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Podtalk: Producer Stephanie Buxbaum on Her Adventures in Reality & Doc Series Television

Stephanie Buxbaum 3

CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

Interview: BADASSS Winner Julien Temple at 2015 Chicago CIMMfest

CHICAGO – In receiving the official BADASSS Award at the 2015 Chicago International Movies & Music Fest (CIMMFest), legendary rock documentary maker Julien Temple simply said, “Badass is not a phrase we use in England. I’ve never been called a badass, I prefer ‘enfant terriblé,’ with a hope toward ‘monstre sacré.’”

Exclusive Portrait: B.J. Novak Authors ‘The Book With No Pictures’

CHICAGO – It’s easy to recognize the author, producer and actor B.J. Novak from his many years on the TV series “The Office.” His latest project is his children’s title, “The Book with No Pictures,” and he came to Chicago last fall, for an appearance sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville, Ill.) at North Central College.

Film Review: High-Energy ‘Battle of the Year’ Needs More Originality

CHICAGO – “B Boys” – or as they’re known by the more familiar term as break dancers – are high energy street performers who combine gymnastic moves with tight choreographed dance. This all comes together in a film depicting an international competition called “Battle of the Year.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 20 Pairs of Guaranteed, Local World-Premiere Passes to ‘Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D’

Update on 8/6/12 at 1:28 p.m.: Due to popular demand, we increased this Hookup from 10 pairs to 20 pairs!
CHICAGO – In our latest local world-premiere edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 pairs of guaranteed movie passes up for grabs to “Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D”!

DVD Review: Clever First Season of MTV Hit ‘Teen Wolf’

Teen Wolf: Season One

CHICAGO – Having suffered through countless knock-offs of the “Twilight” and “True Blood” phenomena, I was kind of dreading MTV’s “Teen Wolf.” Haven’t we been here before? And way too often? So I’m more surprised than anyone to report that this “Buffy”-esque drama/comedy/horror show is pretty damn good. It’s not as landmark as the Joss Whedon creation that so clearly inspired it but it’s much closer than anyone could have predicted in terms of quality. Funny, smart, and often quite clever, check out “Teen Wolf: Season One,” now on DVD.

Blu-ray Review: Legendary Characters Return in ‘Beavis and Butthead: Volume 4’

Beavis and Butthead: Volume 4

CHICAGO – Thank God Beavis and Butthead are back. I’ve been lucky enough to speak to Mike Judge a few times in my career and I always got the impression that he not only wanted to bring back his legendary characters but felt, as I did, that the world needs Beavis and Butthead…now more than ever. What would Beavis think of Twilight? What would Butthead say about social media? And how would they react to “Jersey Shore”? Now we know.

TV on Blu-ray Round-Up: ‘The Borgias,’ ‘Archer,’ ‘Jersey Shore’

The Borgias

CHICAGO – A number of recent TV seasons hit DVD and Blu-ray right after Christmas, hoping to get a share of that gift card balance burning a hole in your wallet. If you have any left, we thought you might want to know the details so you can plan your assault of the local Best Buy or fill your Amazon cart. This is a Round-up feature that serves mostly as information, letting you know the synopsis, tech specs, special features, etc., but if we had to pick favorites, FX’s “Archer” rules. It’s the best of the bunch, but, honestly, all four should satisfy fans (even if “The Borgias” is annoyingly light on special features). Yes, even “Jersey Shore.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Neo-Noir DVDs to 2011 MTV Movie Award Winner ‘Viva Riva!’

Viva Riva! with Patsha Bay Mukuna and Manie Malone

CHICAGO – In our latest drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, we have 5 DVDs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of the action-filled neo-noir “Viva Riva!,” which is the 2011 MTV Movie Award winner for best African film!

DVD Review: ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Three’ Continues Reality Phenomenon

Jersey Shore S3

CHICAGO – When most people hear that I’m a TV critic, they usually make a snarky comment about the disaster of reality TV. While I agree that a vast majority of it is nearly unbearable, I don’t think it’s fair to lump the entire genre into one negative bundle. It’s not surprising that I love the critical darlings like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Top Chef” but jaws drop when I try to defend MTV’s massive hit “Jersey Shore,” the third season of which was just released in an uncensored, 4-disc set.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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