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Samantha Mathis

Film Review: Ryan Reynolds Gets Beneath it in Tense Thriller ‘Buried’

Buried, Ryan Reynolds 2

CHICAGO – In one of the most unusual settings for a film, actor Ryan Reynolds performs as a one-man tour de force as the only on-screen character in the new film “Buried.” Set in a coffin buried beneath the sands of Iraq, Reynolds conveys the panic, hope and inevitable outcome of a man buried alive and fighting for his very existence.

Blu-Ray Review: Horrors of Fatherhood Examined in ‘The New Daughter’

The New Daughter

CHICAGO – From “The Exorcist” to “Orphan,” the horror genre has a long history of films about a young lady becoming something truly dangerous. The latest, “The New Daughter,” comes courtesy of the man who wrote the great “[REC]” and stars Kevin Costner and Ivana Baquero (“Pan’s Labryinth”). Sadly, after a strong set-up and with gorgeous cinematography throughout, “The New Daughter” flounders in cliches and ends up too dull to be terrifying.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • 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.

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