Penelope Cruz

Audio Film Review: The Faces of Face-Off in ‘Official Competition’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on “Official Competition,” a new Spain/Argentina film about a trio – two actors and a director – trying to get a film out of rehearsal and in front of the cameras. It opened in select theaters on July 1st, 2022, see local listings.

On-Air Film Review: M is for the Many in ‘Parallel Mothers’

Parallel Mothers

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on January 20th, 2022, reviewing the 22nd film of writer/director Pedro Almodóvar, “Parallel Mothers,” in select theaters now.

Film Review: Ass Kicker of the Wrong Kind is Downfall of ‘The 355’

CHICAGO – There’s something to be said for a well done ass kicker in January that provides an entertaining distraction from the ice and snow outside. “The 355” is not it, offering a typical quick cutting action thriller that plods along in the most formulaic and least exciting manner possible. There’s nothing in this movie that hasn’t been done to death already.

Film News: DAY EIGHT of 54th Chicago International Film Festival Features a Top Prize Winner

Shoplifters

CHICAGODAY EIGHT of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018, is filled with two categories of competition films – six in New Directors and three in the International Competition, plus three more “Masters” films, the latest work from today’s most accomplished filmmakers.

Film Review: Mustache Has More Than ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

CHICAGO – “Murder On The Orient Express” is a movie that is never quite as interesting as the main character’s mustache. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Agatha Christie’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. While it is a departure from the source novel, Branagh sports silver streak facial hair of audacious eccentricity.

Film Review: ‘Zoolander 2’ Continues Silly, Surreal Hilarity

CHICAGO – Humor is subject to the receiver, of course, and what is funny is as distinct to each individual as a fingerprint. Having said that, I found “Zoolander 2” to be hilarious, as it delivered again what made the first film work – tweaking the self-importance of fashion and celebrity.

Film Review: ‘The Counselor’ Disguises Lackluster Storytelling in Philosophy

CHICAGO – “That’s not what greed does; that’s what greed is.” Cormac McCarthy’s script for “The Counselor” is so weighed down with allegedly insightful philosophy like this that it collapses into a heap of laughable, unbelievable exchanges between characters who simply don’t exist in the real world.

Film Review: Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome with Love’ is Episodic, Choppy

CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen continues his film travelogues in “To Rome with Love,” touring The Eternal City with four separate vignettes. An all-star cast – including Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Woody himself – hit and miss with this varying blend of stories.

Blu-Ray Review: Boring ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

CHICAGO – When I heard that Johnny Depp had been sucked back into the cash cow that was the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise so shortly after everyone agreed that the series had run its course with the original trilogy, I was more than a little sad. Depp is still one of our most interesting actors and I’m not alone in wishing he would show a bit more of his range in recent years instead of taking easy roles (and, yes, Jack Sparrow is fun but this is not challenging work for the movie star). And the mediocre reviews caused a bit of dread when the Blu-ray showed up on my desk. So, consider it faint praise when I tell you that “On Stranger Tides” is, well, okay.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

CHICAGO – In our latest blockbuster edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Shrinking

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on January 27th, reviewing the new TV series “Shrinking,” featuring Jason Segel and Harrison Ford. Currently streaming on Apple TV+.

  • Velma

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on January 20th, reviewing the new series reboot “Velma,” created by Mindy Kaling and featuring the Scooby-Doo gang. Currently streaming on HBO Max.

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