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Tom Noonan

Film Review: Uneven ‘Anomalisa’ is an Animated Reflection Back to Us

CHICAGO – There is directness in the reflective philosophy of “Anomalisa,” but there is also a sense of disconnection. From writer/co-director Charlie Kaufman (“Being John Malkovich”) comes another meditation on the life of life, and the twists of fate that inhabit the journey.

Interview: Charlie Kaufman is Animated About ‘Anomalisa’

CHICAGO – Charlie Kaufman is one of the most inventive and creative minds in film – he has written “Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Adaptation.” He recently teamed up with an animation director, Duke Johnson, to produce an unusual and contemporary stop-motion film, “Anomalisa.”

TV Review: Strong Cast Drives AMC’s Inconsistent ‘Hell on Wheels’

CHICAGO – Do you know what separates AMC from a majority of networks? The art of the ensemble. The multi-Emmy-winning casts of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are the bars against which most current dramas are measured. There were issues with some of the writing behind “The Killing” but no one ever complained about the performances. And it’s the people of “The Walking Dead” that keep it interesting.

TV Review: AMC’s Western ‘Hell on Wheels’ Dramatically Derails

CHICAGOAMC has been on such a creative streak lately that it’s tempting to think (or at least hope) that every new offering will be of the caliber of “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Killing,” or “The Walking Dead.”

Blu-Ray Review: Tense, Clever Horror Throwback ‘House of the Devil’

House of the Devil BD

CHICAGO – Ti West’s “House of the Devil” became arguably the most buzzed horror film of 2009 not named “Paranormal Activity” with universal critical acclaim and even a spot on a few top ten lists at the end of the year. Most movie goers didn’t get a chance to catch it in theaters, but it will have a huge shelf life on DVD and Blu-ray.

‘The House of the Devil’ is a Trip Back in Suspense Horror

CHICAGO – Halloween is the perfect time to revisit those horror films of youth, lost in the mall theaters or crackling through the VCR in a multiply rented copy. “The House of the Devil” reveres those roots and brings them back to light.

Interview: Director Ti West on ‘The House of the Devil’ at Chicago International Film Festival

Jocelin Donahue of "The House of the Devil"

CHICAGO – Discovering young filmmaker talent is one of the most exciting elements of the Chicago International Film Festival. Writer/director Ti West is one of those discoveries, with his horror film premiere, “The House of the Devil.”

Blu-Ray Review: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ensemble Make Trip to ‘Synecdoche, New York’ Worthwhile

Synecdoche, New York
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – With one of the most ambitious screenplays of 2008 and one of the most talented ensembles in years, “Synecdoche, New York,” now on Blu-Ray, is a must-see for fans of Charlie Kaufman’s earlier screenwriting work (“Adaptation,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and the incredible ensemble, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, and Michelle Williams.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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