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Betty White

Exclusive Portraits, Audio: Ed Asner, TV Icon & Character Actor

CHICAGO – When Mary Tyler Moore passed away in January, it was another reminder of her groundbreaking 1970s TV series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” One of her co-stars – who portrayed bossman Lou Grant, and made his own mark in TV and movies thereafter – was Ed Asner. The actor appeared at “The Hollywood Show.”

DVD Review: Nostalgia Greater Than Laughs in ‘Carol’s Favorites’

Carol Burnett Favorites

CHICAGO – Say or sing “I’m so glad we had this time together…” and persons of a certain generation will immediately respond, “…just to have a laugh or sing a song.” The theme to the “The Carol Burnett Show” is indelibly etched in show business memory, and Time Life Video is taking advantage of those days with the DVD release of “The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Favorites.”

Blu-ray Review: ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ Comes Packed With Extras But Still Falls Short

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

CHICAGO – After it made a relative fortune at the box office (its number six on the year in terms of domestic gross and has made more than $300 million worldwide), I was eager to revisit “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” on Blu-ray to se if I missed anything in my initial 2.5-star review. Maybe I was just in a bad mood that day. Nope. The movie just doesn’t hold up on a storytelling level and it’s even more deeply flawed on repeat viewing. It’s only entertaining to littlest ones in your family and even they would be better served by a reading of the great source material. A trio of mini-movies on the Blu-ray help make the package more enticing but can’t dismiss the film’s flaws.

Film Review: ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ Boasts Strong Voice Cast But Weak Storytelling

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” certainly isn’t an awful film by any stretch of the imagination. It features some solid voice work, a few lessons worth learning by the iGeneration, and some nifty visuals. It’s also pretty damn boring. Even the little ones at the family screening I attended seemed to lose interest in how this timeless story has been stretched to the demands of a modern family film. It just never quite connects in the way fans of this legendary character hope it would.

Film News: ‘The Help’ Wins Top Prize at Screen Actors Guild Awards

The Help

CHICAGO – The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards premiered tonight, celebrating the best acting performances of the year. The awards are voted on by the members of the Screen Actors Guild, (apparently) making the awards more meaningful to the winners as they were chosen by their peers.

Exclusive Portrait: Betty White’s New Book ‘If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t)’

Betty White, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – It stands to reason that Betty White’s latest sitcom is called “Hot in Cleveland.” The veteran “Golden Girl” has had a hot and unprecedented late career surge, augmented by the Facebook campaign that resulted in her hosting Saturday Night Live in 2010. She was in Chicago recently to promote her new book, “If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t).”

Blu-Ray Review: Tepid ‘You Again’ Wastes Talented Cast

You Again

CHICAGO – It may be a sign of my age, but I get more joy out of seeing Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis acting again in the mediocre “You Again” than anything to do with the generation below them in the film (Kristin Bell, Odette Yustman), recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. The sitcomish movie in which they’re featured is well below their talents but just seeing Curtis and Weaver back in the spotlight provides enough joy to keep the proceedings from sliding too far down the scale.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs to ‘You Again’ With Kristen Bell

CHICAGO – In our latest Blu-ray and DVD combo pack edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to “You Again” with Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White!

‘The Fighter,’ ‘The King’s Speech’ Win Screen Actors Guild Awards

CHICAGO – “The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter,” and “Black Swan” were the big film winners at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, while “Boardwalk Empire,” “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “The Good Wife,” and “Hot in Cleveland” won awards on the TV side of the presentation. Ernest Borgnine won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

DVD Review: Talented Cast Deserves Better Than ‘Hot in Cleveland’

Hot in Cleveland

CHICAGO – Who would have guessed that the network to jump on the Betty White phenomenon (and who would have guessed that would ever be a viable phrase) would be TV Land? It makes a certain kind of twisted sense that a sitcom featuring stars who made it big on other shows would reunite on network built around reruns but “Hot in Cleveland” should have and could have been much better and one wonders if it wasn’t fate but that no one else would have this lackluster comedy.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • 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.

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