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Film Review: ‘Captain Underpants’ Saves Us From the Summer Snooze

CHICAGO - I’m sure from the title you can glean the level of seriousness to expect, but how funny “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” turns out to be is no laughing matter. The film’s surprising irreverence and respect for the comic book genre makes this the animated hero we’ve needed, and the second best superhero film out this weekend (SEE: Wonder Woman).

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

  • 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.

  • I'm Dying Up Here

    CHICAGO – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

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