CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – It does not take even a high school history class to understand the liberty used in “Stalingrad’s” presentation of its title siege. Boasted as the highest-grossing Russian movie ever, this former IMAX 3D event is the country’s own adaptation of the hero glorification seen in “300”, complete with copious slow motion and overflowing testosterone. Made with great pride but also a somewhat goofy sense of war, “Stalingrad” is as irreverent with its filmmaking style as it is reverent to the country’s glory.
CHICAGO – It does not take even a high school history class to understand the liberty used in “Stalingrad’s” presentation of its title siege. Boasted as the highest-grossing Russian movie ever, this IMAX 3D event is the country’s own adaptation of the hero glorification seen in “300”.
CHICAGO – I had some notable problems with ABC’s “The River,” saying in my review of the series premiere, “…while the show has effective moments of horror, they never quite build the way you want them to in a cohesive piece due to the creators feeling the need to get at least one major scare between every break.” Watching where the show went with the first season DVD, hitting stores this week, I stand by my criticisms (I have problems with every episode) but I kind of wish that the creators had been given time to iron out their kinks. The fact is that there simply isn’t enough programming on network TV that one could call daring and while I think “The River” was flawed it was undeniably unlike anything else in your DVR.
CHICAGO – Two hours of ABC’s found footage horror drama tonight, “The River,” from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, should at least do one thing for the show — weed out those not interested in following it long-term.
CHICAGO – “Cars 2” is an unequal Pixar blend for adults and kiddies that never evolves into the storytelling success of its predecessor. The film, which draws thematic elements from “The Bourne Identity,” “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Transformers,” is a Honda needing a body shop as compared to the pristine Ferrari that was “Cars”.
CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray release of “Valkyrie” is another case of a disappointing movie being elevated by an excellent home release. With its miscast lead and mediocre screenplay, “Valkyrie” was a near-miss in theaters, but the film looks and sounds great on Blu-Ray and comes accompanied by informative commentaries and featurettes. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.
CHICAGO – Tom Cruise can be a powerfully vibrant actor in the right material but he’s horrendously miscast in Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie,” a casting decision amplified by poor direction that drains this true story of an assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler of its inherent power.
CHICAGO – This 13-image slideshow contains official press images for “Valkyrie,” which stars Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp, and Eddie Izzard from director Bryan Singer. The film opens on Dec. 25, 2008.
Three new production stills surfaced on Tuesday from IGN for “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”. In the first photo below on the left, we see the reveal of agent Johann Krauss. All images can be clicked for larger versions.