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Jackie Gleason

Blu-ray Review: Universal 100th Anniversary Titles ‘Erin Brockovich,’ ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ ‘The Sting’

CHICAGO – Universal has slowly but consistently been releasing an amazing collection of Blu-ray combo packs (BD, DVD, and Digital Copy) throughout 2012. Spanning the entire catalog of this 100-year-old company, movies like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Deer Hunter,” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” have been given lavish, restored treatments and “E.T.” and “Jaws” will come later in the year. By the time it’s done, this will be one of the most important waves of Blu-ray releases in the history of the form. This week’s inclusions feature two Oscar winners and one true ’70s phenomenon.

Blu-Ray Review: Paul Newman, John Wayne Classics For Father’s Day

The Hustler

CHICAGO – Two of cinema’s most iconic actors appeared on Blu-ray new release shelves this week with excellent HD transfers and hours of special features for 50th Anniversary Editions of Paul Newman’s “The Hustler” and John Wayne’s “The Comancheros.” History has well-documented that the Newman is one of the best films from one of the form’s best actors. The Wayne film may have a more niche audience but they’re surely be satisfied with a very solid release.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Harry Lennix, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’

  • King and I, The

    CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.

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