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Woody Harrelson

Film Review: Great Cast Can’t Find Truth in False Plotting of ‘Out of the Furnace’

One overriding thought dominated my time with Scott Cooper’s stunningly disappointing “Out of the Furnace” – I just don’t care. When I wasn’t picking apart the gigantic plot holes in the narrative, I was marveling at the overheated characters who have been crafted from cliché instead of the real world.

Film Review: Entertaining, Complex ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

CHICAGO – Second acts to incredibly popular and entertaining mainstream fare can be a tough prospect. For every “The Dark Knight,” there are too many films like “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” – works that essentially just repeat what audiences fell in love with instead of trying to expand on the world of their predecessors.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Pairs of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Passes with Live Red-Carpet Stream

CHICAGORare! One of 2013’s most anticipated films! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson with a live red-carpet stream from the Los Angeles premiere!

Interview: Dave Franco Creates Magic in ‘Now You See Me’

CHICAGO – Dave Franco is James Franco’s brother. Since that’s now out of the way, Dave Franco is also a writer, actor, regular on the “Funny or Die” website and co-star in the newly released film, “Now You See Me.” Franco plays a streetwise magician, and in his career he keeps bringing the magic.

Film Review: Story of ‘Now You See Me’ a Bit Misdirected

CHICAGO – Boasting a big star ensemble cast, and themes of magical realism and misdirection, “Now You See Me” is an overdone, too-clever-for-its-own-good fantasy with some entertaining tricks.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Now You See Me’ With Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new thriller “Now You See Me” starring Jesse Eisenberg!

Blu-ray Review: Great Cast Rocks Clever ‘Seven Psychopaths’

Seven Psychopaths

CHICAGO – When I saw the ensemble assembled for Martin McDonagh’s very funny “Seven Psychopaths” and realized it was from the creator of the brilliant “In Bruges,” personal expectations were set pretty high. In fact, higher than this film achieves, but don’t let the fact that it’s not quite as solid as “Bruges” overwhelm your response to this flick, recently on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s still smart, funny, dark, twisted, and unlike anything else on the New Releases shelf.

Blu-ray Review: HBO’s ‘Game Change’ Triumphs with Brilliant Performances

Game Change Blu-ray

CHICAGO – When the HBO film, “Game Change,” was first announced, it sounded rather unnecessary. Why would Alaska governor-turned-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s overinflated celebrity deserve such a prestigious biopic? Wasn’t her TLC program, not to mention Tina Fey’s brilliant SNL parody, more than enough small-screen exposure for the oft-embarrassing politician?

Film Review: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell in Fun ‘Seven Psychopaths’

Seven Psychopaths
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Is there room for vengeance if you believe in Heaven and Hell? How do we suppress our need for moral and even physical justice if we believe that violence leads to damnation? Is there a chance to…oh, never mind. Let’s just blow someone’s brains out. That’s essentially how “Seven Psychopaths,” the clever new action comedy from Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) works in that it has a number of interesting ideas that aren’t fully developed even if the movie is fun enough to be considered a sin.

Interview: Martin McDonagh Introduces You to ‘Seven Psychopaths’

CHICAGO – Playwright Martin McDonagh really broke into the film world in a big way with his Oscar-nominated script for the stellar “In Bruges.” He defies the sophomore slump this week with the release of “Seven Psychopaths,” starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, and Woody Harrelson.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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