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Blu-ray Review: ‘Monsters University’ Offers Clever Family Fun

Monsters University

CHICAGO – In an incredibly weak time for feature animation (since the glory of 2010, it’s been pretty dark out there), Pixar’s “Monsters University” has enough personality and genuine humor to stand out from its generic competition. It also helps the film’s quest for another Pixar Oscar for Best Animated Film that the recently-released Blu-ray is a gem, loaded with special features and including a spectacula HD transfer. It falls between the amazing “Toy Story 3” and the awful “Cars 2” on the Pixar spectrum but it’s still a good time and will make a lovely holiday season gift.

Film Review: Pixar Scores Again With Delightful ‘Monsters University’

CHICAGO – Let’s everybody say it together, “the key to great animation is a great story.” This has to be the motto for Pixar Animation – now part of Disney. Their latest, “Monsters University,” is a prequel with a heart, soul and attention to what makes this type of entertainment work.

Blu-ray Review: Learn a Lesson by Not Seeing ‘Parental Guidance’

Parental Guidance

CHICAGO – “Parental Guidance” is embarassingly bad. Why on Earth Billy Crystal chose this anemic, cliched comedy to essentially come back from retirement is something I’ll never understand. Maybe the star of “City Slickers” and Oscar legend thought this would be his “Meet the Parents”. It’s not.

Film Review: No Scrooge in Billy Crystal with ‘Parental Guidance’

CHICAGO – As the bells toll this Christmas morn, the critical knots are untied and the new comedy, “Parental Guidance,” is deemed to be not bad – even though the marketing might have indicated otherwise. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler make merry and bright as two grandparents taking care of modern kids.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Parental Guidance’ with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “Parental Guidance” starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler!

Film News: Live Results For the 2012 Academy Awards

CHICAGO – Welcome to the HollywoodChicago.com coverage of the 84th annual Academy Awards. This awards telecast honors the best in film for 2011 and will be hosted by Billy Crystal at 7:30 p.m. CST tonight on ABC.

Film News: Billy Crystal Takes Over as Oscar Host

Billy Crystal Oscars

CHICAGO – A day after Eddie Murphy dropped out as the host of the next Academy Awards Ceremony, Billy Crystal announced on his twitter that he would take over the hosting duties. Crystal will host the Oscars for the ninth time on February 26, 2012.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘When It Was a Game,’ ‘61*’ Make Great Dad’s Day Gifts

61*

CHICAGO – Baseball is a game made for the romantic hyperbole of otherwise stoic men. The appreciation of the game is often passed from Dad to son, so just in time for Father’s Day along comes two great baseball films, the Billy Crystal directed “61*” and the “When it Was a Game” collection.

Blu-Ray Review: Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Hamlet’ Was Made For HD

Hamlet - Branagh

CHICAGO – Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” got a raw deal. In the shadow of not just the legend of William Shakespeare’s play but the incredible film versions that had come before, “Hamlet” couldn’t even break $5 million at the box office. And yet this gorgeous, incredibly-made retelling of one of the most influential pieces of theater ever written looks simply amazing on Blu-ray. It’s a fantastic release.

Blu-Ray Review: Pixar’s HD Collection Continues With ‘Monsters, Inc.’

Monsters, Inc.

CHICAGO – As Disney/Pixar continues to release new films on Blu-Ray, they often “piggy-back” one title with another from their catalog, choosing to release Pete Docter’s first directorial effort for the company, “Monsters, Inc.” in HD on the same day that they release his new film, “Up”. In a beautiful 4-disc combo pack that includes Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital copies of the film, “Monsters, Inc.” continues the Pixar Blu-Ray tradition.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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