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Simon Baker

Blu-ray Review: Underappreciated ‘Margin Call’ Deserves Larger Audience

Margin Call

CHICAGOJ.C. Chandor’s CFCA-nominated “Margin Call” is the kind of film that makes me concerned about the lack of mainstream audience for adult drama. There’s no reason at all that this excellent drama with several major actors shouldn’t have found a much-larger audience. Lionsgate needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s going on with their marketing and promotions since it’s total nonsense that a critically-acclaimed work like this and their even-better “Warrior” both flopped at the box office. “Warrior” was at least given a chance. “Margin Call” never went beyond 199 screens. So you probably haven’t seen it. You should.

DVD Review: Recent Seasons of ‘Body of Proof,’ ‘Castle,’ ‘The Mentalist’

Body of Proof pilot

CHICAGO – How many combined victims do you think there were on the recently-released season series sets for “Body of Proof: The Complete First Season,” “Castle: The Complete Third Season,” and “The Mentalist: The Complete Third Season.” 24 episodes of “The Mentalist,” 24 episodes of “Castle,” 9 episodes of “Body of Proof,” plus some episodes with multiple murders — that’s a lot of dead people. Find justice for them all with these three strong TV on DVD releases, all recent additions to your local “New Releases” shelf.

DVD Round-Up: ‘The Mentalist,’ ‘Dollhouse,’ ‘Lost Boys: The Thirst’

The Mentalist

CHICAGO – The DVD Round-Up is back to do some catch-up around the HollywoodChicago.com office of a few titles that either arrived a bit past their fresh-by date or we couldn’t find time to cover with full reviews. We still think you might want to know the details about these releases as you begin your holiday shopping, and so the DVD Round-Up returns. We hope you didn’t miss us too badly.

Blu-Ray Review: Casey Affleck Stars in Disturbing ‘The Killer Inside Me’

The Killer Inside Me

CHICAGO – Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me” provoked such a strong response after its Sundance Film Festival premiere that the auteur behind “A Mighty Heart,” “9 Songs,” and “24 Hour Party People” was shunned by a crowd that typically embraces challenging films. What turned them? Check out Winterbottom’s daring film with Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, and Simon Baker, now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Film Review: ‘The Killer Inside Me’ a Study in Sociopathic Blandness

The Killer Inside Me
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Michael Winterbottom’s ’50s-era neo-noir “The Killer Inside Me” creeps up on you in the creepiest possible way. Just as I was ready to write it off, I ended up caving in to its charms, or lack thereof. This film often seems as utterly cuckoo as its central antihero, and that’s what makes it so darn mesmerizing. Sure, it’s sort of a mess, but boy is it engrossing, with a strong emphasis on the gross.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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