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Sandra Bullock

Film Review: Sandra Bullock Bombs in Bad ‘Our Brand is Crisis’

CHICAGO – This misbegotten political satire shows almost as much contempt for its audience as its characters do for the politicians they’re supposed to be helping. This movie thinks it is smartly cynical, but it’s about as smart as a Larry the Cable Guy routine at a Donald Trump rally.

Film Review: Nothing of Substance in Cute, Fluffy ‘Minions’

CHICAGO – They’re cute, they talk like babies, and they already have “brand recognition.” In what feels like a product exercise rather than a movie, “Minions” extends its story from the dawn of time to 1968. Did we need that much back story? The voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm star.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Gravity’ is Elegant, Nail Biting at the Same Time

gravityblucov.jpg

CHICAGO – Some films fundamentally change what you expect from cinema. “Star Wars” (1977), “Jurassic Park” (1996), “Avatar” (2007) all pushed those boundaries. In my first of a whopping eight theatrical viewings of “Jurassic Park” for instance I never once felt the illusion of watching real dinosaurs was interrupted by suddenly realizing how ‘they did it’ I was simply watching real dinosaurs.

Film Feature: The Best Lead Performances of 2013

A fictional folk singer who feels real, a real moneymaker who feels fictional, a young woman dealing with her own wounds by helping to heal those of others, and a student discovering her sexuality through the first passionate relationship of her life — 2013 was one of the best years for lead performances in decades.

What to Watch: Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2013

The Heat

CHICAGO – There are a few major comedies on New Releases shelves this week along with some interesting, smaller films and one of the most anticipated TV shows of 2013. What options are new in the world of Blu-ray, DVD, streaming and digital TV providers? Some of the most interesting and most unbearable comeedies of the year hit your home viewing radar. Here’s how to rank them from ha-ha to hateful.

Film Review: ‘Gravity’ is a Visionary Expansion on Our Humanity

'Gravity' Sandra Bullock
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Space looks like a vast, dark ocean in the new film “Gravity,” with the sparkling blue orb of our planet Earth beckoning the voyagers on that ocean homeward. Co-writer/director Alfonso Cuarón fashions a metaphoric dreamscape that places the small molecules of human beings within the vast expanse, fighting to understand the value of their place in that sea of cosmos.

Film Review: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’ Rekindles Wonder of Cinema

CHICAGO – There used to be a stronger sense that films could take us someplace new. From the days of audience members screaming at the train coming at the camera because they didn’t understand that they wouldn’t be run over to Dorothy’s trip to Oz to young Skywalker’s family problems, movies captured a sense of wonder that’s been lost in an era when CGI is in KFC commercials and it feels like Hollywood has run out of new places to take us.

Film Review: Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock Fuel ‘The Heat’

CHICAGO – An incredibly talented ensemble elevates a pretty pedestrian script in the just-funny-enough “The Heat,” a movie that gets better as it goes along, largely because its two mega-talented stars carry it over some mediocre patches of writing. Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock simply have unimpeachable comic timing.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • New Country

    CHICAGO – The Country Music industry has become as huge as any category of music entertainment. So Mark Roberts, the creator of the TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” has fashioned a boisterous new play about the machinations of that genre of music industry, and gave it the plaintive title of “New Country.”

  • Romeo and Juliet, Lyric Opera of Chicago

    CHICAGO – The familiar story of the “star crossed lovers” by William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet,” has been given as many interpretations over the years as there are stars in the sky. The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the operatic French version, with a bright and venerate staging.

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