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Christopher Guest

Exclusive Portrait: A Happy ‘Halloween’ from Jamie Lee Curtis

CHICAGO – It was 38 years ago that the seminal horror film “Halloween” was released, and its impact made a star out of the heroine in the film, Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis was in the Chicago area in September to promote her new children’s book, “This is Me: The Story of Who and Where We Came From,” (illustrated by Laura Cornell).

Interview: Director Douglas Tirola on ‘Drunk Brilliant Stoned Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon’

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon

CHICAGO – Before the days of 24/7 internet access to every form of entertainment that exists, there were eras of radical performance expression that changed the landscape of attitudes toward everything – think of The Beatles evolving music and also changing social culture. The roots of another evolution, especially in comedy, began with a modest humor magazine that brought together the right mix of anarchists and misfits. What they did would influence comedy for years afterward, and their story is told in “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon,” directed by Douglas Tirola.

What to Watch: Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2013

The Heat

CHICAGO – There are a few major comedies on New Releases shelves this week along with some interesting, smaller films and one of the most anticipated TV shows of 2013. What options are new in the world of Blu-ray, DVD, streaming and digital TV providers? Some of the most interesting and most unbearable comeedies of the year hit your home viewing radar. Here’s how to rank them from ha-ha to hateful.

TV Review: HBO Delivers Likable Laughs in ‘Family Tree’

CHICAGO – Christopher Guest, the beloved writer/director behind “Best in Show” and “Waiting For Guffman,” comes to TV this weekend with the premiere of HBO’s “Family Tree” and the result is something unique for television comedy — a show that doesn’t force the laughs as much as build likable characters.

Blu-ray Review: Howlingly Funny ‘Best in Show’ is a Comic Masterpiece

Best in Show Blu-ray

CHICAGO – The more one is familiar with the art of improv, the more one is bound to fall head over heels in love with the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest. Working from a mere scene outline, Guest and his ensemble of top-drawer comedians bring a colorful assortment of richly eccentric oddballs to life. Their ad-libbed dialogue is infinitely funnier than scripted punchlines since it emerges organically from their character’s own warped worldview.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Princess Bride: 25th Anniversary Edition’

The Princess Bride

CHICAGO – Every few years brings another version of “The Princess Bride,” one of the most beloved films of all time. The latest is a 25th anniversary (yes, I feel old too) edition on Blu-ray, complete with an all-new 2-part featurette called “True Love: The Princess Bride Phenomenon.” That last word there is an over-used one but when you open the BD and see an ad for the “Princess Bride” game for iPhone, it’s hard to argue that Rob Reiner’s movie is NOT a phenomenon.

Blu-Ray Review: Overly Manic ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’

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CHICAGO – The CGI smorgasbord that is “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is likely to suffice as a babysitter this holiday season as eggnog is made or holiday shopping is concluded. Families are likely to be satisfied by the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink mania that will work for toddlers hopped up on Christmas candy, but the film itself will collapse for their parents, babysitters, and even their older siblings.

Interview: Film Director Jeremy Kruse on the Screening of ‘Flüffenhaus’

CHICAGO – Jeremy Kruse is a major part of Chicago’s vibrant film scene. The actor and writer has made a big splash with his short films, and now directs Emily Skyle’s “Fluffenhaus: The Comeback of a Pop Icon,” with an screening here September 17th.

Slideshow: 29-Image Gallery For ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’

| Image 1 of 29 |
Ben Stiller returns as heroic museum guard Larry Daley.

CHICAGO – This 29-image slideshow contains the official press images for “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” starring Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader, Hank Azaria, and Christopher Guest. The film, written by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant and directed by Shawn Levy, opens on May 22nd, 2009.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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