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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

  • 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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