Sarah Knight Adamson is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and a voting member for the Critics Choice Awards for Movies.

Sarah Knight Adamson and Jessica Aymond are both Members of the Chicago Film Critics Association

Film Rating Code:

★★★★ Outstanding Film- Run, don’t walk to the nearest movie theater.

★★★½ Excellent Film- Highly recommend seeing the film in a movie theater.

★★★ Very Good Film- Recommend seeing the film in a movie theater.

★★½ Good Film- Wait for the DVD, the film is still worth viewing.

★★ Wait for the DVD and proceed with caution.

★½ Wait for the DVD the film has major problems in most areas.

★ Can’t recommend the film.

Interview with Thomas Haden Church – Stars in “Max”

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Thomas Haden Church interview with Sarah Knight Adamson- Waldorf Astoria Chicago 2015 Photo Credit: Sarah Knight Adamson

Thomas Haden Church, as an actor, has a unique persona—ruggedly handsome, square-jawed—a mystique cowboy, and let’s not forget that undeniable Texas drawl. He’s exactly as I imagined him to be in person; let’s just say if the ‘Marlboro Man’ from the sixties could actually speak, that pretty much sums up the ultra-cool Thomas Haden Church.

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David McClean the ‘Marlboro Man’ poses for an advertisement. The Marlboro advertising campaign, created by Leo Burnett Worldwide, is said to be one of the most brilliant advertisement campaigns of all time. Photo Credit: Phillip Morris Co. now (Altria)

And speak he did—his voice remains true to his relaxed macho image; it has a deep, resonating baritone quality; it’s no surprise that he has voice credits in major films, although his voice work is not what he’s known for. Church’s breakout role was in a the Academy Award-winning film, Sideways (2004), from which Church himself scored a nomination for an Oscar for his Best Supporting Role.

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“Sideway” still. Sandra Oh, Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

We met on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at the Waldorf Astoria, in a lavish suite in Chicago. Upon meeting Church, he instantly smiled and gave me an expected firm handshake with a definitive nod.

As I was setting up my digital recorder, he began telling me a story about a Texas journalist (Evan Smith) who came to his ranch in Texas (2005) to interview him for a big cover story for Texas Monthly magazine. It seems that the said journalist had spent eight hours with Church that day and phoned him a month later to say that he only got five minutes of the interview due to his low batteries. And…could he please re-cap the whole day in a thirty-minute phone conversation?

I assured him my batteries were fresh and that I could always use my iPhone as a backup. We both laughed, and he continued, “And you know what? Evan and I are still friends to this day.”

The first order of business was to congratulate him on his performance in the film Max as Ray Wincott, a father whose son dies while in combat while in the military. Ray decides to adopt his son’s traumatized war dog (Max) and gives his younger teen son (Justin, played by Josh Wiggins) total responsibility for Max. I asked what drew him to this role in this family film.

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Thomas Haden Church and Josh Wiggins in “Max” Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Studio

“The unique perspective of presenting a war hero, a combat vet’s perspective of a dog, and how critical these animals are to protecting and saving solders’ lives in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he replied. “Also the dramatic aspect of Max (the war dog) and the fact that he’s vulnerable to all of the emotional trauma that a human is in post-war experience.” Read more…

Posted in Celebrity Interviews, Interview Archives, Interviews

A Little Chaos (R) ★ ★½

Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman star in "A Little Chaos." Photo Credit: Focus Features.

Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman star in “A Little Chaos.” Photo Credit: Focus Features.

Winslet Charms Audiences in A Little Chaos

It’s been 20 years since actor-director Alan Rickman (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, 2013), and Academy Award winner Kate Winslet (Insurgent, 2013) collaborated in Sense and Sensibility. Together again, the pair star in the romantic drama, A Little Chaos, set in seventeenth-century France.

