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Christine Baranski

Film Review: ‘Trolls’ is Catchier Than it Has a Right to Be

CHICAGO – “Trolls” isn’t the type of confection that I would normally subject myself to, but at least it didn’t make me want to stick knitting needles in my ears. That’s because “Trolls” aspires to be this season’s “Frozen,” a full blown animated musical jam packed with songs you can’t get out of your head as much as you might try.

Interview: Directors Mike Mitchell & Walt Dohrn of ‘Trolls’

CHICAGO – The delightful new animated film “Trolls” takes the familiar doll to a new level of fun and heart. Behind this invention is the director team of Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, who have worked together in various animation roles over the years before teaming up in their first collaboration for Dreamworks Studio.

DVD Review: Emmy-Nominated Third Season of CBS’s ‘The Good Wife’

The Good Wife S3

CHICAGO – Whenever a TV critic argues that network TV drama is dead and that it’s all moved to basic cable, there’s usually a solitary show that they point to as the exception — CBS’s “The Good Wife.” This critical darling, an Emmy winner for Best Actress in Dramatic Series last year (and Supporting Actress the year before and multiple nominee for this season), was recently released in a modest third-season DVD set from CBS and Paramount. It’s disappointing that the show isn’t available in HD and the special features are pretty light for what is arguably network TV’s best remaining drama.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Mamma Mia! The Movie’ Given Gift Set Treatment

Mamma Mia

CHICAGO – It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Blu-Ray and DVD collectors. Every holiday season, studios pull out their most beloved films, polish up the picture, maybe add a special feature or two, and usually throw in a few collectibles for a gift set.

TV Review: Promising ‘The Good Wife’ With Juliana Margulies

The Good Wife

CHICAGO – From the non-stop ads (especially the ones that played all weekend locally with Bill Kurtis), you would be forgiven for thinking that CBS’ “The Good Wife” was solely about a scorned woman who enjoys slapping her lothario husband. There’s a lot more to the drama than that overplayed scene and the potential of the show is in the promise of watching a strong female character get past that moment, not play it over and over again.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Mamma Mia!: The Movie’ Makes Musical Magic

Mamma Mia

CHICAGO – To some people, a “Sing-Along” version of “Mamma Mia!: The Movie” might sound like a threat. “No, Timmy, you can’t watch The Dark Knight for the hundredth time and if you don’t do your chores, I’m going to make you sing along with Pierce Brosnan again.” But “Mamma Mia!” has a very specific, very satisfied audience and they will be giddy with ABBA glee at the Blu-Ray release of their favorite movie of 2008.

Despite Rollercoaster Energy, ‘Mamma Mia!’ Bellows Beloved ABBA Vocals With Feel-Good Appeal

Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia! (1)

CHICAGO – While it’d be embellishment to say you’d have the time of your life at the new musical film “Mamma Mia!,” any dancing queen or an admirer of seeing Pierce Brosnan croon a tune instead of trigger James Bond destruction can at least have some of the time of your 108 minutes.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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