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Film Review: Unfunny ‘Tammy’ is a Melissa McCarthy Misfire

Tammy front

CHICAGO – Melissa McCarthy has jumped the shark. Or if she hasn’t, she’s strapped on the skis and is contemplating the ramp. Going once more to the same character well – this time with a script co-written with her husband Ben Falcone and directed by him – McCarthy shows little originality or gumption as the title character in “Tammy..”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Tammy’ With Melissa McCarthy

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new “R”-rated comedyTammy” starring Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon!

Blu-ray Review: Sweet, Sentimental ‘The Way, Way Back’

The Way, Way Back

CHICAGO – “The Way, Way Back” made a solid $21 million domestically but I kind of expected it to be an even bigger hit when I saw it back in January at the Sundance Film Festival. I saw several dozen films at this year’s fest and nothing produced a response like Nat Faxon & Jim Rash’s sweet, sentimental comedy. The audience I saw it with LOVED it. And now that it’s on Blu-ray and DVD, I expect it to reach an even bigger audience through word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s a fun, clever movie with some great performances, including a supporting turn by Sam Rockwell that stands with the best of the year.

Film Review: Romantic Comedy ‘Enough Said’ is a Sweet, Gentle Gem

CHICAGO – The plot description which this review will eventually get to is going to make Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said” sound sitcomish. It’s a conceit straight out of Must-See TV.

TV Review: Great Cast, Clever Concept Carry ‘Hostages’

CHICAGOCBS’s “Hostages” is the first interesting new drama of 2013 (well, tied with NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which airs at the same time tonight, Monday, September 23, 2013). It’s not an instant hit creatively but there’s a lot to like here, particularly in its great cast and clever concept, one that engages the viewer enough with the promise of excitement for all fifteen weeks of this shortened season.

Film Review: For a Real Summer Movie, Go ‘The Way, Way Back’

CHICAGO – Nothing evokes the time, sights and smells of summer like the getaway resort. The long days, the mystery of night, the first crush and the summer job are all brought back in the soapy yet fun “The Way, Way Back,” featuring Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney.

Film Review: Hard to Wrap Head Around Misguided ‘Mental’

CHICAGO – Despite boasting the talented efforts of the always-great and tragically underrated Toni Collette, P.J. Hogan’s “Mental,” opening this weekend in Chicago, is a tonal mess. It’s a bewilderingly strange movie, the kind of thing that one might write off as being lost in translation from its Australian origin before realizing it wasn’t that funny there either.

Film Review: ‘Hitchcock’ at its Heart is a Relationship Film

CHICAGO – The great director Alfred Hitchcock had morphed to legend rather than a man, so it’s interesting that two films have recently been released about his all-too-human foibles. The feature film, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the director, gets inside the man’s relationships in “Hitchcock.”

Blu-ray Review: Catch Up With Horror Gem ‘Fright Night’

Fright Night

CHICAGO – Why didn’t more of you see “Fright Night”? Do I have to beg to get enough of you to rent or buy it on Blu-ray to justify a sequel or at the very least to prove that intelligent, fast-paced, clever horror like this has an audience? Seriously? As a horror junkie, it’s often more disheartening when a quality genre film bombs than when a crappy one takes off. The latter scenario happens all the time but we only get a few quality flicks a year and I hate it when they fall flat like “Fright Night.” Horror fans, and even those of you who might not accept that label, this movie rules.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs to ‘Fright Night’ With Colin Farrell

CHICAGO – In our latest horror/comedy edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 10 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the DreamWorks home entertainment release of “Fright Night” starring Colin Farrell, Toni Collette and Anton Yelchin!

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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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