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Christopher Guest

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’


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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  • Sherlock Holmes with David Arquette (teaser)

    CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.


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