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Marshall Allman

Blu-ray Review: ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Attempts to Reinvigorate Christian Filmmaking

Blue Like Jazz Blu-ray

CHICAGO – There’s a reason why the terms “Christian” and “filmmaker” don’t seem to go together. Pictures that push religious agendas tend to sacrifice complex plots and characters in favor of amplifying its message. These films fail not only as entertainment but as quality storytelling. Whenever an aspiring artist attempts to speak for a group rather than oneself, it’s almost always a recipe for tediously preachy dreck.

Film Review: Pretentious ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Can’t Find the Right Groove

Blue Like Jazz
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz” is a beloved book that spent 43 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold over 1.5 million copies. I haven’t read it. But I have to believe that it worked on its fans in a way that Steve Taylor’s film simply cannot. This is clearly a personal story, one that touched people by relating to issues they’ve grappled with in their own lives. By taking Taylor’s memories and turning them into cinema, the ability to touch has been removed another degree of separation and the resulting film is a misstep, the kind of work that thinks it’s saying something important but feels more pretentious than precious.

Slideshow: Exclusive Portrait Gallery From 2011 Chicago International Film Festival

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Dennis Farina on the Red Carpet for ‘Last Rites for Joe May,’ October 6th, 2011

CHICAGO – The 47th Chicago International Film Festival wrapped on Oct. 20, 2011 with a spectacular showing of the new film “The Artist”. Over the past two weeks, HollywoodChicago.com has been covering the red carpets and publishing exclusive portraits of the stars and directors.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    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.

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