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Carla Gugino

DVD Review: Frustrating USA Mini-Series ‘Political Animals’

Political Animals

CHICAGOUSA’s mini-series “Political Animals” should have been one of the TV events of 2012. Instead it was just one of its biggest disappointments. That cast! That subject! In a political, election season! Zzzzzzz. Sadly, the creators of “Political Animals” delivered a program more like “Dallas” than “The West Wing” and viewers tuned out to the degree that the potential second season was canned. Now we can see what went wrong in one lackluster DVD set.

TV Review: Sigourney Weaver Carries USA’s Disappointing ‘Political Animals’

CHICAGO – I’m a political junkie who naturally loves to follow the world of journalism as well and so I was psyched about the premiere of USA’s mini-series, “Political Animals,” a star-studded affair about how a powerful Washington family deals with a headstrong reporter and the secrets they still hope to keep.

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.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘The Mighty Macs’ on Women’s Basketball

CHICAGO – In our latest sports edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the original Cinderella story “The Mighty Macs” about women’s basketball!

Blu-Ray Review: Catch Up With ‘Spy Kids’ Trilogy in HD Before Upcoming Sequel

Spy Kids

CHICAGO – Before you spend your hard-earned cash taking the entire family to see “Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World,” you might as well catch up with the original “trilogy,” the very-popular series of films that most of us assumed were the end of this mediocre franchise. Don’t get me wrong — the first “Spy Kids” is actually a very fun movie and totally worth owning for Blu-ray buyers with kids of the right age but the two sequels are mediocre and annoying, respectively. Still, kids like to have complete collections and all of the films are hitting Blu-ray this week extras-packed HD editions with digital copies. Now you can take these precocious mini-Bonds anywhere.

Blu-Ray Review: Extended Cut of Controversial ‘Sucker Punch’

Sucker Punch

CHICAGO – We’ve seen a lot of overly stylized films based on video games and comic books but rarely has there been a movie more derivative of other mediums yet not actually based on one than Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch,” a movie loathed by dozens of major critics (and defended by our very own Patrick McDonald) and recently released on Blu-ray and DVD in a 17-minute longer extended cut.

Film Review: Nature is Abused By Jim Carrey in ‘Mr Popper’s Penguins’

CHICAGO – Pity the poor penguin making pictures. Their wings cannot fly, they have no script approval or agents, just a trainer bribing them with food to hit the mark. Their presence, their cuteness, even their flightlessness are exploited for a dreadful Jim Carrey film called “Mr Popper’s Penguins.” Somebody call PETA.

Film Review: ‘Sucker Punch’ Has Dazzling Imagery, Wham-Bam

CHICAGO – It’s a pleasure to see the comic book film done right, especially with the visionary guidance of director Zach Snyder (”300”). “Sucker Punch” is an amazing treat, a feast of eye candy and incredible adventure.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Chicago Passes to Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch’ With Vanessa Hudgens

Sucker Punch from Zack Snyder with Vanessa Hudgens

CHICAGO – In our latest fantasy/action edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Sucker Punch” from “Watchmen” and “300” director Zack Snyder!

DVD Review: Dwayne Johnson Wastes Talent on Dull ‘Faster’

Faster, Dwayne Johnson

CHICAGO – After his underrated breakthrough from wrestling into acting, “The Rundown,” we all expected Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to be the next macho action stars like the icons we grew up with — Sly, Ahnuld, Bruce Willis, and more. But the action market shifted to more average-looking heroes (like Nic Cage & Shia LaBeouf) and The Rock took a left turn into family fare like “The Tooth Fairy” and “Race to Witch Mountain.” “Faster” looked like a return to the genre in which he would have been a mega-star in 1988. Sadly, the result is a dull, boring affair that’s nowhere near as much fun as its title or premise might suggest.

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