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Amy Brenneman

Film Review: Stellar Actors Put ‘Words and Pictures’ Together

Words and Pictures

CHICAGO – “Words and Pictures” is a bit twee. In the film’s central debate between which medium has more influence, there was a drunken writer, prep students straight out of “Dead Poet’s Society” and cutesy romance. But there was also Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche at the top of their performance games, and they uplifted all these regular story elements.

Annette Bening, Naomi Watts Lack the Connection in ‘Mother and Child’

Naomi Watts of "Mother and Child"

CHICAGO – “Mother and Child,” with an all star cast of Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Kerry Washington, is mindful of its subject matter, that rare and elusive connection between a mother and their offspring. However, the film has difficulties when the characters become inconsistent with their past backgrounds after that connection is introduced.

Blu-Ray Review: Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’ a Modern Masterpiece


CHICAGO – Michael Mann might first seem the ideal fit for Blu-Ray. He’s a notorious perfectionist, apparent in every frame of his remarkable output of films that includes such great modern classics as “Manhunter,” “The Insider,” “Collateral,” and “Public Enemies”.

DVD Review: Catch Up With Hit ABC Shows ‘Castle,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ More


CHICAGO – Before the new fall season really gets underway, we thought we’d take a look back at several of the shows recently released or about to be released on DVD in season sets from ABC Studios and Buena Vista Home Video including the first season of “Castle,” the third season of “Ugly Betty,” the second season of “Private Practice,” and the fifth season of “Grey’s Anatomy”.

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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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