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Val Kilmer

Blu-ray Review: Val Kilmer Stars in Coppola’s Bizarre ‘Twixt’

Twixt

CHICAGO – Francis Ford Coppola’s “Twixt” should have been a momentous occassion. One of the most important directors of the ’70s returning to the world of horror for the first time since the vastly underrated “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” And yet the film barely got released after a festival run and now comes essentially straight to DVD and Blu-ray for most viewers. It’s a mess. No doubt.

Blu-ray Review: Ron Howard’s Beloved ‘Willow’ Hits 25 Years

Willow

CHICAGO – I’m dating myself but I was a young, fantasy-obsessed teen when I first saw Ron Howard’s “Willow.” Revisiting it 25 years later in the newly-released Blu-ray, I was instantly stunned by how old the film looked. A lot of the physical effects, the general tone, the dialogue — it feels more like a ’70s movie than some ’80s fantasies that predate it (“Legend” and “Ladyhawke” come to mind). And a sinking feeling entered my bones. “Willow” isn’t great. Yes, it has some nostalgic charm and hardcore fans will dig the HD release but I hope you don’t have the same realization that I do that my 13-year-old self may have overrated it.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Free ‘Top Gun’ 3D Blu-rays With Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer

CHICAGO – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 free Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray combo packs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer!

Slideshow: Exclusive C2E2 Portraits Highlight 2012

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CHICAGO – One of the great events in Chicago in 2012 was the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, affectionately called C2E2. A galaxy of movie and TV stars appeared at that Spring gathering, including Sean Astin, John Cusack, Val Kilmer and Steven Yuen (“The Walking Dead”). The next C2E2 is April 26-28, 2013.

Blu-Ray Review: 25th Anniversary Edition of Blockbuster ‘Top Gun’

Top Gun

CHICAGO – “Top Gun” is one of those movies that defies critical analysis. It’s purposefully stupid, playing off and even redefining macho archetypes in such a way that I would argue that it’s one of the most influential blockbusters of the ’80s. But is it a “good” movie? Not really. But who cares? It’s fun and the 25th Anniversary Edition plays right into the wallets of fan’s need for speed.

Film Review: Renny Harlin’s ‘5 Days of War’ Succumbs to Action Clichés

5 Days of War Film Review

CHICAGO – “5 Days of War” is a stark reminder of the atrocities that can occur when a B-movie director tries to tackle serious material. The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 was largely ignored by the U.S. government and media, so it was only a matter of time until filmmakers attempted to raise belated awareness about the devastation. Too bad director Renny Harlin is skilled solely in the art of action-packed kitsch.

Film Review: ‘Kill the Irishman’ Offers History as Explosions

Kill the Irishman, Ray Stevenson

CHICAGO – The amalgamation of big time unions and organized crime in post-WW2 industrial America is as enlightening as any struggle for power. Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1950s thru the ‘70s was both on the waterfront and had the East Coast influence of New York City’s most notorious crime families. That history is wasted in “Kill the Irishman.”

Blu-Ray Review: Ridiculous ‘MacGruber’ Wears Out Repetitive Routine

MacGruber

CHICAGO – Is anyone surprised that a 20-second sketch from “Saturday Night Live” literally comes apart at the seams when it’s stretched into a feature film? Wouldn’t you have been more surprised if “MacGruber,” recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, had actually worked?

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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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