Stephen Root

Film Review: A Heroic Ruth Bader Ginsburg in ‘On the Basis of Sex’

CHICAGO – Many heroes of America toiled long behind the scenes to break the chains of oppression. For every Susan Anthony or Martin Luther King Jr. there were the activists, legal experts and volunteers who sought the justice denied to them by the archaic patriarchal society. One such hero is Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the film “On the Basis of Sex.”

Film Review: Melissa McCarthy is the Charming ‘Life of the Party’

CHICAGO – Melissa McCarthy is a comedic force to be reckoned with, able to wring laughs improbably out of the stingiest of material. She always manages to find the funny, which helps elevate everyone around her, and so she slips easily in the durable friendly constructs of the campus comedy in “Life Of The Party.”

Film Review: ‘Get Out’ is Funny, Scary & Tells Us About Us

CHICAGO – When he got his chance, writer/director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele”) completely understood what he had to do – combine his skewered hilarity, love of horror movies and true social conscience, and put them all into one great movie. Ladies and germs, “Get Out.”

Film Review: ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ is Hilarious Joy

Mike and Dave

CHICAGO – In these difficult times, we flat out need a belly laugh. The timing of “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” couldn’t be better, because this group of comic actors and this movie provides a respite of hilarious joy. By simply exploiting the truth of the based-on-a-real-story premise, “Mike and Dave” is the type of farce that anybody can relate to, and laugh at gratefully.

Interview: Adam Devine, Director Jake Szymanski Realize ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’

CHICAGO – The funniest movie of the summer describes its whole situation through the title – “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” This hilarious farce features a killer cast, led by Adam Devine and Zac Efron, and brilliant comic direction by Jake Szymanski.

Blu-Ray Review: Strong Cast Makes For Fun Trip to ‘Cedar Rapids’

Cedar Rapids

CHICAGO – Millions more people have seen his work in the two “The Hangover” films but Ed Helms’ best performance to date is actually in the recently-released-on-Blu-ray “Cedar Rapids,” a clever and enjoyable slice of midwestern comedy that co-stars John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, and more. The excellent cast elevates a somewhat-inconsistent screenplay, making this fun film worth the trip.

Film Review: Will Ferrell Seeks Recovery in ‘Everything Must Go’

Everything Must Go

CHICAGO – Alcohol mixed with the American Dream sometimes becomes a destructive chemistry. With every individual’s reaction to ethyl alcohol like a fingerprint, the general image of the party animal can easily morph into what John Cheever called ‘The Sorrows of Gin.” These sorrows are explored through Will Ferrell in “Everything Must Go.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘No Country For Old Men’ Riveting in HD

No Country Thumb
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Like most truly great films, “No Country For Old Men” gets better every time I see it. My most recent viewing, in pristine HD with the new Blu-Ray release, made me appreciate this dark masterpiece even more than the last time I saw it and I have a feeling it’s one of those films that will change a bit every time I press play. Films like that, ones that get deeper with time, are what we call “must-owns”.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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