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Film Review: ‘Home’ Continues Trend of So-So Animated Films

CHICAGO – What was once an “event” – even the the most medium level animated film was a rare movie occasion – has now become commonplace in the film market. Once that tipping point was reached, suddenly the event became just another weekend, with just another film like “Home.”

Blu-ray Review: Remarkable Breadth of Modern Animation in New Releases

The LEGO Movie with Will Ferrell

Remember when we were growing up? We were LUCKY if we got a decent animated film once a year in the ’80s and we spent most of our Saturday mornings watching total junk that now passes as nostalgia. We can say that music, film, or even literature was better when we younger. Animation? No way. Just take a look at four recent releases of the animated form that perfectly show the breadth and remarkable quality of the medium (and, yes, animation is a “form,” not a “genre.”)

Interview: Directors Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders of ‘The Croods’

The Croods

CHICAGO – The fast, funny and brightly thematic “The Croods” is the latest animated epic to come out of DreamWorks Studios, and a couple of veterans in the cartoon game, Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders, are both the writers and directors of this vivid look into a prehistoric cave family and their evolutionary adventures.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 DVDs of Oscar-Nominated ‘War Horse’ From Steven Spielberg

CHICAGO – In our latest history/war edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, we have 10 DVDs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film “War Horse” starring Jeremy Irvine!

Blu-ray Review: Family Hit ‘Puss in Boots’ Gets Stellar HD Package

Puss in Boots

CHICAGO – The last two “Shrek” movies — “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After” — were such worthless affairs that I was somewhat dreading their spin-off adventure, “Puss in Boots.” It didn’t help that I never found Antonio Banderas’ wide-eyed kittie with a sword nearly as charming as the rest of the world apparently did. So it was much to my surprise that I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed “Puss in Boots,” a clever, fun romp for all ages.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs to ‘Fright Night’ With Colin Farrell

CHICAGO – In our latest horror/comedy edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 10 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the DreamWorks home entertainment release of “Fright Night” starring Colin Farrell, Toni Collette and Anton Yelchin!

Interview: Emma Stone on Career-Expanding ‘The Help’

CHICAGO – Emma Stone has had a meteoric rise in her film career in four short years. From impressing with her 2007 film debut in “Superbad,” she has moved rapidly through “Zombieland,” “Easy A” and is coming up as Skeeter Phelan in “The Help.”

Interview: Actor Brendan Wayne on His Legacy in ‘Cowboys & Aliens’

CHICAGO – Brendan Wayne is certainly no stranger to cowboys. As the grandson of one of the greatest western stars ever, John Wayne, Brendan carries on the family tradition in the upcoming Jon Favreau film “Cowboys & Aliens,” featuring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

Blu-Ray Review: Derivative, Generic ‘I Am Number Four’

I Am Number Four

CHICAGO – Very few films have felt more made my a movie-making machine than the dull “I Am Number Four,” a film that hopes so desperately to feel like something that you’ve seen before and that you’ll like the familiarity that it never develops a personality of its own. With a dull lead, lackluster romance, goofy dialogue, and melodramatic storytelling, “I Am Number Four” disappoints in nearly every way that a movie can.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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