Toy Story

On-Air Film Review: To Infinity and Beyond with ‘Lightyear’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on June 16, reviewing “Lightyear,” the latest Pixar Animation film spun off from the Toy Story Universe. In theaters beginning June 17th.

Podtalk: My Convo with Wallace, Part Two of Wallace Shawn

CHICAGO – When an interview opportunity comes up with Wallace Shawn, and it lasts more than 15 minutes, a conversation can be born. In our own version of “My Dinner with Andre,” I got an expansion with the actor, writer and one of the most famous dinner guests in cinema history (he is the “My” in “My Dinner … “ ).

Podtalk: Actor Wallace Shawn Celebrates ‘Rifkin’s Festival’

CHICAGO – The distinctive voice and presence of Wallace Shawn has been in the show business firmament for over 40 years. From his legacy film “My Dinner with Andre” through cultural icon in “The Princess Bride” to “Young Sheldon,” Wally Shawn has endured and prospered. He stars as the title character in “Rifkin’s Festival, opening January 28th, 2022.

Entertainment News: ‘Mr. Warmth’ Don Rickles Dies at 90

Don Rickles

LOS ANGELES – With the flourish of trumpets in “The Bullfighter’s Song,” a pugnacious man would strut on stage and launch a volley of hilarious insults on some unsuspecting targets. That act was Don Rickles, whose show business nicknames included “The King of Zing,” “The Merchant of Venom” and the magnificently ironic “Mr. Warmth.” Rickles died in Los Angeles on April 6th, 2017. He was 90.

Blu-ray Review: Great Collection of Pixar Shorts Released in HD

Pixar Shorts

CHICAGO – The second volume of shorts created by the most influential and creatively important studio of the last twenty years was recently released on Blu-ray and it’s undeniable that a few of these mini-films are simply better than their full-length competition. Some Oscar-nominated and some including beloved characters, this may not be as obvious a holiday choice as “Brave” or “Finding Nemo,” but “Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2” is one of the best family Blu-ray releases of the holiday season.

Blu-ray Review: Pixar’s ‘Cars 2’ Represents Low For Legendary Company

Cars 2

CHICAGO – “Cars 2,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is disappointing in 1,000 ways. It would be a lackluster family film no matter who made it but the fact that the most important movie studio of the last twenty years, Pixar, produced a film this boring, uninspired, offensive, and just plain horrendous is nearly soul-crushing. This critic counts “WALL-E,” “Finding Nemo,” and all three “Toy Story” movies among the best films ever made. It’s hard to believe “Cars 2” came from the same production company. It’s barely even the same genre.

Blu-Ray Review: Pixar’s Spectacular ‘Toy Story 3’ With Tom Hanks Given Amazing Blu-Ray Release

CHICAGO – It’s always wonderful to see Blu-ray karma turn out the way it should. Blu-ray critics often see great releases with perfect HD and interesting special features for awful movies. Conversely, it’s not uncommon for great films to be given lackluster home releases. “Toy Story 3” is not only one of the best films of 2010, it’s one of the best Blu-rays as well.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Toy Story’ Films Released in Advance of ‘Toy Story 3’

Toy Story Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – If you don’t at least like the “Toy Story” movies, you’re probably kind of a jerk. Personally, I adore them both and have seen them multiple times on DVD; the standard go-to when babysitting nieces and nephews. And yet watching them again in glorious Disney HD, they still felt new. I’m blinded by love for Pixar, but these are must-owns for anyone with a Blu-ray player.

Pixar’s ‘Up’ to Open Cannes Film Festival in May 2009

Up

CHICAGOPixar continues their plan for world dominance with their 2009 film “Up” being announced today as the opening film for the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in May. Produced under John Lasseter’s supervision, the film that follows “WALL-E,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story,” and more under the prestigious Pixar banner will be the Opening Ceremony film in Disney Digital 3-D on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009.

‘WALL-E’ Earns Accolade as 2008’s First Perfect Film, One of Best Pixar Films Ever

CHICAGO – While perfection can be characterized in many ways, there’s only one way to define perfect in film: one with everything you could ask for and nothing you could cut. Though this a highly unlikely proposition, “WALL-E” has become 2008’s first perfect film and one of the best Pixar projects of all time.

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  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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