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Angela Lansbury

Film Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast 3D’ Brings Magic to New Generation in Unnecessary Dimension

CHICAGO – It is a tale as old as time, and a film almost as old as I am. After the success that Disney had bringing “The Lion King” back to theaters this past September, it is no surprise that they have decided to bring four more films back to the theaters, starting with the classic tale “Beauty and the Beast,” which was first released in November of 1991.

Blu-ray Review: Harmless Family Entertainment of ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’

Mr. Popper's Penguins

CHICAGO – I have to admit that I went into my review of “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” expecting to feel torture not unlike when I suffered through “Yogi Bear” or “Gulliver’s Travels.” Live-action family entertainment has been the other side of the coin to the influx of quality animated entertainment. For every Pixar, there’s a “Chipwrecked.” For every “How to Train Your Dragon,” there’s a “Zookeeper.” To that end, I found “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” totally harmless, mostly because Jim Carrey gives it his all and brings enough manic glee to the proceedings to keep it from falling flat.

Blu-Ray Review: Cult Favorite ‘The Last Unicorn’ Gets Lavish Release

The Last Unicorn

CHICAGO – History has a funny way of distorting the quality of a film. Don’t worry. I’m not here to tell you that “The Last Unicorn” only works through the haze of memory. It still features some striking visuals and reasonably strong storytelling, but it may not be the ’80s classic you conjure up when you hear a tune that reminds you of that cheesy theme song. The legions of adoring fans should definitely check this out but be prepared for what could be a let down.

Blu-Ray Review: Original ‘Nanny McPhee’ Released Just in Time For Return

Nanny McPhee

CHICAGO – With the sequel “Nanny McPhee Returns” (also known as “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang” overseas) about to be released in theaters, Universal has taken the opportunity to release the original 2005 Emma Thompson on Blu-ray. This is a standard import of already-available DVD special features to the HD market in an attempt to spark interest after kids see the new film but it’s still entertaining family filmmaking that’s certainly worth a look if your rugrats have yet to see it.

DVD Review: Delightful ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ is Timeless

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

CHICAGO – When it was announced that Disney would be releasing a new special edition of “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” the little kid in me woke up and started pounding on my memory banks. I have such vivid memories of watching the film as a child, mouth agape, eyes wide, and falling in love with the blend of animation and live-action that looked so revolutionary to this future critic’s young mind. Pick up the DVD and inspire a child you know.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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