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Stephen Lang

Film Review: B-Level Story Sinks Finely Animated ‘The Nut Job’

CHICAGO – It feels like when any studio besides Walt Disney or Pixar does an animated film with celebrity voices, there is a little less lacquer on it. What the other two remember, and others forget, is that it starts with a script. All the toon landscapes in the world can’t fix a dull story.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Family 4-Packs to ‘The Nut Job’ with Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl

CHICAGOFamily 4-packs! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 family 4-packs (40 seats in total) up for grabs to the new animated 3D film “The Nut Job” with Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl!

DVD Review: ‘Terra Nova: The Complete Series’ Hints At What Could Have Been

Terra Nova

CHICAGO – I really wish “Terra Nova” had worked. I not only wanted to like it more myself but it’s the kind of unique program that I wanted audiences to hook on to so its creators could iron out the problems and deliver true sci-fi greatness on network TV. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, and “Terra Nova: The Complete Series” merely serves as a bittersweet reminder of what could have been.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Remake Fails in Every Way

Conan the Barbarian

CHICAGO – There were a disturbing number of remakes in 2011 that failed to justify their existence, including “The Thing,” “Footloose,” and, perhaps worst of all, Marcus Nispel’s “Conan the Barbarian.” The man behind the equally worthless remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th” has carved out his own niche of dubious filmmaking decisions that make the original look like a masterpiece in comparison. The first “Conan” worked almost entirely because of the star power brought to it by Ah-nuld. The words star power and Jason Momoa have never been used together in a sentence before now.

TV Review: ‘Terra Nova’ Needs More Time to Develop

CHICAGO – Highly anticipated and produced in part by Steven Spielberg, “Terra Nova” gets a choppy start, but has enough fascinating elements and is promising enough to earn future viewing. The two hour premiere is Monday, September 26th on FOX.

Film Review: Bar is Set Low in Retread of ‘Conan the Barbarian’

CHICAGO – Sword and sandal epics are almost expected to have wooden acting and absurd dialogue. The new film “Conan the Barbarian” meets those expectations, and doesn’t offer any action or originality to counteract the anticipated flaws.

Blu-Ray Review: Incredible Release of ‘Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition’

CHICAGO – In April, Fox released one of the best Blu-rays of the year for James Cameron’s “Avatar,” an edition that proved that the film would still work even without the theatrical benefits of 3D or IMAX. It was one of the most impressive-looking HD releases in history but the lack of special features made clear that a double dip was on its way. Seven months later, Fox unveils the “Avatar: Extended Collector’s Edition” and it is simply amazing.

Blu-Ray Review: James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Revolutionizes HD

CHICAGO – When “Avatar” played in theaters, many viewers wondered how it would look at home without the benefit of 3D or IMAX to help propel the awe of the experience. The recently-released Blu-ray should settle any arguments.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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