Emile Hirsch

Film Review: ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is a Cinematic Poem

CHICAGO – What does Quentin Tarantino think about? That question immediately comes to mind when experiencing his latest film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” QT meditates on TV westerns, the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles and the Manson family, and it’s a tone and mood rather than a story. But it works.

Blu-ray Review: Visceral Soldier Story ‘Lone Survivor’

Lone Survivor with Mark Wahlberg

CHICAGO – The story goes that when deciding on the project, director Peter Berg read a copy of Marcus Luttrell’s book “Lone Survivor” in one sitting. Whether this tale includes a bathroom break, or even a few days in-between but with usage of the same chair, for a director like Berg this story will always ring possible.

Film Review: Peter Berg’s Brutal ‘Lone Survivor’ Lacks Context

Imagine a version of “Saving Private Ryan” that takes place entirely on the beaches of Normandy. It would have a visceral power purely through the horror of the recreation of war. However, it would lack the context of the rest of the narrative and lead one to question why the cinematic trip was worth taking.

Interview: The Polsky Brothers Activate ‘The Motel Life’

CHICAGO – Alan and Gabe Polsky are brothers, film producers and now directors. The sibling tandem make their debut with “The Motel Life,” featuring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff as disparate brothers trying to make a go in life with no money and no prospects, just a series of random motels and their unbreakable kinship.

Film Review: Deep Two Character Drama Flavors ‘Prince Avalanche’

CHICAGO – Take actors Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, make them highway line painters, put them in a fire-ravaged woodland and the makings for a savory two character portrait is realized in “Prince Avalanche.” David Gordon Green adapted and directed this appealingly offbeat art film.

Interview: Director David Gordon Green Crowns ‘Prince Avalanche’

CHICAGO – Director David Gordon Green has created a variety of popular and revered movies – from his breakthrough “George Washington” (2000) to his latest, the uniquely titled “Prince Avalanche.”

Blu-ray Review: Matthew McConaughey Mesmerizes in Great ‘Killer Joe’

Killer Joe

CHICAGO – William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe” is one of the most underrated films of 2012. Sure, it has its fans, but the movie made almost nothing in theaters (around $3.5 million worldwide) and didn’t make enough year-end lists for my tastes. The cast rules, the script from Tracy Letts’ play is stellar, and the design is perfect. If you can handle your noir with a heavy dose of greasy malevolence, it’s a definite rental you’ll want to make.

Film Review: Matthew McConaughey Delivers in Searing ‘Killer Joe’

CHICAGO – William Friedkin’s film of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” takes no prisoners. One of the central characters is introduced from the waist down and to say that the film climaxes in violent, sexual oddity would be like saying “The Avengers” features a few superheroes. However, it would be a mistake to allow the controversy or the shock value to become the story of this excellent noir comedy that takes black humor to a new level of darkness.

Interview: Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy Letts Unleashes ‘Killer Joe’

CHICAGO – Now that I’ve seen William Friedkin’s stunning adaptation of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” with Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple, I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience its intensity in a small theater in Evanston nearly twenty years ago.

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  • YippieFest 2020 Logo

    CHICAGO – It’s coming! YippieFest 2020 – joining the virtual and online revolution during these particular times – is set for August 21st through the 23rd. Details to come on schedules and times, but the whole fest can be downloaded for FREE on those dates through TWITCH streaming service. Click here for more details.

  • Space Force

    CHICAGO – Seemingly ripped from the headlines, by way of “Dr. Strangelove,” the new Netflix TV series “Space Force” debuted on May 29th, 2020. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com reviewed the series during the Eddie Volkman Show (Star 96.7 FM in Joliet, Illinois) on June 5th, 2020.

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