Thomas Mann

Film Review: 'Halloween Kills' Challenges What We Know About the Franchise

CHICAGO – There’s no way around it, horror is one of the most difficult film genres to work within. It constantly needs to be evolving in order to keep up with the ever-growing terror that is living in the 21st century. It becomes harder and harder to fear something, like say, a possessed doll you could probably just stop by kicking it away.

Film Review: Ever-Present Passion in ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

CHICAGO – There are feelings encoded in a film, imparted by the creators, which sometimes takes a while to become apparent. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is an example, with a deceptive surface story that contains an ocean of feelings and emotions within its passionate core.

Interview: Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon of ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Director

CHICAGO – In my second meeting with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, I was struck by his almost child-like wonder regarding his breakout film, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” Gomez-Rejon bleeds celluloid, and loves films in every fiber of his being. To be able to contribute to the cinema universe is his greatest reward.

Interview: Three Young Actors Are ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

CHICAGO – Every so often, a movie makes a huge splash in the ocean of releases, and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a prime example. Both the jury winner and the audience favorite at the Sundance Film Festival, the film features Thomas Mann (Me), RJ Cyler (Earl) and Olivia Cooke (Dying Girl) as the title characters.

Interview: ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – It was a helluva festival. The third annual 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) presented films to packed houses, and also featured the stars and the directors from those films. Closing night on May 7th featured “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

Blu-ray Review: Strong Ensemble Propels Surprisingly Entertaining ‘Beautiful Creatures’

Beautiful Creatures

CHICAGO – It may not be a beautiful film but the latest attempt at cashing in on the “Twilight” craze, Richard LaGravenese’s “Beautiful Creatures,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is surprisingly good-looking. The young leads show a lot more life than typical YA fare, the supporting cast is truly stellar, and the script from the author of “The Fisher King” and this weekend’s “Behind the Candleabra” has some interesting ideas about religion, fate, and maturity. It’s too long by some stretch and too many of the same ideas are hit repeatedly but when the supporting cast, including three Oscar winners, is allowed to do what they do best, it’s damn pretty to watch.

Blu-ray Review: Teen Comedy ‘Fun Size’ Doesn’t Fit Anyone

Fun Size

CHICAGO – “Fun Size” is such a weird, weird movie. Who was it made for? It bears the Nickelodeon label but also a PG-13 rating and enough suggestive humor that it could never air uncut on the network. Perhaps the clear fact that no one ever figured out its audience is why it never found one, grossing less than any Nick movie to date and opening in 10th place. You may be curious now that it’s on Blu-ray and DVD. Just rent one of the films this work so clearly mimics instead.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of IMAX Passes to ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of IMAX movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new action/fantasy “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” starring Jeremy Renner!

Blu-ray Review: ‘Project X’ is Complete Waste of Time

Project X

CHICAGO – Do you think a dog in a bounce house is inherently funny or that a gun that shoots tequila is shocking? “Project X” is a movie for you. What’s so remarkably stupid about this truly awful flick is that its creators think there’s humor or storytelling or shock value in any of it.

Film Review: Good Times Do a Snowball Roll in Fun ‘Project X’

CHICAGO – The legendary high school party is often the myth of memory than actual events, but most people have been there, and that is what makes “Project X” so much fun. Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown are the party masters, rocking in Pasadena, California.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • La Dolce Vita Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio Blu-ray DVD review of “La Dolce Vita,” the Federico Fellini film masterpiece that introduced the 1960s to itself, and the term “Paparazzi” to the language, now available through Paramount Pictures wherever Blu-rays are sold.

  • Ms. Marvel

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson, WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin), on June 23rd, 2022, reviewing the new streaming series “Ms Marvel,” a new kind of Marvel Universe superhero now streaming on Disney+.

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