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Thomas Kretschmann

Blu-ray Review: Super Stylized War Epic ‘Stalingrad’ is Proud, Goofy

Stalingrad

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.

Film Review: World War II Gets the ‘300’ Treatment in ‘Stalingrad’

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”.

DVD Review: Only Season of ‘The River’ Hints at What Could Have Been

The River

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.

TV Review: ABC’s ‘The River’ is Original But Not Always Effective

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.

Film Review: Despite a Ferrari Predecessor, ‘Cars 2’ is a Honda Requiring Repair

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”.

Blu-Ray Review: Beautifully Designed Drama of ‘The Young Victoria’

The Young Victoria

CHICAGO – The end of April and beginning of May has produced an onslaught of 2009 Oscar winners and nominees on Blu-ray including “Avatar,” “Crazy Heart,” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” “Nine,” and Oscar winner for Best Costume Design, “The Young Victoria”.

Blu-Ray Review: Tom Cruise’s ‘Valkyrie’ a Disappointing Film, Excellent Blu-Ray

Valkyrie

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.

Bryan Singer’s ‘Valkyrie’ With Tom Cruise Mistakes Morose For Intense

Valkyrie

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.

Slideshow: 13-Image Gallery For ‘Valkyrie’ With Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson

| Image 1 of 13 |
Tom Cruise and director Bryan Singer on the set of Valkyrie.

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.

New Production Photos Surface For ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’; Trailer Coming on Thursday

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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