September 2011

TV News: ‘Terra Nova,’ ‘Hart of Dixie’ Ratings Disappoint; ‘2 Broke Girls’ Still Kicking

Terra Nova

CHICAGO – The new FOX prehistoric series “Terra Nova” was a bit of a disappointment in its premiere episode Monday night, posting a 3.1 rating in the highly coveted 18-49 age group. The show premiered for two hours from 7-9 p.m. CST.

TV Review: Torturous ‘Suburgatory’ Ineptly Imitates Diablo Cody

CHICAGOABC reaches a new low with “Suburgatory,” one of the least funny comedies of the fall TV season. It’s only appropriate that the pilot premieres after ABC’s other torturous suburban sitcom, “The Middle,” since neither show seems to have been conceived by a writer willing to step foot outside of the L.A. city limits. Yet while “The Middle” was admittedly likable during its first season, “Suburgatory” tanks in its opening moments.

TV News: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Sets Series, FX Records

Sons of Anarchy S2

CHICAGOFX’s hit series “Sons of Anarchy” has become the most watched program in the history of the network. The season four premiere of the show had 6.5 million viewers watching when it premiered and added another 3 million in its encore plays. The 9.5 million total viewers for the one episode included 6.3 million adults from 18-49 years old.

Film News: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1’ Full Soundtrack Listing Released

Twilight Saga: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

CHICAGO – “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” has released a full track listing for the film’s soundtrack. With the film not being released until November 18, the soundtrack looks to build even more hype for the next film.

TV Review: Rachel Bilson Takes Trip to ‘Hart of Dixie’

CHICAGO – There is a certain undefinable screen presence that makes some actresses look more comfortable on TV than others. Sarah Michelle Gellar has it. Juliana Margulies has it. Edie Falco definitely has it.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Rays For Wes Craven’s ‘Scream 4’ With Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox

Scream 4 with Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox

CHICAGO – In our latest horror/mystery edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the home entertainment release of Wes Craven’s “Scream 4” starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Anna Paquin!

TV News: Ben Stiller, Anna Faris to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in Oct. 2011

Ben Stiller

CHICAGONBC announced Monday morning that actor Ben Stiller and actress Anna Faris are slated to host “Saturday Night Live” in October. The announcement also stated that Foster the People would be the musical guest in Stiller’s show, and Drake would perform when Faris hosts.

TV News: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Holds Sunday Reign Over ‘Pan Am,’ ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘The Amazing Race’

Sunday Night Football Steelers Colts.jpg

CHICAGO – The overnight totals have come in and it is no surprise to find that football was the leader of Sunday night. The Steelers and Colts squared off at Lucas Oil Stadium and reached a 7.2 rating with adults 18-49. While this is the top rating of the night, it is down 22% from last year’s week three Sunday night football matchup when the Jets took on the Dolphins in Miami.

TV Review: ‘Terra Nova’ Needs More Time to Develop

CHICAGO – Highly anticipated and produced in part by Steven Spielberg, “Terra Nova” gets a choppy start, but has enough fascinating elements and is promising enough to earn future viewing. The two hour premiere is Monday, September 26th on FOX.

DVD Review: ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’ Tells Half the Story

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

CHICAGO – You may assume from that title that I’m referring to the “other half” of Conan O’Brien’s story being that of Jay Leno and his involvement in the debacle surrounding “The Tonight Show” but I could care less what Leno has to say. Or anyone at NBC. No, this hardcore Team Coco member was surprised by how much of the acclaimed new doc about O’Brien, recently released on DVD, was about his tour and how little was about what the man has gone through in the last couple years. It’s a good doc about how to come out of a tough situation without really telling us enough about how O’Brien got there in the first place.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Citizen Kane’ Continues to Stun 70 Years Later

Citizen Kane

CHICAGO – I have written about thousands of movies and yet I still feel daunted by addressing “Citizen Kane,” recently released in a stunning Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray for the 70th anniversary of what many still consider to be the best film of all time. What could I possibly add to the conversation? Pulitzer Prize winners have dissected the film down to every decision made by Orson Welles during its production. All I can tell you is that the movie has lost none of its power. It is still one of the most striking cinematic achievements of all time and the impressive Blu-ray box set does the film the justice it has long-deserved.

