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Anjelica Huston

Blu-ray Review: ‘A Cat in Paris’ Has Fun Moments in Frustrating Movie

A Cat in Paris

CHICAGO – One of two surprising 2012 Oscar nominees for Best Animated Film (the other being “Chico & Rita”), “A Cat in Paris” was just released in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Special Edition and viewers may be curious what enticed Academy members. The film has its diversions but it’s ultimately a film that only reminds one of better works and barely comes together. It would work as a TV special but its 62-minute length isn’t the only thing that keep it back from being a fully-realized feature.

Film Review: ‘Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel’ is Fabulous, Dahling

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

CHICAGO – Biography documentaries often are the most creative of that film genre. Over the past few years some notable general releases have included “The Kid Stays in the Picture” (2002) and the George Harrison treatment by Martin Scorsese. Add “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” to that list – bio docs that present a life in style and substance.

TV News: NBC Renews ‘Smash’ For Second Season

Smash

CHICAGO – Since it slid in weeks two and three, viewers who fell in love with NBC’s “Smash” have been biting their nails like an ingenue waiting to see if she makes the cut for callbacks. Good news, “Smash” fans: NBC renewed the show for a second season today.

Blu-ray Review: Remarkably Talented Ensemble Gets Small in ‘The Big Year’

The Big Year

CHICAGO – Given the wacky nature of Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin in their family comedies and the tendency of all three talented actors to over-act, people will probably be surprised at how generally-subdued their collaboration on “The Big Year” ended up. In fact, while the movie is genial and good-natured, it’s also surprisingly dull. The characters never resonate beyond their descriptions - rookie, veteran, and the jerk in between. So, while the filmmakers deserve credit for not injecting the proceedings with gross-out humor, they needed to inject it with something to bring it to life.

TV Review: NBC’s ‘Smash’ is Best New Network Show of the Season

CHICAGO – After months of hype and expectations that increased with every creative and ratings failure that NBC trotted out this season, the premiere of “Smash” is finally here. Is this the show that saves NBC? Is it the next “Glee” or the next “Cop Rock”?

Blu-ray Review: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Great ‘50/50’

50/50

CHICAGO – There’s some wonderful alternate universe where the excellent “50/50” received the Oscar recognition it deserved last week and it at LEAST notched a Best Original Screenplay nomination while the performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick, and Anjelica Huston were considered for their categories. Then again, in that universe at least half the Oscar nominations were different and at least one of the Best Picture nominees was never made. The point is that Jonathan Levine’s daring cancer comedy got screwed. Catch up with it on Blu-ray or DVD and see if you agree.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 38 Pairs of Sneak-Peek Chicago Passes to Steven Spielberg’s ‘Smash’ on NBC

CHICAGO – In our latest edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: TV, we have 38 admit-two VIP party passes up for grabs to the special sneak screening of the premiere episode of Steven Spielberg’s “Smash” on NBC starring Debra Messing!

Film Review: Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, Jack Black Flock Up in ‘The Big Year’

The Big Year

CHICAGO – “The Big Year” is advertised as a comedy. The subject is bird watching, or as the new film likes to express the proper term, “birding.” It stars comic legend Steve Martin, and funnymen Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It is both not funny and is ACTUALLY, seriously about birding. Time to fly away.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘The Big Year’ With Jack Black, Steve Martin

CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Big Year” with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson from “The Devil Wears Prada” director!

Film Review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen in Moving ‘50/50’

CHICAGO – Jonathan Levine’s “50/50” is a daring blend of buddy comedy, light romance, family drama, and, oh yeah, cancer movie. The tightrope act of a script by Will Reiser is elevated in remarkable ways by one of the best ensembles of the year, led ably by the great Joseph Gordon-Levitt, doing career-best, Oscar nomination-worthy work.

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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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