, we have “The Change-Up,” out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow. Consider this an advance warning to not waste your time with this reprehensible excuse for a movie. Only the sheer talent of the two leads keep it from total disaster. Rarely have so many talented people been used so ineffectively.

Blu-Ray Review: Ryan Reynolds Can’t Save Goofy ‘Green Lantern’

Green Lantern

CHICAGO – After the abysmal theatrical reviews, I thought it would be easier to completely dismiss “Green Lantern,” the least-acclaimed and least-profitable of the Summer 2011 Superhero Quartet (which also included “X-Men: First Class,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” — and I would rank them in that order in terms of quality with “GL” bringing up the rear). The fact is that this is not an “Elektra” or “Ghost Rider”-level mess. There are things about Martin Campbell’s film that work, especially in the first half, but a goofy story and aesthetic ultimately sink the film to cartoonish levels.

Film Review: Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts Trapped in Dull ‘Fireflies in the Garden’

Fireflies in the Garden
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s always risky for a screenwriter to craft a film about a family of writers in that when the result is a script so generically awful as that for “Fireflies in the Garden” it’s going to stick out even more prominently. After sitting on the shelf for years (it played festivals in 2008 and was supposed to be released that year) and reportedly undergoing some reshoots, this stale drama is finally getting a limited release and will prove just how limited it is to the poor saps who pay to see it.

Film Review: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds Buried By ‘The Change-Up’

CHICAGO – “The Change-Up” is an undeniable mess, as any movie that opens with a grown man getting baby crap projected into his mouth would be (and that’s just the beginning), but one of the worst scripts of the year is saved from the depths of comedy hell by a talented cast headlined by the typically-restrained Jason Bateman playing against type.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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