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Jean-Claude Van Damme

Blu-ray Review: Office Comedy ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ Has a Case of the Mondays

Welcome to the Jungle

CHICAGO – Without rescue of a creative joke in sight, “Welcome to the Jungle” eventually devolves into an unsavory mash of “The Office” meets “Lord of the Flies”. Adam Brody’s Chris Myers is the lead character in a cube monkey’s generic fantasy, of which this film treats with a checklist. The attractive and amiable office mate (played by Megan Boone of Chicago Film Critics Festival favorite “Leave Me Like You Found Me”) is to be wooed, a manchild boss (Rob Huebel) is to be dethroned from his ego, and a world of freedom is to be revealed for those who have imprisoned themselves to 9-5 pressures.

Film Review: Sylvester Stallone in Formulaic ‘The Expendables 2’

CHICAGO – Face it, it is fun to see the major action stars of the 1980s, ‘90s and now – Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger – together again for “The Expendables 2.” Why the hell can’t anyone write a decent story for them?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 ‘The Expendables’ DVDs For Aug. 17, 2012 Sequel ‘The Expendables 2’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 free DVDs up for grabs for “The Expendables” in support of the sequel “The Expendables 2,” which hits theatres on Aug. 17, 2012!

Film Review: More or Less Same Formula in ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

CHICAGO – Good and evil, chase and fight. Those are the two basic formulas that dominate “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the sequel to the very popular first film. That redundancy is helped by the spirituality of an animated panda and some spectacular 3D rendering.

Blu-Ray Round Up, Feb. 10, 2009: ‘Pretty Woman,’ ‘Street Fighter,’ ‘Tales From the Darkside’

Tales From the Darkside

CHICAGO – The Round-Up is in flashback mode this week. Enter our time machine and travel back to an era when an anthology series created by the legendary George A. Romero could actually get a network time slot, Jean-Claude Van Damme was still a star, and Julia Roberts wasn’t quite one yet.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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