Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Review: ‘Safe’ Consistently Threatens to Become Genuinely Interesting

Sahe Blu-ray Statham

CHICAGO – Not to be confused with Todd Haynes’s 1995 masterpiece featuring Julianne Moore in the performance of her career, “Safe” is a forgettable would-be blockbuster that puts star Jason Statham through the emotional wringer in order to justify a marathon of repetitive carnage. This is as predictable a star vehicle as one could imagine, yet the direction by Boaz Yakin is so strong that it nearly saves the material.

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.

DVD Review: ‘Circumstance’ Offers Bracing Exploration of Cultural Repression

Circumstance DVD

CHICAGO – Set during the precarious moment following Obama’s election and prior to the Green Wave, Maryam Keshavarz’s Iran-set feature debut is one of the most provocative cinematic treasures of 2011. It’s an elegantly lensed tale of star-crossed lovers that delivers a real erotic charge, while providing an excellent showcase for beguiling newcomers Nikohl Boosheri and Sarah Kazemy.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Velvet Goldmine’ Sparkles Brighter Than Ever on Blu-ray

Velvet Goldmine Thumb

CHICAGO – Similar in style, structure and ambition to his 2007 kaleidoscopic portrait of Bob Dylan, “I’m Not There,” Todd Haynes’s 1998 effort “Velvet Goldmine,” takes a hallucinogenic trip through the ’70s glam rock period reigned over by David Bowie. Yet instead of centering his tale on Bowie, Haynes explores the era’s impact through the eyes of a haunted observer.

Blu-Ray Review: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Biutiful’ Numbs the Senses

Biutiful Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – The feel bad movie of 2010 has finally arrived in stores. Pardon me for withholding my enthusiasm. Although Alejandro González Iñárritu’s fourth feature has its share of indelible images, its familiar themes and unrelenting solemnity causes the senses to become numbed rather than engaged. The film offers 147 minutes of pure bleakness with a couple booger jokes thrown in for last-minute levity.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • South Side

    CHICAGO – One the brightest comedies set in Chicago is “South Side,” created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle. The pair moved the show from Comedy Central to HBO Max, and Season Two dropped for streaming on November 11th, 2021, with the same free-wheeling and hilarious misadventures of Simon and Kareme.

  • Colin in Black & White

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 4th, 2021, reviewing the new miniseries “Colin in Black & White” – regarding the early years of ex-NFL QB Colin Kaepernick – currently streaming on Netflix.

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