CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
HollywoodChicago.com DVD Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CHICAGO – USA’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.
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.
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.
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.