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Ray Romano

Interview, Audio: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon of ‘The Big Sick’

CHICAGO – One the hottest films to come out of the Sundance Film Festival in January was “The Big Sick,” which was written by Kumail Nanjiani (Dinesh in “Silicon Valley”) and his wife Emily V. Gordon. It is the based-on-truth story of the couple’s initial meeting, and the circumstances surrounding their early dating life.

Exclusive Portraits: Brad Garrett of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

CHICAGO – The six foot, eight inch Brad Garrett is used to towering over the competition, but it is his comedic chops that got him the part of Robert Barone in the popular sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Garrett was at Hollywood Palms Cinema, on behalf of Anderson’s Bookshop, both in Naperville, Ill., to promote his new book, “When the Balls Drop.”

Blu-ray Review: Laughs as Elusive as Acorns in ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’

Ice Age Continental Drift Blu-ray

CHICAGO – It ain’t over until the fat mammoth sings, and that’s precisely what happens—more or less—in “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the fourth installment of Blue Sky Studios’ increasingly tedious, decade-old franchise. Why can’t any of Pixar’s rival animation studios come up with a marketable formula better than Celebrities Voicing Animals Delivering Tired Sitcom Dialogue?

Film Review: ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ Sucks Remaining Life From Franchise

CHICAGO – The families who get suckered into the truly horrendous “Ice Age: Continental Drift” should be angry. Not only does it fail when compared to the best animation of the year (“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits,” “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “Brave”) but it’s less entertaining than most children’s television.

TV News: ‘HawthoRNe’ Dropped From TNT’s Drama Lineup

Hawthorne

CHICAGO – News last week of a separation between Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith may have been false, but the news that Jada’s current project “Hawthorne” and TNT are calling it quits is definitely true. “Hawthorne” or “HawthoRNe” has officially been dropped from the TNT lineup after three seasons on the air.

TV Review: Strong Cast Anchors Drama of ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Men of a Certain Age

CHICAGOTNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” returning this week to finish out its second season with six episodes that the producers promise will be backed with character-driven drama, has quietly grown not just a loyal following but a reasonably strong critical foundation as well.

TV Review: Talented Stars Carry ‘Men of a Certain Age’

CHICAGO – It has yet to approach the writing standards of the best television on the air right now but the stars of “Men of a Certain Age” continue to make it one of the more interesting programs on cable.

DVD Review: Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, Andre Braugher in ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Men of a Certain Age

CHICAGO – There’s a reason beyond simple truth-in-titling that I put the names of the three stars of TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” of which the first season was recently released on DVD, in the headline of this review — they’re the reason to watch. Created by Romano and Mike Royce, “Men of a Certain Age” is an imperfect program with at least one perfect performance (Emmy nominee Braugher) and two that sometimes come close. The “Men” of the title are excellent and if the program around them ever rises to their standard it could become one of the best on television.

TV Review: ‘Men of a Certain Age’ Promising But Off to Dull Start

Men of a Certain Age

CHICAGO – The mid-life crisis of the modern man is mostly about ego - as the body goes downhill and the role of the alpha male is supplanted by a new version of himself, men kind of fall apart as they realize that their peak has arguably passed. Why would such an individual experience make for intriguing drama? Using the mid-life crisis as a jumping off point for drama would require some seriously well-drawn characters, the kind of guys who you root to come to terms with passing over that hill. “Men of a Certain Age” does not yet have those characters.

Blu-Ray Review: Third ‘Ice Age’ Sticks to Frigid Formula

Ice Age 3

CHICAGO – When did “gentleness” first become “unhip” in children’s films? Practically every studio in America, with the exception of Pixar, feels the need to make their “all ages” entertainment as abrasive, dumb and crude as their escapism targeted at teens and simple-minded adults.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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