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Film Review: There is Little Beauty to Be Found in ‘Collateral Beauty’

CHICAGO – Charles Dickens once said, “Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Seeing the trailer for “Collateral Beauty,” it’s obvious this is the theme of the film, but it is also the theme of this review. My “blessing” to you is the foresight not to waste your time with this film.

Film Review: It is Best to Steer Clear of This ‘Entourage’

CHICAGO – I actually did watch the HBO show this big-screen iteration is based on, and I looked back in surprise to find the show actually lasted for 8 years. That’s a long time for a show that peaked in season two, and petered out into irrelevance somewhere around season four or so.

Blu-Ray Review: Timeless ‘King Kong’ Given Gorgeous HD Treatment

King Kong

CHICAGO – Is there any better metaphor in the history of film for technology taking over nature than the planes that shoot down King Kong at the end of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s 1933 classic? At the height of the depression, when 25% of the workforce was unemployed, the two adventure-seekers and his team took that metaphor and spun it around an amazingly slice of entertainment that would become one of the most influential and enjoyable films ever made, now available on Blu-ray.

Blu-Ray Review: Robert Altman’s ‘The Player’ Has Lost None of Its Power

The Player

CHICAGO – Robert Altman’s “The Player” is one of the more important and influential films in the life of this film critic. It came out at a time when the film industry was in a bit of a slump and stood out as an original, creative, mesmerizing vision that I feel helped usher in a period of such productivity in the ’90s. It is a brilliant masterpiece that has lost none of its power almost twenty years after its release.

DVD Reviews: ‘Brothers and Sisters,’ ‘Chuck,’ ‘Supernatural’

Supernatural

CHICAGOLast week we covered several of the more notable rookie programs of the just-passed TV year and their inaugural TV-on-DVD season sets. This week, we’re back with a few of the veterans of the field, three shows that have never become critical smashes but have all developed their own devoted followings for good reason.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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