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HollywoodChicago.com DVD Reviews

What to Watch: Aug. 27-Sept. 3, 2013

Pain & Gain

CHICAGO – This week’s What to Watch on DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon, On Demand and more is another seemingly random hodge-podge of offerings that you can use to guide your way through the new releases shelf at Best Buy, the On Demand section on Vudu, the store on iTunes, various online DVD retailers and maybe even Netflix and Hulu. Pick your favorites. This is the way we’d rank them if you have a free night or money to burn this week.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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