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Tommy Lee Jones

Film Review: Feminism Humbles Tommy Lee Jones in Heartfelt Western ‘The Homesman’

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CHICAGO – In Tommy Lee Jones’ passion project “The Homesman,” the wild west provides a vivid setting for a battle in man’s endless war against women, as the film firmly occupying a genre strictly known for cowboys and pioneer machismo. It’s a sorrowful western from actor/writer/director Jones that often shines in its twilight, hoping to slightly reconcile the maltreatment unleashed on half of the world’s most powerful species.

Blu-ray Review: Glorious ‘JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition’

JFK

CHICAGO – Oliver Stone reached the peak of his fascination with controversy, history, and epic productions when he made 1991’s “JFK,” arguably the masterpiece of the director of “Platoon,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Nixon,” and many more beloved films. “JFK” is a remarkable cinematic achievement, a movie that has lost none of its power 22 years after its release, looking like something that could come out today, especially now that we’re in the peak of Kennedy mania as we approach the 50th anniversary of his assassination, one of the most important events in American history.

Film Review: ‘The Family’ Whacks Obsession with Mafia Movies

CHICAGO – “The Godfather” saga, “Goodfellas,” “Donnie Brasco,” “The Departed” – the list of America’s obsessive adoration of organized crime and mafia movies goes on and on. Finally, one film comes along to virtually kill the genre, the almost-unwatchable “The Family.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Family’ with Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipatedThe Family” starring Robert De Niro from executive producer Martin Scorsese!

Blu-ray Review: Lavish Release For Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’

Lincoln

CHICAGO – The first Steven Spielberg film to win an acting Oscar (look it up…amazing, I know), “Lincoln” was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in a lavish 4-disc combo pack that does service to the great film it brings to a wider audience. A commentary track would have been nice but the special features are informative and the transfer is stellar. The continuing trend of major studios offering multiple options to watch a film — BD, DVD, & digital — is a great one. Now you can take Honest Abe anywhere.

Film Feature: The Best Supporting Performances of 2012

CHICAGO – A mother trying to protect her son from an assassin, a man who coordinates lap dances for a living, a woman whose dreams have died, a gambler betting on his son, and two people at the heart of Abraham Lincoln’s fight to end slavery and the Civil War — 2012 certainly offered a wide array of memorable supporting characters in motion pictures.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Hope Springs’ Mars Great Acting with Awful Soundtrack

Hope Springs Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are actors capable of conveying a richly layered inner life without uttering a single word. They have a miraculous method of making silence speak volumes. It’s in the lingering pauses and sudden hesitations between words where the story truly resides. I can’t picture two actors better suited to work together onscreen.

Blu-ray Review: Unnecessary ‘Men in Black 3’ Bolstered by Brilliant Ensemble

Men in Black 3 Blu-ray

CHICAGO – 2012 contained three great Tommy Lee Jones performances, and one of them was delivered by Josh Brolin. Whereas Jones himself was flat-out brilliant in “Hope Springs” and “Lincoln,” he was assigned the thankless task of playing second (or third) banana to the wisecracking, increasingly Bugs Bunny-like Will Smith in Barry Sonnenfeld’s wholly unnecessary third installment in the “Men in Black” franchise.

Film Review: ‘Lincoln’ Magnificently Humanizes the Man, Our History

CHICAGO – There is an argument that Steven Spielberg is the most “American” of directors, at least in his generation. He deftly and brilliantly teams up with playwright Tony Kushner and actor Daniel Day-Lewis to humanize and realize our 16th president in “Lincoln.”

Film Review: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones Elevate ‘Hope Springs’

CHICAGO – It can be argued that Meryl Streep is in the most fruitful period in her long and illustrious career, at least as far as the variety of character parts she has undertaken. She co-stars in “Hope Springs” with Tommy Lee Jones, as a mousy Omaha wife who is looking for a change in her marriage.

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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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