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Craig T. Nelson

Podtalk: Filmmakers Bill Holderman & Erin Simms Join ‘Book Club’

CHICAGO – If your impression of a book club is one of staid pseudo-intellectuals creating pithy symbolism out of nothingness, then your impression is about to change. Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen star in the new comedy “Book Club,” co-written by Erin Simms and director Bill Holderman.

Film Review: Matthew McConaughey is All That Glitters in ‘Gold’

CHICAGO – The relish that Matthew McConaughey displays in creating his latest character in “Gold,” a Willy Loman-type mining exec who is looking for his biggest score, is most of the reason to experience the film. However, there isn’t exactly a motherlode when it comes to the story.

Film Review: ‘Get Hard’ is Less Than the Sum of Its Parts

CHICAGO – Will Ferrell is a funny guy. Kevin Hart can be a funny guy. But the prison buddy comedy “Get Hard” is woefully less than the sum of its comedic parts. It fires buckshot of lame jokes at its audience, but precious few come anywhere near their targets as it squanders nearly every comic opportunity that comes its way.

DVD Review: Strong Third Season of NBC Hit ‘Parenthood’

Parenthood: Season 3 Premiere

CHICAGO – The NBC family drama “Parenthood” has struggled to find a wide audience but the people that do watch it are remarkably loyal to the saga of the Bravermans. Their third season, which looked for some time like it could be their last, was recently released on DVD in advance of the fourth-season premiere on NBC on September 11, 2012.

TV Review: Comforting Family Drama of NBC’s ‘Parenthood’

CHICAGO – There’s something comforting about a family like the Bravermans. It’s a blend of perspective and identification that allows us to look at the clan at the center of a family drama like “Parenthood”.

Blu-Ray Review: Ben Affleck Stars in Timely ‘The Company Men’

The Company Men

CHICAGO – John Wells has been one of the most important voices in television for the last two decades, shepherding “Third Watch,” “The West Wing,” “ER,” “Southland,” “Shameless,” and many more. It’s always hit-and-miss when a talent from one medium jumps to another and such is the case with “The Company Men,” starring Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, and Kevin Costner. The great cast keeps it together and Wells has a keen ear for dialogue but the film never develops beyond a timely character study.

Blu-Ray Review: Another Great Pixar Release in ‘The Incredibles’

The Incredibles

CHICAGO – Pixar continued their line of excellent Blu-ray releases a couple of weeks ago by adding “The Incredibles” to their line. As new Pixar flicks have come out or hit Blu-ray, the company has usually reached into the vault to offer one of their past hits as a companion. With only one Pixar film left to be released in HD (“Finding Nemo”), your collection is nearly complete.

Film Review: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones Are ‘The Company Men’

Company Men, The

CHICAGO – Dealing with an overall economic downturn, as the world is still experiencing, becomes the story of the individual. The frustration and insecurity that develops in a long dry spell is poignantly rendered in writer/director John Well’s “The Company Men.” Ben Affleck joins Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner in telling the story.

TV Review: Promising ‘Parenthood’ Features Spectacular Ensemble

CHICAGO – Like a lot of Hollywood depictions of family, “Parenthood” features a lot of yelling. For some reason, most writers think of raised voices when they think of the lives of parents and their children. We don’t all talk over each other during family dinners.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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