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Ben Schwartz

TV Review: Don Cheadle Enters Showtime’s Intriguing ‘House of Lies’

CHICAGO – The premiere of “House of Lies” is a smug, self-aware affair, a pilot that doesn’t show you how smart and clever it is as much as begs you to think it so over and over and over again.

TV Review: J.J. Abrams-Produced ‘Undercovers’ is Stylish, Familiar

CHICAGO – The timing of “Undercovers” might be inopportune — the notion of CIA super spies adding to the deficit by overextending their expense accounts — yet the show itself is bright and exciting with beautiful actors and settings. But despite the presence of J.J. Abrams of “Lost,” it doesn’t break any new ground.

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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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