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Chris O'Dowd

TV Review: HBO Delivers Likable Laughs in ‘Family Tree’

CHICAGO – Christopher Guest, the beloved writer/director behind “Best in Show” and “Waiting For Guffman,” comes to TV this weekend with the premiere of HBO’s “Family Tree” and the result is something unique for television comedy — a show that doesn’t force the laughs as much as build likable characters.

Film Review: Judd Apatow’s ‘This is 40’ Clutters Truth with Cliché

CHICAGO – Judd Apatow’s “This is 40” is a true disappointment, a comedy that purports to say something honest and insightful about approaching middle age in the ‘10s but blurs truth by smothering it in contrivance and cliché.

Film Review: Inconsistent But Sweet ‘3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom’

3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Jordan Roberts “3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom” is available On Demand in advance of its October theatrical release and it’s likely to be enticing to fans of the mega-hit “Sons of Anarchy” (which premiered this week to record-setting numbers) and those looking for a new comedy as the multiplex is crowded with horror and action movies. The raunchy comedy feels like a cousin of the Judd Apatow brand without the same degree of timing but the likable cast goes a long way to getting one over the screenwriting speed bumps.

Blu-ray Review: Great Ensemble Can’t Save ‘Friends with Kids’

Friends with Kids

CHICAGO – The cover of “Friends with Kids” sells it as a fun ensemble comedy with three cast members from “Bridesmaids,” one of the stars of “Parks and Recreation,” and the super-talented Jon Hamm looking particularly cheery. It’s false advertising. In truth, the movie belongs to Adam Scott and co-star/writer/director Jennifer Westfeldt and even the small roles by the rest of the cast are often more dramatic than comedic. Even without the false bill of goods, “Friends with Kids” is a disappointing. It’s a strong vehicle for Scott and Hamm has a few good scenes but it’s ultimately less than the sum of its talented parts.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Orange is the New Black

    CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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