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Andre Braugher

TV Review: FOX Debuts New Comedies in Promising ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ Horrendous ‘Dads’

CHICAGOFOX started the season last night with the season premiere of “Bones” and series premiere of “Sleepy Hollow,” and they continue their effort to fill your DVR with the return of “New Girl” & “The Mindy Project” tonight, preceded by the series premieres of “Dads” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

DVD Review: ‘Last Resort: The Complete Series’ Offers History of Doomed Show

Last Resort (cropped)

CHICAGO – Around a year ago, I named Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort” the most-promising new show of the Fall season. I think I need to relabel that this year to “creatively promising,” for while I knew Ryan and his crew here had a chance to produce something special, I also worried that ABC was dooming it on Thursday nights.

TV Review: ABC’s Tense ‘Last Resort’ Delivers on Amazing Set-up

CHICAGO – It may not look as post-apocalyptic as “Revolution” or “The Walking Dead,” but Shawn Ryan’s excellent “Last Resort,” debuting tonight, is just as much about the end of the world as those programs. It’s about what happens when training fails, structure collapses, and human emotion betrays.

TV Review: Strong Cast Anchors Drama of ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Men of a Certain Age

CHICAGOTNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” returning this week to finish out its second season with six episodes that the producers promise will be backed with character-driven drama, has quietly grown not just a loyal following but a reasonably strong critical foundation as well.

TV Review: Talented Stars Carry ‘Men of a Certain Age’

CHICAGO – It has yet to approach the writing standards of the best television on the air right now but the stars of “Men of a Certain Age” continue to make it one of the more interesting programs on cable.

DVD Review: Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, Andre Braugher in ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Men of a Certain Age

CHICAGO – There’s a reason beyond simple truth-in-titling that I put the names of the three stars of TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” of which the first season was recently released on DVD, in the headline of this review — they’re the reason to watch. Created by Romano and Mike Royce, “Men of a Certain Age” is an imperfect program with at least one perfect performance (Emmy nominee Braugher) and two that sometimes come close. The “Men” of the title are excellent and if the program around them ever rises to their standard it could become one of the best on television.

Blu-Ray Review: Mediocre Adventures of ‘Superman/Batman: Apocalypse’

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

CHICAGO – Superman and Batman return to follow-up on the success of September 2009’s “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,” one of the most popular DC Universe Animated Movies, with this year’s “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.” Where does the ninth film in the franchise fall compared to other DC Universe flicks and does it say anything about the future of this hit-and-miss series of releases?

Blu-Ray Review: Wolfgang Petersen’s ‘Poseidon’ Rises to the Surface

Poseidon

CHICAGO – When Wolfgang Petersen’s “Poseidon” crashed and sank in the wave of summer hits of 2006 — making only $60 million domestically on a reported budget of $160 million — I thought the film got an undeserved bad rap (and it actually did much better internationally). It’s no classic and my love for the Irwin Allen era disaster films might have disguised some flaws but it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray.

TV Review: ‘Men of a Certain Age’ Promising But Off to Dull Start

Men of a Certain Age

CHICAGO – The mid-life crisis of the modern man is mostly about ego - as the body goes downhill and the role of the alpha male is supplanted by a new version of himself, men kind of fall apart as they realize that their peak has arguably passed. Why would such an individual experience make for intriguing drama? Using the mid-life crisis as a jumping off point for drama would require some seriously well-drawn characters, the kind of guys who you root to come to terms with passing over that hill. “Men of a Certain Age” does not yet have those characters.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • 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.

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