Roald Dahl

Film Review: Sweetness & Light is the Character of ‘The BFG’

CHICAGO – One observation…when ‘The BFG” was written in 1982 by iconic children’s author Roald Dahl, little did he know that acronyms would become the way we talk. When I first saw that title, I wondered what that “F” stood for. It’s “Friendly,” by the way, which is perfect for this film.

Blu-Ray Review: Limited Edition Gift Set For ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’

Willy Wonka Gift Set

CHICAGO – Warner Bros. is unmatched when it comes to repackaging their beloved films for holiday season Blu-ray gift sets. Every season brings a handful of new limited edition gift sets with physical collectibles, HD transfers, and fan-centric packaging. Past releases include “A Christmas Story,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “Elf.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

CHICAGO – Two beloved Tim Burton films recently made their Blu-ray debuts and the once-great director has one of the most interesting visual sensibilities in the last thirty years, making his work a perfect fit for HD. Even the deeply-flawed “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” looks great in HD and, well, there’s a soft spot in this critic’s heart for Pee-Wee Herman’s film debut, a comedy that has held up remarkably well in the 26 years (!!!) since its release. Both of these Blu-ray editions are pure imports with no new special features but you might want to add at least one to your collection.

Blu-Ray Review: Disappointing Release For ‘James and the Giant Peach’

James and the Giant Peach

CHICAGO – While we may quibble over a bit of grain or some undefined line detail, the dirty secret of most Blu-ray reviewers is that a wide majority of audiences cannot discern the difference between most HD releases. The fact is that almost all of them look pretty damn good. Sadly, there are exceptions to the rule and Disney’s release for “James and the Giant Peach” is one such exception.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is Sure to Delight Adults of All Ages

Fantastic Mr. Fox Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – It’s taken me longer than most film buffs to warm up to the cinema of Wes Anderson. He’s a designer at heart, and his obsessive eye for intricate visual detail makes the medium of animation an ideal one for him to inhabit. With an army of stop-motion wizards at his command, he has finally come into his own. And unlike Tim Burton, whose “Nightmare Before Christmas” was directed by Henry Selick, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is wholly the vision of one singular artist.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory’ in HD

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

CHICAGO – You can keep Tim Burton’s remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with Johnny Depp. I’ll be watching the classic “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” recently released on Blu-Ray, for years to come. It’s not a must-own family film release like the recent “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” or “Wizard of Oz” packages, but the film remains remarkably timeless.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s ‘Willy Wonka’ Sure to Satisfy Your Child’s Sweet Spot

Sean Fortunato as Willy Wonka in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Willy Wonka
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Ah, it’s summer again. Kids in Chicago are playing in the Millennium Park fountains, teenagers are flooding in to see the latest cinema blockbusters and families are enjoying Lake Michigan’s beaches.

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