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Film Review: James Brown Bio ‘Get On Up’ Stuck in a Funk

Get On Up

CHICAGO – “Get On Up” contains one dynamite performance trapped in a frustratingly mediocre movie. James Brown’s life and music offer a wealth of material to work with, that doesn’t necessarily adhere to the conventions of a formulaic musical biopic.

Film Review: ‘Draft Day’ is Daft, Except as an NFL Infomercial

CHICAGO – Kevin Costner has defined a career in sports themed movies. From the Iowa farmer building a baseball diamond in “Field of Dreams,” to “Bull Durham,” to “For the Love of the Game,” he exemplified game day heroics. Yet being an NFL executive in “Draft Day” isn’t quite as exciting.

Blu-ray Review: Emotional ‘42’ Has Power But Lacks Depth

42

CHICAGO – “World’s not so simple any more. Guess it never was.” I wish “42” wasn’t so simple either. Because the story of the amazing accomplishments of Jackie Robinson sure were anything but simple. He was not only chosen to be the man who would break the color barrier but he was asked to do so peacefully, never displaying the anger that 99 out of 100 men would in the same situation.

Film Review: ‘42’ Celebrates Jackie Robinson, the Promise of America

CHICAGO – It took baseball, that noble sport, to recognize in 1947 what the universe had dictated since day one – all persons are equal and all deserve an equal chance. Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to break the “color line” in baseball, and the story of that achievement is magnificently told in “42.”

TV Review: NBC Mystery Series ‘Persons Unknown’ is Worth Meeting

CHICAGO – Written by the man who gave the world Keyser Soze in his Oscar-winning script for “The Usual Suspects,” NBC’s “Persons Unknown” is a summer mystery mini-series not unlike last year’s “Harper’s Island” or a mini-“Lost” in that the team behind it want people talking about the questions of the show over summer barbecues.

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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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