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Film Review: Tartan Prancer – Yes, a Fictional Albanian Car – Steals the Otherwise Borrowed Show in ‘Vacation’

CHICAGO – Retreads from classics are often as weary as having to write that they are almost never as good as the original. And here we go again with the Ed Helms-led “Vacation,” which fails to capitalize on the beloved Chevy Chase film “National Lampoon’s Vacation” from 1983.

Film Review: ‘The Book of Life’ Has Uninspired Tale to Tell

CHICAGO – Unfortunately you can’t judge “The Book Of Life” by its cover. The movie draws on the fertile imagery of the Mexican “Day Of The Dead” to create its own animated world. The animation is excellent and the wooden characters seem to spring to life – but those performances are as wooden as a board.

Film Review: ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ Defies Pattern of Comedy Sequels

Comedy sequels are SO rarely worthwhile. Most good comedy is dependent on being fresh, new, and unpredictable – words not commonly uses to describe sequels. For every “Wayne’s World 2,” there are a dozen films of the caliber of “Ghostbusters 2,” “Arthur 2,” and “Caddyshack II” – movies that are so bad that they almost diminish the legacy of their predecessors.

Interview: Director Adam McKay Stays Classy for ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

CHICAGO – The comedy juggernaut of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell is about to descend on the holiday movie season with “Anchorman 2,” the sequel to the popular first film. McKay is the behind-the-scenes partner with Ferrell, producing hilarious favorites like “Talladega Nights,” and co-founding the “Funny or Die” website.

HollywoodChicago.com Suburban Hookup: 50 Pairs of Guaranteed Tix to ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’

CHICAGOGuaranteed tickets in the Chicago suburbs! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening guaranteed tickets up for grabs to the highly anticipated sequel “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” starring Will Ferrell!

DVD Review: Second Season of FOX Comedy ‘Mad TV’

Mad TV S2

CHICAGO – Will “Mad TV” get a cultural comeback? Once positioned as the first show that could really compete with “Saturday Night Live,” it never quite fulfilled its potential but I think it’s the kind of thing that audiences could find and respect in the future. It’s too bad that none of the “Mad” players became huge stars — movie fame helped propel the respect for those early days of “SNL” — but there were some undeniably talented players here and the show holds up better than you might expect. There’s a part of me that wishes it was still on, especially during this truly horrendous season of “SNL.” Lorne Michaels could use some competition.

TV News: NBC Renews ‘Parks & Recreation,’ ‘The Office,’ ‘Up All Night’

Up All Night

CHICAGO – Now this is getting interesting. NBC has officially renewed three comedies — “Parks & Recreation,” “The Office,” and the very on-the-bubble “Up All Night.” Rumors of “Parks” only getting a 13-episode commitment have proven to be true but there has been no official confirmation that this means that the fifth season will be the program’s last.

TV News: NBC Orders Full Seasons of ‘Whitney,’ ‘Up All Night’; Cancels ‘The Playboy Club’

Whitney

CHICAGO- NBC has ordered full seasons for two of their new sitcoms: “Whitney” and “Up All Night.” “Whitney” has only aired two episodes and “Up All Night” has only aired three, but apparently the numbers and critical appeal was enough for NBC to give each show a shot at a full year.

TV Review: Christina Applegate, Will Arnett in Funny ‘Up All Night’

CHICAGONBC’s “Up All Night,” debuting tonight, September 14th, 2011 at 9pm CST (before moving two hours earlier next week into its normal timeslot) is a very-promising new comedy largely due to the immense talent of its trio of stars and the relatable simplicity of its structure. As more and more people wait to have kids, how do the nights of wine tastings and social events transition to diaper-changing and bottle-warming?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Pippin

    CHICAGO – It is the simple, timeless stories that work best when they are mounted again on Broadway, and the musical “Pippin” stays true to that assertion. Taking the concepts and the songs from a play that debuted in 1972, and featuring one of those original cast members in a key role, the National Touring revival of “Pippin” is being performed in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre until August 9th, 2015.

  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

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