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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

Heat

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

Castle

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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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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