CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
CHICAGO – It was Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 at 10:15 p.m. Leaving Navy Pier IMAX, I was driving north on Lake Shore Drive – a constantly busy, multi-lane highway that hugs the east of Chicago and separates it from water.
CHICAGO – It is most likely that movie goers were asking the same question of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968, but Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” belongs to its own category of what-is-the-meaning, because it tries to combine pseudo-science with psycho-babble, which clashes into meaninglessness. But the visuals are stunning, and there are moments of fulfillment, especially in a big screen IMAX format.
CHICAGO – “Interstellar” is easily director Christopher Nolan’s worst film. It contains much of the ambition and striking visuals that have endeared him to audiences, but for large chunks of the movie his own worst tendencies towards bombast, self-importance, and hippy dippy dialogue threaten to overwhelm his dandy space sequences entirely.
CHICAGO – Remember when Amanda Seyfried was the next big star? When she was delightful in “Mamma Mia” and dramatically engaging on “Big Love”? When we were excited that she would work with an auteur like Atom Egoyan? Here are we are, not too long after she was the it girl, and she continues to make bad career decision after bad career decision. “In Time” was disappointing but “Gone,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a different kind of suck, the kind of movie that barely makes a dent and would have been better served as a Lifetime TV Movie of the Week. Heck, most of those are better.
Update: 5:23 p.m. on May 29, 2012: Prizing quantities changed per studio update
CHICAGO – In our latest psychological thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 3 Blu-rays or DVDs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of “Gone”! One grand-prize winner will also score an Amanda Seyfried-signed “Gone” mini poster!
CHICAGO – Lionsgate announced 2-disc Blu-ray and DVD editions of their massive hit “The Hunger Games” to be released on August 18, 2012 complete with three hours of extensive bonus features. The highlight of the bonus material is an eight-part documentary called “The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games.”
CHICAGO – Gary Ross’ “The Hunger Games” is a spectacular piece of blockbuster entertainment, a movie that should connect across all demographics from those who have never heard of the book to those who have shrines to Katniss and Peeta in their closets.
CHICAGO – The premise of “Gone” is a beguiling notion. What if the victim of a traumatic crime can’t get authorities to believe her? The evidence doesn’t add up, there are no physical signs of struggle and no crime scene is found. Amanda Seyfried plays such a victim, and her very sanity is questioned.
CHICAGO – Modern audiences aren’t stupid enough to fall for lackluster product like “Jonah Hex” in theaters (it barely made over $10 million on a reported $47 million budget and currently hovers around 4.5 on IMDB) but it’s the kind of film that looks appealing on the Blockbuster shelf (or Netflix page). Don’t fall for it. Warner Bros. continues to produce excellent HD video and audio but even they can’t shine this turd into something worth your time.