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Nashville

Interview: Geraldine Chaplin, at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – She is the oldest daughter of movie legend Charlie Chaplin, from his fourth marriage to Oona O’Neill, but she also was a spectacular actress in her own right. She is Geraldine Chaplin, and she was honored at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival, and was president on a film jury for the fest.

Blu-ray Review: Fantastic Set For Altman’s Beloved ‘Nashville’

Nashville

When I expressed excitement over the fact that Robert Altman’s stunning “Nashville” was being released in a Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition a few months back, a colleague asked me why I loved the film and I had trouble verbalizing my feelings about Altman’s sprawling, brilliant tapestry of characters. Watching the excellent new documentary about the making-of the film on the Criterion release makes it clear that I’m not alone.

What to Watch: Sept. 17-23, 2013 – TV Edition

Bates Motel

CHICAGO – This time of year is so rich with Blu-ray and DVD releases of last year’s television seasons that we thought we’d break out the latest ones into their own special edition of What to Watch. Stay tuned for a movie-specific one later in the week that includes “World War Z,” “The East,” “All is Bright,” and more, but this is just for you TV junkies. Pick your faves from the recently-released seasons of television on Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming platforms. Most of these are new to Blu-ray and DVD today, September 17, 2013. If I had to rank them in order of preference, here’s how it would go…

TV News: ABC Announces Fall Schedule with Eight New Shows

CHICAGOABC announced their 2013-14 schedule this morning and revealed an aggressive slate of new programming, including four new comedies and four new dramas. Tuesday nights will be entirely new, anchored by “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”.

TV Review: Connie Britton Carries a Dramatic Tune to ‘Nashville’

Nashville

CHICAGO – It seems unlikely to be the artistic accomplishment of “Friday Night Lights” or “American Horror Story,” but Connie Britton has done it again, bringing another character vibrantly to life on “Nashville” and cementing her position as one of the best actresses on television. She’s easily the best thing about this entertaining if inconsistent show, a program that too often submits to its soap opera trappings but has enough rhythm to presume that it could be a solid weekly diversion.

TV Feature: The 10 Most Promising New Shows of Fall 2012

CHICAGO – The 2010-11 season was a very interesting one for network television. After a few years of undeniable failure, most of the networks found at least one new notable hit. FOX is building an entire night of comedy around Emmy-nominated breakout “New Girl.” ABC is ecstatic over the loyal followings for “Revenge” & “Once Upon a Time” (and “Suburgatory” has the potential to truly breakout in its sophomore season).

TV News: ABC Fall Schedule Includes Four New Shows, New Nights For ‘Revenge,’ ‘Happy Endings’

CHICAGO – After an incredibly successful 2011-2012 season, ABC is doing something of a victory lap by not changing much of what worked about a season that saw the network create a number of new hits, including “Revenge,” “Once Upon a Time,” and “Suburgatory.”

Film Review: Melodrama Weakens Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Country Strong’

CHICAGO – Modern country music is actually quite fascinating. Whereas in the classic days of the 1950s to ‘70s, when it was a cult stepchild of popular music, now it occupies the rarified heights of the Justins and Taylors. That is why “Country Strong,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, is so annoying. It doesn’t even try to be modern.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Ultimate Collector’s Edition’

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

CHICAGO – One of the most-beloved films of arguably the most important period in film history hits Blu-ray this week in a lavish “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” courtesy of the studio that does this kind of thing better than anyone else. With unique physical collectibles to go with great special features and a new HD transfer of the 35-year-old film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” has lost none of its power.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Nothing Without a Company’s new world premiere stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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