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Ulrich Thomsen

Film Review: Guilt, Grief Wrapped Up in Mystery of ‘The Silence’

CHICAGO – With echoes of “The Vanishing” and “Memories of Murder,” Baran bo Odar’s dread-filled “The Silence” is a character-based thriller that focuses more on the people wrapped up in its web of perversion and murder than the crimes themselves.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Silence’ at the Music Box Theatre

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the icy German thriller “The Silence” at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre!

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Thing’ Prequel Almost Works But Misses Paranoia of Original

The Thing

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is a brilliant study in paranoia. It is more than a mere horror film. The remake/prequel, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a decent horror film but the comparison to the classic original and some serious mistakes in the final act make “decent” not good enough by association.

Film Review: Unsettling Paranoia, Special Effects Showcase ‘The Thing’

CHICAGO – With Halloween approaching, what will truly scare us at the cinema this month? One strong entry is this weekend’s “The Thing,” the third remake of a wild and mysterious monster movie. It combines a European-style approach to paranoia with some truly unique monster effects.

Blu-Ray Review: Dramatically Satisfying, Oscar-Winning ‘In a Better World’

In a Better World

CHICAGO – Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World” has stuck with me. After seeing it in theaters five months ago, I was a little hard on the film due to the fact that it beat out so many great ones for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, including “Dogtooth,” “Incendies,” and the film that most people thought would win, “Biutiful.” I still question that decision, but this is a stronger film than I first gave it credit for — a bit more shallow and cut-and-dry than it should have been but a dramatically satisfying rental, now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Film Review: Susanne Bier’s Oscar-Winning ‘In a Better World’

In a Better World
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World” was a surprising winner at the Academy Awards when Best Foreign Language Film was announced, leading many to wonder what could have beaten the critically-acclaimed “Dogtooth” or “Biutiful,” which clearly had a lot of love considering its Best Actor nomination. “In a Better World” must have been pretty great, right? Yes and no. It’s a better film than a few of the Academy’s recent decisions (“Departures” comes to mind), but also nowhere near as complete a film as a number of alternate choices. This category is still a mess, as proven by the win for this interesting but ultimately a bit too shallow examination of revenge and parenthood.

12th Annual EU Film Festival Highlights, Week Three: ‘Angel,’ ‘Left Bank,’ ‘Eden,’ ‘Fear Me Not’

CHICAGO – The third week of the 12th Annual EU Film Festival at the Siskel Film Center is nearly upon us and we’re back to give you an idea of what to expect in the second half of arguably the best fest in the Windy City.

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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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