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The Godfather

Slideshow: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken at Opening of 48th Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – It was true star power as the 48th Chicago International Film Festival kicked off on October 11th, 2012. The Opening Night film was “Stand Up Guys,” and appearing on behalf of the film was Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and director Fisher Stevens.

Film News: ‘Vertigo’ Tops Sight & Sound Poll as Best Film of All Time

Vertigo

CHICAGO – Every decade, the legendary “Sight & Sound” magazine polls some of the most important film historians, critics, and artists in the world (including Roger Ebert) for a list of the best movies ever made. They released the first list since 2002 today and “Vertigo” topped the list, dethroning “Citizen Kane.” Full top ten below, followed by the top tens from 2002 and 1992.

Film News: ‘The Godfather’ Will Hit the Big Screen Again in Cinemark Theatres

The Godfather

CHICAGO – Are you a movie buff that considers Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” to be one of greatest movie ever made? Are you too young to have seen it in theaters when it was released in 1972, or missed your chance to see it in theaters? Well, you are in luck my friend, because Cinemark and Paramount Pictures are teaming up to bring “The Godfather” back to the big screen.

Interview: Kimberly Peirce Discusses ‘The Godfather,’ Her New Crime Thriller

Kimberly Peirce Interview

CHICAGO – If Robert K. Elder’s book, “The Film That Changed My Life,” is indeed providing a blueprint for the screening series continuing this month at the Music Box, then cinephiles have every right to rejoice. Elder’s book interviewed a wide variety of filmmakers about the films that left a permanent impact on them, and the series reunites Elder and the filmmakers for screenings of their favorite films.

Film Review: ‘Kill the Irishman’ Offers History as Explosions

Kill the Irishman, Ray Stevenson

CHICAGO – The amalgamation of big time unions and organized crime in post-WW2 industrial America is as enlightening as any struggle for power. Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1950s thru the ‘70s was both on the waterfront and had the East Coast influence of New York City’s most notorious crime families. That history is wasted in “Kill the Irishman.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Gomorrah’ Galvanizes With Raw Portrait of Crime

Gomorrah

CHICAGO – Matteo Garrone’s revelatory crime picture joins the esteemed group of worthy foreign film Oscar contenders (like “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) inexplicably snubbed by the Academy. But such accolades are meaningless compared to the reaction it has received, breaking box office records in its limited release, while acquiring the passionate support of film icons like Martin Scorsese.

Blu-Ray Review: Criterion Edition of Akira Kurosawa’s Legendary ‘Kagemusha’

Kagemusha

CHICAGO – Now that he is widely recognized as one of the best filmmakers of all time, it’s almost hard to believe that there was a period in the career of Akira Kurosawa when he couldn’t get financing to make a film. Kurosawa went through a very dark time in the ’70s, punctuated by his disastrous experience with “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” and needed the weight of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas to help with his comeback, “Kagemusha,” now available in a beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release.

The 10 Best Blu-Ray, DVD Releases of 2008

CHICAGO – For audiences increasingly accustomed to watching movies at home instead of at the multiplex, it was an interesting year for DVDs and Blu-rays.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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