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Tobey Maguire

Film Review: ‘Labor Day’ Provides Meaning to Romantic Tension

CHICAGO – There is a real power when the right filmmaker connects with the right performers. What appears on the surface to be a slight and well-worn story, gains a decided psychological edge. ‘Labor Day’ features Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and writer/director Jason Reitman.

Interview: Author Joyce Maynard for New Film ‘Labor Day’

CHICAGO – She has had two of her books adapted by top modern directors – Gus Van Sant directed “To Die For” (1995), and Jason Reitman is just about to release “Labor Day,” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. But the journey of author Joyce Maynard extends even beyond these accomplishments, affecting literary history.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Labor Day’ with Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new drama “Labor Day” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin!

Blu-ray Review: Lavish Release For Frustrating ‘The Great Gatsby’

The Great Gatsby

CHICAGO – God, I want to love “The Great Gatsby,” on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. tomorrow, August 27, 2013. I adore “Moulin Rouge!” and think Baz Luhrmann’s approach to the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic was a daring one. And, watching the film again at home, in a great 2D/HD transfer instead of a garish 3D one, I found more to respect here.

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Upgrades Ang Lee’s Masterful ‘The Ice Storm’

The Ice Storm

CHICAGO – Ang Lee won his second Oscar this year for his work on “Life of Pi” but he wasn’t even nominated for one of the best films of his career, the masterful “The Ice Storm,” recently upgraded to Blu-ray by Criterion and re-released on DVD. Few films from 1997 have held up more completely as Lee’s adaptation of the Rick Moody novel feels even more symbolically dense and accomplished. It’s a stellar drama, one of the best of the ’90s, and Criterion has loaded it down with special features.

Film Review: Hollow ‘The Great Gatsby’ Mistakes Glitz For Passion

CHICAGO – There’s a scene in “The Great Gatsby” in which Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) is gleefully throwing multi-colored clothes down upon a smiling, spinning Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). While she seems happy at first, she ends up covered in colored fabric and crying. I knew how she felt.

Blu-ray Review: Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ Films Re-Released in Time For Reboot

Spider-Man trilogy DVD

CHICAGO – Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man 2,” and “Spider-Man 3” were just released on Blu-ray to coincide with the upcoming theatrical release of Mark Webb’s reboot, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” opening in theaters on July 3, 2012. All of the Sony BD releases are pretty standard although purists will like the consistent packaging and the chance to own them at a low price point (close to $10 at some outlets) before they’re probably repackaged again when “Amazing” hits Blu-ray in time for the holidays. None of the releases include any notable new special features (other than the inclusion of Ultraviolet and some games on the first film) but they all included a wealth of them in previous editions.

Blu-Ray Review: Unnecessary ‘Brothers’ Remake Works on Own Terms

Brothers Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Was there really any need to remake “Brothers,” the 2004 Danish drama directed by Susanne Bier? Not only was the film nearly flawless, but its riveting emotions and themes resonated on a universal level that transcended any cultural boundaries. Just because a war film is set in a different country or a different time period doesn’t mean the modern-day American soldier won’t be able to relate to it.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman Not Relatable in ‘Brothers’

CHICAGO – The transition from hot young actor to the domestic picket fence is about ten years and a shadowy crow’s foot. One day you’re a galaxy queen, superhero and Donnie Darko, next you’re playing house in “Brothers.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Emmy Awards, Bryan Cranston

    LOS ANGELES – It was one more lap around the victory track for the AMC-TV show ‘Breakling Bad,’ as the gritty drama about a teacher turned meth dealer took home six Primetime Emmy Awards at the 66th ceremony on August 25th. ‘Modern Family’ took home the statue for Outstanding Comedy Series for a a fifth straight year.

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

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