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Diane Ladd

TV Review: Laura Dern Returns to Carry HBO’s Clever ‘Enlightened’

CHICAGO – The season premiere of HBO’s “Enlightened,” directed by the great Nicole Holofcener (“Please Give,” “Lovely & Amazing”) is a stunner. With a great script by co-star Mike White and one of the best single performances by Laura Dern to date, it perfectly captures the current state of so many people

TV Review: Laura Dern Joins Cable Club to Get ‘Enlightened’

CHICAGO – Why has television become the home for so many talented actresses? The sad fact is that Hollywood screenwriters aren’t writing many quality roles for actresses over forty and so you have incredibly gifted performers like Toni Collette, Laura Linney, and Jessica Lange turning to the writing on cable to find roles that challenge them. Will Dern find the same success in HBO’s “Enlightened”?

Blu-Ray Review: ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Ultimate Collector’s Edition’

Christmas Vacation

CHICAGO – Does the fact that “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is receiving a lavish 20th anniversary edition Blu-Ray release make anyone else feel old? Just me? Whether you’re old enough to remember the first “Vacation” or young enough to know Chevy Chase as “that old guy on Community,” this is a lavish collector’s set for a great holiday film timed for holiday shopping.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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