At first glance, the title alone made me think of a modern day comedy, but it’s, in fact the very opposite. It is 1682 and Sabine De Barra (Winslet), a talented landscape designer, is determined to fulfil her dream of building a big, beautiful garden one day. After an unanticipated invitation, Sabine interviews for an extraordinary opportunity to build a garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV (Rickman) – later known as garden and ballroom, Rockwork Grove. The King’s distinguished landscape artist Andre Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts, The Drop, 2014) is initially irritated and offended by Sabine’s out of the box, forward-thinking approach to her plan, but he quickly comes around and selects her to build the garden.

Faced with class and gender barriers as well as the pressure of a timeline, Sabine recognizes that her plan is well, a little chaotic. Andre sees this too and comes to appreciate it more by the day, standing up for Sabine when the doubters challenged her. In fact, he also comes to appreciate Sabine and their romantic relationship begins to bloom. His wife, her past and the class distinction set them up against many odds, but their love for nature, gardens and each other keeps them strong.

Read more…

Posted in Movies 2015, Reviews

Jurassic World (PG-13) ★★★ By Kathrine LeBlanc

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The fourth installment of the series. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

“When something chases you RUN!.” A true blockbuster, Jurassic World takes the audience on a thrilling, visually captivating, and fun adventure. While at times Jurassic World is cheesy and predictable – take the main character, Claire, running from a giant dinosaur in heels – the film leaves you with a few surprises and does not fail to deliver on the high expectations set by Speilberg’s original Jurassic Park film.

Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow, is the fourth installment of the series, and it will make you feel old to know that it’s been 22 years since the first film in 1993. When you first see the Park (Island) Isla Nublar it’s a beautiful overhead shot with the classic Welcome to Jurassic Park theme music by John Williams that brings you right back to the excitement and wonder of the first film when Spielberg could finally show us on-screen what dinosaurs looked like and they looked real!

The film tells a story of two young boys Nick and Zach Mitchell who are sent to visit their aunt Claire, a big wig at the highly corporate Jurassic World theme park. As soon as we meet Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard’s daughter), you get the sense that her and the Jurassic World corporation will do anything to please the board and increase sales; and in a plan to attract more visitors, the Jurassic World lab creates a giant, terrifying, 50-ft long genetic monster they call the Indominous Rex that has yet to be released to the public. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2015, Reviews

Spy (R) ★★★½

Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne star in "Spy." Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne star in “Spy.” Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

McCarthy’s Magnificent in Spy

From the director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, Paul Feig presents his latest action-comedy flick, Spy. With Melissa McCarthy (St. Vincent, 2014) at the helm, audiences are in for a treat. McCarthy’s film career basically catapulted after the female version of The Hangover, with Bridesmaids and it’s clear that she doesn’t intend for the momentum to slow down anytime soon. Feig seems to bring out the best in McCarthy and certainly gives her the stage this time around.

McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, an ordinary desk-bound CIA analyst who is the voice of reason behind her partner and one of the CIA’s best agents, Bradley Fine (Jude Law, Black Sea 2014) as she guides him through some of the most dangerous missions, all via satellite. One night, Fine becomes involved in a compromised situation and suddenly falls off of the map. Devastated by Fine’s disappearance and eager to step beyond her desk out into the field, Cooper uncharacteristically volunteers to go undercover to obtain justice for Fine and track down a highly wanted deadly arms dealer. Read more…

Posted in Movies 2015, Reviews

Spy (R) ★★★

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Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law star in ‘Spy’.

Listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Radio Review Sat. evenings 10:06 CST on Hollywood 360 Radio Network,in Chicago listen to WINDam 560. The podcast will be posted after the film segment has aired.

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2015, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

Pitch Perfect 2 (PG-13) ★ ★½

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Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson star. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Click Here to listen to Sarah Knight Adamson’s Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast:

Posted in Film Review Podcast Archives, Hollywood 360, Movies 2015, Radio Podcasts, Reviews

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Sarah Knight Adamson’s Film Reviews and Celebrity Interviews can be heard weekly on the internationally syndicated show: Hollywood 360 Radio Network. It airs in New York, LA and 92 stations. In Chicago listen to WINDam560.

Click here for affiliates including Brussels, Belgium.

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