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Sarah Paulson

Film Review: Relentless Artistry of ‘12 Years a Slave’

CHICAGO – A man is chained to the floor in a dark, barren room. He has been ripped from his family and his freedom, and we watch as he’s whipped with amazing brutality. It goes on well past the point that most films with similar human suffering would have cut to a less stressful image.

TV Review: ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Casts a Spell

CHICAGO – Take this with a giant grain of salt but FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven” shows incredible promise in its premiere episode tonight, setting a number of creative plates spinning in directions that could be fascinating. Why the salt? Well, “American Horror Story: Asylum” started with similar promise and quickly became cluttered and unfocused.

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!

TV Review: Take Harrowing Trip to ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’

CHICAGO – When we got to the end of FX’s excellent “American Horror Story” and nearly all of the characters were dead, a natural question arose — what the Hell do they do for season two? Welcome to “American Horror Story: Asylum,” a completely new tale with some of the same ensemble from the first season but a new setting, new characters, and new story but the same goal — to rattle your senses and put you on edge in the middle of the week.

TV Review: Stunning Performances Drive HBO’s Fantastic ‘Game Change’

CHICAGO – You may be surprised by the angle taken by HBO’s controversial “Game Change,” a film already being summarily dismissed by conservative pundits who probably haven’t even seen the piece and merely assume that it’s another liberal Hollywood hatchet job. It’s not that at all.

Blu-ray Review: Striking, Haunting ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’

Martha Marcy May Marlene

CHICAGO – You’d never know it from the Academy Awards this past weekend but Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, was one of the best movies of 2011, a better overall film than at least half of this year’s Oscar winners. It features my choice for the best actress performance of 2011 and won the CFCA Award for Most Promising Filmmaker and Most Promising Performer. It’s absolutely a must-see.

Film Review: Brilliant ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ Offers No Easy Answers

CHICAGO – With a striking lead performance and assured direction from a debut filmmaker, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” has been one of the most acclaimed films of 2011 since its debut at Sundance many months ago.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Spirit’ Deserves Another Chance at Life in HD

The Spirit
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Frank Miller’s “The Spirit” is far-from-perfect. The attempts at goofy humor fall flat, the script is wildly uneven, and Gabriel Macht is deadly dull in the title role, but there’s way more to like here than I expected after missing it in theaters and hearing all the horrendous buzz from its initial release. It may not be great, but “The Spirit” could surprise you too. It’s a mess, but it’s kind of a beautiful mess, especially in HD.

TV Review: ABC’s ‘Cupid’ Pushes Romance Past the Breaking Point

Cupid
HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 2.5/5.0
Television Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – I am completely unashamed to admit to being a hopeless romantic and someone easily manipulated by cheesy, sudsy, heartfelt tales of love. I say this because even this loyal fan of movie musicals was pushed over the edge by the goofy romantic dramedy “Cupid,” the new tale of love in the big city debuting on ABC on Tuesday, March 31st.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

  • Transcendence

    CHICAGO – The Internet is for real in “Transcendence”, a B-movie with grade-A production quality, loaded with terabyte-size open-ended questions, so long as one can accept it lastly with a scientific mindset. It is a film that perceives technology to be more expansive than a box of wires and computer chips, and actualizes the expanse of the internet as limitless to the realm of spiritual.

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