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Blu-ray Review: Super Stylized War Epic ‘Stalingrad’ is Proud, Goofy

Stalingrad

CHICAGO – It does not take even a high school history class to understand the liberty used in “Stalingrad’s” presentation of its title siege. Boasted as the highest-grossing Russian movie ever, this former IMAX 3D event is the country’s own adaptation of the hero glorification seen in “300”, complete with copious slow motion and overflowing testosterone. Made with great pride but also a somewhat goofy sense of war, “Stalingrad” is as irreverent with its filmmaking style as it is reverent to the country’s glory.

Film Review: ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ Gets Its 3D War On

CHICAGO – The rewriting of history in comic book movie form – not that’s anything wrong with that – continues with “300: Rise of an Empire.” Ancient wars are brought to life through a combination of mythology, six-pack abs, 3D blood spurts and comprehensive special effects, which can be better than history.

Film Review: World War II Gets the ‘300’ Treatment in ‘Stalingrad’

CHICAGO – It does not take even a high school history class to understand the liberty used in “Stalingrad’s” presentation of its title siege. Boasted as the highest-grossing Russian movie ever, this IMAX 3D event is the country’s own adaptation of the hero glorification seen in “300”.

Film Review: ‘Man of Steel’ is Strong, But Not Completely Heroic

CHICAGO – Place the Superman legend into the hands of director Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) and storyteller/producer Christopher Nolan (“Dark Knight”), and old Supes is bound for a makeover in “Man of Steel.” When it works, it’s adds to a legend’s richness. When it doesn’t, it is less than hero.

Film Review: ‘Man of Steel’ Soars Visually But Lacks Humanity

CHICAGO – From the CGI-heavy attack on Krypton that opens Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” to its soaring finale, I had the same reaction -– where’s the “Man half? Snyder’s attempt to reboot the Superman legacy with the loving assistance of David Goyer and Christopher Nolan of “The Dark Knight” fame gets the superhero part but misses the humanity at the core of this legendary character.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Man of Steel’ With Henry Cavill From ‘300’ Director

CHICAGOHighly anticipated! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to one of 2013’s most highly anticipated films: “Man of Steel” with Henry Cavill!

Blu-Ray Review: Extended Cut of Controversial ‘Sucker Punch’

Sucker Punch

CHICAGO – We’ve seen a lot of overly stylized films based on video games and comic books but rarely has there been a movie more derivative of other mediums yet not actually based on one than Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch,” a movie loathed by dozens of major critics (and defended by our very own Patrick McDonald) and recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in a 17-minute longer extended cut.

Film News: Russell Crowe in Talks to Co-Star in ‘Man of Steel’

Russell Crowe Man of Steel

CHICAGO – In the same day major news broke out about “The Dark Knight Rises,” another key casting choice in an equally anticipated Warner Brothers/Legendary Pictures production has also been buzzing throughout cyberspace.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Chicago Passes to Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch’ With Vanessa Hudgens

Sucker Punch from Zack Snyder with Vanessa Hudgens

CHICAGO – In our latest fantasy/action edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Sucker Punch” from “Watchmen” and “300” director Zack Snyder!

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole’ Wastes Talent

Legend of the Guardians Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – The best parts of a Zack Snyder picture have consistently been the opening title sequences, from “Dawn of the Dead”’s apocalyptic montage to “Watchmen”’s brilliant prologue scored to Bob Dylan’s “The Time They Are A-Changin’.” Snyder’s latest problematic novel adaptation, “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” is no exception.

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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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