Michael Angarano

Blu-ray Review: Steven Soderbergh’s Fun, Energetic ‘Haywire’ Gets Average Release

Haywire

CHICAGO – Audiences really didn’t take to “Haywire” like critics as the film bombed at the box office, grossing only $19 million domestically and just over $30 million worldwide. It’s the kind of flick that I think polarized its two potential audiences. Action movie fans didn’t think it had enough action. Steven Soderbergh fans thought it had too much. Personally, I think everything Soderbergh does is interesting and this is no exception. Which makes the lackluster HD release disappointing.

Film Review: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor in Steven Soderbergh’s Action-Packed ‘Haywire’

CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh is one of the few directors who can do whatever the hell he wants. Whatever genre, whomever he casts, whichever story he chooses to tell – he pulls it off.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Art of Getting By’ Sleepwalks Through Coming-of-Age Clichés

The Art of Getting By Thumb

CHICAGO – Poor George Zinavoy. He’s been cursed with striking good looks, remarkable artistic talent, a dedicated mentor and a gorgeous woman who clearly desires to have sex with him. Thankfully, nothing appears to have gotten in the way of his stubborn pessimism, comfortable apathy and belief in the meaningless of existence. How can George be expected to care about his homework when he’s too busy contemplating his mortality?

DVD Review: Kevin Smith Tries Something New With ‘Red State’

Red State

CHICAGO – Everyone who told me about “Red State” prefaced it with the disclaimer that I would be stunned that it was directed by Kevin Smith. Sure, it’s a departure from his indie comedies like “Clerks” and “Mallrats” but I feel like people who are amazed he made a dark thriller like “Red State” must have never really given the writer/director enough credit. I have some serious issues with how Smith behaved regarding critics after “Cop Out” but I was a fan of every single one of his works before then and I’m happy that he chose to do something different with his talent. I think the result is a bit more sloppy than it needs to be but there’s a lot to like here, including a stellar performance from Michael Parks.

Blu-Ray Review: Overlooked ‘Ceremony’ Deserves to Be Celebrated

Ceremony Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – How can the directorial debut of the Fonz’s son slip by unnoticed during its initial theatrical run? Max Winkler was only 25 when he shot “Ceremony,” a film dismissed by many critics as a mere imitation of Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore.” To be fair, Winkler looks remarkably like the iconic filmmaker, and his premise does bear certain similarities to Anderson’s widely celebrated 1998 comedy.

Film Review: ‘The Art of Getting By’ Explores a Teenage Wasteland

Art of Getting By

CHICAGO – The angst ridden, doom-and-gloom adolescent has been fodder for the movies ever since teenagers were invented. From James Dean to “Heathers,” the juvenile anti-hero trying to figure out life has lit up the screen. Freddie Highmore takes his turn in “The Art of Getting By.”

‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Creator Jared Hess Scores With ‘Gentlemen Broncos’

"Gentlemen Broncos" Mike White and Michael Angarano

CHICAGO - Writer/Director Jared Hess’ universe, where obscure pop culture references and strange survivors abide, gets another workout with the spontaneously funny “Gentlemen Broncos,” which also features Mike White and Jennifer Coolidge.

‘Snow Angels’ an Essential Examination of Yin, Yang in Our Vulnerable Lives

CHICAGO – Staying sane is truly an edge-of-the-knife proposition. We are all the sum of our past environments, our present circumstances and our future worries. The sludge that is generated by such a mixture becomes the psyche that’s ready to interact with other psyches we deem important or are forced to be around through family or commerce.

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