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Blu-ray Review: Guillermo Del Toro Provides Explosive Fun in ‘Pacific Rim’

Pacific Rim

CHICAGO – Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, has so much of what the other 2013 Summer blockbusters were missing. There was a disturbing sense of familiarity this year. Even the decent ones like the “Iron Man” and “Star Trek” sequels felt like things we had seen before. “Pacific Rim” returned wonder and spectacle to the world of the blockbuster and the result was Del Toro’s best English-language film. It’s a blast.

Film Review: ‘Pacific Rim’ is Classic Sci-fi Cult Movie Joy

CHICAGO – Leave it to the wondrous auteur, director Guillermo del Toro, to push the boundaries of giant science fiction epics simply by paying homage to their predecessors. The grand, glorious embrace of “Pacific Rim” leaves no stone of cult film fun unturned.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Frankie Go Boom’ Offers Plentiful Humiliation, Few Laughs

Frankie Go Boom Blu-ray

CHICAGO – “Frankie Go Boom” is a comedy about deplorable people who commit heartless acts and expect us to laugh at them. It casts the hugely lovable Chris O’Dowd as the most loathsome schlub ever to materialize on the big screen since Josh Gad’s wretched comic relief in “Love and Other Drugs.” And it puts Ron Perlman in drag but fails to give him a single laugh-worthy line. What a misfire.

Film Review: Inconsistent But Sweet ‘3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom’

3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Jordan Roberts “3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom” is available On Demand in advance of its October theatrical release and it’s likely to be enticing to fans of the mega-hit “Sons of Anarchy” (which premiered this week to record-setting numbers) and those looking for a new comedy as the multiplex is crowded with horror and action movies. The raunchy comedy feels like a cousin of the Judd Apatow brand without the same degree of timing but the likable cast goes a long way to getting one over the screenwriting speed bumps.

TV Review: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Returns For Intense Fifth Season

CHICAGO – The Shakespearian tragedy that is “Sons of Anarchy” ascends to a new level of drama in the strong first two episodes of the fifth season as the writers pick up close to where they left off in the brilliant fourth year of one cable’s biggest hits. With fantastic guest stars like Jimmy Smits and Harold Perrineau, “Sons of Anarchy” seems likely to top even last year’s impressive numbers.

Blu-ray Review: Fourth Season of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Marks Creative Return

Sons of Anarchy: S4

CHICAGO – The third season of “Sons of Anarchy” was an absolute mess, the kind of misguided, repetitive disaster that can sometimes kill a great show. And yet the creators and team behind this hit FX series completely bounced back in season four, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. With more emphasis on the dark family secrets of Clay (Ron Perlman), Gemma (Katey Sagal), and Jax (Charlie Hunnam), “Sons of Anarchy” arguably reached its peak this season and I expect the upcoming fifth season (come back Tuesday for a review) to top even this one. Catch up before getting back on your ride.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Ledge’ Falls Flat Despite All-Star Cast

The Ledge Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – If Fox Faith’s target audience was comprised of atheists, the studio might have churned out this deeply shallow thriller about religious fundamentalism. Though hate-spewing cult leaders like Fred Phelps deserve to be reviled, the vast majority of fictional films about extremism come off as profoundly simple-minded. Like Kevin Smith’s “Red State,” this picture sidesteps its provocative subject matter in favor of routine clichés.

TV News: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Sets Series, FX Records

Sons of Anarchy S2

CHICAGOFX’s hit series “Sons of Anarchy” has become the most watched program in the history of the network. The season four premiere of the show had 6.5 million viewers watching when it premiered and added another 3 million in its encore plays. The 9.5 million total viewers for the one episode included 6.3 million adults from 18-49 years old.

TV on Blu-Ray Round Up: ‘Lie to Me,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ ‘Life After People’

Lie to Me BD

CHICAGO – There have been some very cool TV on Blu-Ray releases lately that we wanted to make sure you, our loyal readers, knew about, including “Life After People,” “Lie to Me,” and “Sons of Anarchy”.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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