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.
Blu-ray Review: Huge Collection of Special Features For Sweet ‘We Bought a Zoo’
CHICAGO – Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo” should have made more money. Sure, it’s a cheesy slice of family entertainment but when the cheese is this well-crafted, performed, and delivered, one can’t complain too much about it. “We Bought a Zoo” is too long, not subtle enough, and pretty manipulative, but it the manipulation works. Matt Damon is stellar (as he always seems to be lately) and Crowe tells this old-fashioned tale with enough skill to make it entertaining. “We Bought a Zoo” is one of those rare cross-demographic films — from children to grandparents — that doesn’t insult the intelligence of any of them.
Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Those who did see and love “We Bought a Zoo” will be happy to learn that the Blu-ray release is as packed with special features as nearly any 2011 film. Cameron Crowe is a documentarian at heart, so it’s not surprising that he basically chronicled the entire production. He appears on a commentary and the featurettes, which are typically short on Fox releases, add up to more running time than the actual film. There’s even a lengthy piece on the real Benjamin Mee, the man who inspired the film. If you loved “Zoo,” you couldn’t be happier with this Blu-ray.
We Bought a Zoo
Photo credit: Fox
Oscar winner Matt Damon gives a heartfelt performance in this film which is based on a true story. When his teenage son gets into trouble, Benjamin Mee (Damon) gives up a lucrative newspaper job to move his family to the most unlikely of places: a zoo! With help from an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, Benjamin embarks on a fresh beginning to restore the dilapidated zoo to its former glory, while uniting his family. From the director of Jerry Maguire, We Bought A Zoo is a “wonderful, warm and witty” (Bill Bregoli, CBS Radio News) celebration of the human spirit.
o Audio Commentary With Director Cameron Crowe, Actor JB Smoove and Editor Mark Livolsi
o Deleted & Extended Scenes
o Gag Reel
o We Shot A Zoo: Go Behind The Scenes
o Their Happy Is Too Loud
o The Real Mee
o It’s A Zoo: An Insider’s Look At We Bought A Zoo