Frances O'Connor

Film Review: Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ Stalls Out

CHICAGO – There was a time when it looked like not only would Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton be one of our great actors but possibly a threat behind the camera as well. Everyone knows the impression of his character from “Sling Blade” but many forget that he directed it as well. He followed that up with the flawed but ambitious and interesting “All the Pretty Horses.”

Blu-ray Review: Great Willem Dafoe Stars in Mesmerizing ‘The Hunter’

The Hunter

CHICAGO – Willem Dafoe is one of those wonderful actors who seamlessly moves from mainstream fare to indie films and always seems purely in the moment and totally in character. He’s one of our most diverse and consistently underrated stars and I’ve loved the daring choices he’s made lately in films like “Antichrist,” “4:44 Last Day on Earth,” “Miral,” and “The Hunter,” my favorite of his recent stretch of arthouse flicks and recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Film Review: Mesmerizing Performance From Willem Dafoe Carries ‘The Hunter’

The Hunter
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Hunter” is an uniquely mesmerizing film about a man on a complex journey. While the film threatens to fall into cliché (and sometimes hangs on by its fingernails on the precipice of doing so), excellent cinematography and another mesmerizing performance by Willem Dafoe keep it engaging enough to the point that it develops a fascinating rhythm of its own. There’s a lot to like here in this tale of a lonely man, his elusive prey, and the family he meets that gets caught in the middle.

Blu-Ray Review: Steven Spielberg’s Spectacular ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence’

A.I.

CHICAGO – When I was first introduced to the world of Blu-ray, I went through the mental rolodex of films that I knew I would one day want to see in HD. There are obvious choices like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Matrix,” but I actually remember thinking about the controversial final act of “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and how incredible it would look in 1080p. Years later, the film has finally been released on the format and while it may not live up to the high expectations, the movie alone makes this a worthwhile purchase.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Chicago Party Aunt

    CHICAGO – The funny meter of Netflix went off the scale last week, as the animated series “Chicago Party Aunt” made its debut on September 17th. What began as a Twitter account by comic actor Chris Witaske (who also provides his voice talent) has morphed into the cartoon adventures of Aunt Diane Dumbowski, her nephew Daniel, and an array of familiar Chicago-isms and characters.

  • Factory Theater, The

    CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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