TV Review: HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Returns Better Than Ever

CHICAGO – We need more programming as ridiculously ambitious as HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Not only does this Emmy award-winning program, returning tonight for its highly-anticipated second season, feature dozens of speaking roles and multiple subplots but it’s also the most uniquely stylish show on TV.

Film News: ‘The Lion King 3D’ Strikes Out ‘Moneyball,’ Takes Box Office Again

The Lion King 3D

CHICAGO – “The Lion King 3D” held its dominance in the box office this past weekend when it edged out “Moneyball” for the top prize. The re-release of the film, presented in three dimensions, has now gone back to back weeks at number one 17 years apart.

TV Review: FOX Rules on Sunday With ‘Animation Domination’

CHICAGO – The legacy of “The Simpsons” lives on as the show premieres September 25th for its record-holding 23rd season. Afterward, the season premieres of Seth MacFarlane’s cartoon classics – “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show,” are all part of “Animation Domination” on FOX.

TV Review: Breezy ‘Pan Am’ Pilot Exudes Promise in Flawed Launch

CHICAGO – Feminism continues to be redefined for a new generation in this season’s slate of TV dramas. While NBC’s “The Playboy Club” makes the age-old error of confusing exploitation with empowerment, ABC’s “Pan Am” argues that flight attendants paved the way for the modern woman.

Blu-Ray Review: Emmy-Nominated Second Seasons of ‘Glee,’ ‘Modern Family’

Modern Family: S2

CHICAGO – Two of the recent nominees for the 2011 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series were recently-released in stellar season-set packages from Twentieth Century Fox. The company not only wisely chose to release these programs in HD but have included fan-centric special features for both “Glee: The Complete Second Season” and “Modern Family: The Complete Second Season.” If you even like either show, you should pick ‘em up. If you love these comedies, you probably already have.

Film Review: Feel Goodness of ‘Dolphin Tale’ Overcomes Clichés

Dolphin Tale

CHICAGO – In the tradition of live-action Disney films of another era, “Dolphin Tale” wears its heart on its sleeve, while at the same time using the characters as two-dimensional window dressing around a based-on-truth story of humans and an animal bonding together to inspire a nation.

Feel Goodness of ‘Dolphin Tale’ Overcomes Clichés

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – In the tradition of live-action Disney films of another era, “Dolphin Tale” wears its heart on its sleeve, while at the same time using the characters as two-dimensional window dressing around a based-on-truth story of humans and an animal bonding together to inspire a nation.

Film Review: Taylor Lautner Stars in Silly, Ineffective ‘Abduction’

CHICAGO – After the success of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Taylor Lautner could have taken any number of paths to breakout with his own star vehicle. He chose to try and fashion himself into an action star, appearing in this weekend’s “Abduction” as a young man discovering he has a very special past.

Taylor Lautner Stars in Silly, Ineffective ‘Abduction’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – After the success of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Taylor Lautner could have taken any number of paths to breakout with his own star vehicle. He chose to try and fashion himself into an action star, appearing in this weekend’s “Abduction” as a young man discovering he has a very special past. He gets to find love, kick some ass, and even kill some bad guys. And all of it is very, very silly.

TV News: Kiefer Sutherland Returning to FOX in ‘Touch’

kiefer sutherland.jpg

CHICAGO – Kiefer Sutherland is returning to the FOX network, but don’t expect him to be wielding guns and saving the world from terrorists in his new show. Sutherland, who made Jack Bauer and ‘24’ a hit for the network, is signed on to the new drama series ‘Touch,’ which FOX ordered 13 new episodes of yesterday morning.

