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Jim Sturgess

Blu-ray Review: Ambitious ‘Cloud Atlas’ Falls Just Short of Heights to Which it Reaches

Cloud Atlas

CHICAGO – There’s a large part of me that wants to wholeheartedly recommend and embrace “Cloud Atlas” for two reasons. One, it’s based on arguably the best book of the millennium so far, David Mitchell’s stunning masterpiece. And if more people see the movie, more are likely to read a book that everyone should experience.

Film Review: Odd Fairy Tale of ‘Upside Down’ is Also Inside Out

Upside Down

CHICAGO – Definitely one of the strangest films so far in 2013 is “Upside Down,” featuring a dream pairing of Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess. The problem is they exist as disparate lovers on opposing planets, with opposite gravitational pulls. Thus what is up for Kirsten is down for Jim, or vice-versa?

Film Review: ‘Cloud Atlas’ Reaches For the Sky But Loses Its Way

CHICAGO – Not all great works of literature make great works of film. David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” is a masterpiece but Tom Tykwer, Andy & Lana Wachowksi’s “Cloud Atlas” is definitely not. It is an ambitious work with many of Mitchell’s fascinating ideas about the ripple effect of emotion through time left intact but it is a work that frustrates as often as it thrills.

Blu-ray Review: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess Lend Humanity to ‘One Day’

One Day Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Director Lone Scherfig has a keen eye for observation when charting the coming-of-age and disillusionment of characters awakening to life’s injustices. Her superb 2009 film, “An Education,” followed the painful yet vital journey of a young woman who discovers what she truly wants out of life. “One Day” is a more pessimistic film, since it focuses on the various obstacles preventing one from living the life they desire until it’s too late.

Film Review: Romantic Coupling of ‘One Day’ Rises Above Average

CHICAGO – In the sure hands of director Lone Scherfig, the underrated film “An Education” brought Carey Mulligan to full light. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess generate similar radiance in Scherfig’s new film, “One Day.”

Interview: Lone Scherfig Directs Anne Hathaway in ‘One Day’

CHICAGO – Director Lone Scherfig has a rare delicate touch when it comes to portraying the subtlety of human relationships in films. After a triumph in 2009 directing Carey Mulligan in “An Education,” Scherfig returns with Anne Hathaway in the new film “One Day.”

Blu-Ray Review: Peter Weir Presents Human Fortitude of ‘The Way Back’

The Way Back

CHICAGO – “Nature is your jailer, and she is without mercy.” So says the guard at the Siberian prison that houses the leads in Peter Weir’s harrowing true story of escape, pain, and survival, “The Way Back.” It’s so desolate, freezing, and dangerous in the wilds of Siberia, that prisons barely need walls or guards. Where would people go? A group of seven men were willing to find out and their story has been documented in “The Way Back,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.

DVD Review: World of Nightmares on Display in Effective ‘Heartless’

Heartless

CHICAGO – “Heartless” is a Faustian nightmare, a story of a man who sees behind the curtain of the real world to the creatures of chaos that really run it. It’s a surprisingly riveting and accomplished piece of work, bursting at the seams with attitude and ideas. Many films have attempted to recreate a truly terrifying night vision but “Heartless” finds that dark place between the waking world and that of our worst dreams to become something that deserves (and probably will find on DVD) a wider audience.

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.

Interview: Jim Sturgess Across the Universe in ‘Fifty Dead Men Walking’

CHICAGO – Although the name Jim Sturgess might not be recognized, his work in ‘Across the Universe’ and ‘21’ has certainly made him identifiable. He is in a newly released film about the Irish Republican Army, “Fifty Dead Man Walking.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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