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HollywoodChicago.com DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Matteo Garrone Experiments with Surrealism in ‘Reality’

Reality DVD

CHICAGO – Like Sebastián Silva’s equally mesmerizing and maddening “Magic Magic,” Matteo Garrone’s “Reality” explores a psyche as it slowly unravels, obscuring the line between truth and fiction until it becomes hopelessly blurred. In fact, both filmmakers utilize a similar technique in portraying their heros’ delusions by occupying their peripheral vision with eerie apparitions.

What to Watch: Aug. 20-26, 2013

This is Martin Bonner

CHICAGO – This week’s What to Watch on DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon, On Demand, and more features one of the best programs on television, a great indie drama that had its Windy City premiere at the Chicago Critics Film Festival, something for the family, and two of the worst movies of 2013. Pick your favorites.

What to Watch: Aug. 13-19, 2013

The Muppet Movie

CHICAGO – Welcome to the new world of Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming coverage on HollywoodChicago.com. With so many options from iTunes to Video On Demand to Hulu to Blu-ray, what should you be watching this week? Every week, we’ll highlight some of the most interesting new releases, link to our full review coverage when applicable, tell you what’s special about the Blu-ray releases, and point you in the right direction to watch them.

DVD Review: Frustrating Fourth Season of ‘Community’

Community S4

CHICAGO – The fourth season of NBC’s “Community” was its most controversial by some margin. The program was barely renewed, its showrunner (Dan Harmon) was unprofessionally fired, and the on-set feuds with co-star Chevy Chase continued. To start the fifth season, Chase is gone and Harmon is back. No one has made out well in the court of public opinion and the fourth season was sometimes unwatchable. You would never know any of this from the recently-released DVD set.

DVD Review: Juno Temple Delivers Tour De Force in ‘Magic Magic’

Magic Magic DVD

CHICAGO – I suppose it was only a matter of time before Sebastián Silva delved into the brooding waters of psychodrama. There are countless moments in his previous pictures—from Catalina Saavedra’s piercing Bette Davis stare in “The Maid” to Michael Cera’s hallucinogenic agony in “Crystal Fairy”—that threaten to spiral into horrifying derangement.

DVD Review: Final Season of TNT’s Brilliant ‘Southland’

Southland

CHICAGO – I don’t believe it’s gone. TNT’s “Southland” shouldn’t be over. Not only do I not believe that the writers and producers meant for the dark finale of the fifth season, recently released on DVD, to be the close of this brilliant series, but I know they had more stories to tell. Considering the show was once canceled by NBC and rescued from its near-death experience, I suppose we should be happy with got five years but it’s still bittersweet.

DVD Review: Frustrating USA Mini-Series ‘Political Animals’

Political Animals

CHICAGOUSA’s mini-series “Political Animals” should have been one of the TV events of 2012. Instead it was just one of its biggest disappointments. That cast! That subject! In a political, election season! Zzzzzzz. Sadly, the creators of “Political Animals” delivered a program more like “Dallas” than “The West Wing” and viewers tuned out to the degree that the potential second season was canned. Now we can see what went wrong in one lackluster DVD set.

DVD Review: Classic Version of ‘Lord of the Flies’ Gets Criterion Upgrade

Lord of the Flies

CHICAGO – Nearly every student has to read William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” at some point and film goers of the right age might remember Harry Hook’s 1990 version of the classic tale with Balthazar Getty, but the best adaptation of the timeless allegory is Peter Brook’s 1963 version, recently upgraded to Criterion Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD with a new, restored 4K digital transfer.

DVD Review: ‘Last Resort: The Complete Series’ Offers History of Doomed Show

Last Resort (cropped)

CHICAGO – Around a year ago, I named Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort” the most-promising new show of the Fall season. I think I need to relabel that this year to “creatively promising,” for while I knew Ryan and his crew here had a chance to produce something special, I also worried that ABC was dooming it on Thursday nights.

DVD Review: Complete Set For ‘Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids’

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

CHICAGO – Bill Cosby’s “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” was more than mere Saturday morning cartoon. Maybe you didn’t realize it at the time but it was a show, looking back on it now, that really pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable subject matter in children’s entertainment. Most importantly, it didn’t treat its audience like kids, knowing that some were forced to grow up more quickly than the generation before them. It’s a great show to be given the complete series treatment and Shout Factory delivers.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box. Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

  • I'm Dying Up Here

    CHICAGO – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

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