TV Review: Great Cast, Crew Elevate ‘A Gifted Man’ Into Fine Cheese

CHICAGOCBS’s new Friday night drama “A Gifted Man” has the kind of cheesy plot designed to appeal to fans who miss “Highway to Heaven,” “Touched by an Angel,” or “The Ghost Whisperer”.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season’

Supernatural: S6

CHICAGO – “Supernatural” was supposed to end after five seasons. There were rumors of that fact long before it began in 2009 and it kind of felt like that acknowledged end point added a weight and gravity to the show. So, what are we doing here reviewing the recently-released sixth season Blu-ray on the eve of the premiere of the seventh season on The CW? You tell me. It’s still an entertaining show but it has the air of a sequel, kind of a copy of the original more than an inspired drama.

TV News: ‘Person of Interest,’ ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Have Decent Premiere Ratings, ‘The Office’ Maintains

Charlie's Angels Season 1 Premiere

CHICAGO – The overnights for the first new Thursday of the Fall 2011 season are in and there were no major surprises. Every network has something to be happy about and something to worry about, depending on who’s spinning the story. “The X Factor” maintained from its opening night numbers and “The Office” proved it may not need Steve Carell, while “Person of Interest” and “Charlie’s Angels” were well-sampled.

Film Review: ‘Killer Elite’ Mistakes Cliché For Action

CHICAGO – “Killer Elite” is an exhausting, nonsensical, illogical, loud collection of action clichés masquerading as a modern action film. It features characters less three-dimensional than most cartoons doing and saying things that are only done and said in movies. Bad movies. Really bad movies.

‘Killer Elite’ Mistakes Cliché For Action

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Killer Elite” is an exhausting, nonsensical, illogical, loud collection of action clichés masquerading as a modern action film. It features characters less three-dimensional than most cartoons doing and saying things that are only done and said in movies. Bad movies. Really bad movies.

Film Review: Gus Van Sant Turns Death Into Poetry in ‘Restless’

Restless
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Gus Van Sant’s “Restless” is an undeniably twee and hipster film that will annoy some viewers about as much as bad performance art, but I found the film’s commitment to a unique tone and world view refreshing as so few directors even know what those words mean. It may not be grounded enough to be emotionally effective, but another strong performance from the stellar Mia Wasikowska and a consistency to its vision make “Restless” worth a look.

Gus Van Sant Turns Death Into Poetry in ‘Restless’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Gus Van Sant’s “Restless” is an undeniably twee and hipster film that will annoy some viewers about as much as bad performance art, but I found the film’s commitment to a unique tone and world view refreshing as so few directors even know what those words mean. It may not be grounded enough to be emotionally effective, but another strong performance from the stellar Mia Wasikowska and a consistency to its vision make “Restless” worth a look.

Film Review: Epic, Unusual ‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’

Detective Dee

CHICAGO – The roots of the cinematic obsession with wizards, the force and middle earth can be traced back somewhat to the tradition of the martial artist, and the magical realism that is practiced in that genre of films. “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” packs in action, magic politics and fantasy in a tale based on a real Chinese empress.

Epic, Unusual ‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The roots of the cinematic obsession with wizards, the force and middle earth can be traced back somewhat to the tradition of the martial artist, and the magical realism that is practiced in that genre of films. “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” packs in action, magic politics and fantasy in a tale based on a real Chinese empress.

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  • Space Force

    CHICAGO – Seemingly ripped from the headlines, by way of “Dr. Strangelove,” the new Netflix TV series “Space Force” debuted on May 29th, 2020. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com reviewed the series during the Eddie Volkman Show (Star 96.7 FM in Joliet, Illinois) on June 5th, 2020.

  • Adriana Leonard & Carley Marcelle

    CHICAGO – When two passionate content creators got together, they sought not only to produce a work of entertainment, but a higher philosophy within it. Co-Writers/Directors and Executive Producers Adriana Leonard and Carley Marcelle have created “Beta” A Digital Series, and they are about to launch it.

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