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Diane Lane

Film Review: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is Both Despairing & Disappointing

CHICAGO – Dang it, DC Comics and Warner Bros.! Two of my favorite comic book characters get dragged through a dull mud in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” There is a dawn all right, but instead of the bright sun over the horizon, it’s a full mooning to the fans who anticipated the film.

Interview: Director Jay Roach Channels His Inner ‘Trumbo’

CHICAGO – Director Jay Roach loves his work, heading into another phase of his successful career. The man who directed the first two “Austin Powers” films is now taking on movie and American history with “Trumbo,” featuring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as the 1950s blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Film Review: ‘Inside Out’ is a Loving Masterwork of Pixar Animation

CHICAGO – It starts with the imagination, and the story that comes from that lightning inner creativity. Nobody, it seems, does it better than Pixar Animation, and they are taking it all to a new level. For your consideration, and in a perfect world a candidate for Best Picture, “Inside Out.”

Film Review: ‘Man of Steel’ is Strong, But Not Completely Heroic

CHICAGO – Place the Superman legend into the hands of director Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) and storyteller/producer Christopher Nolan (“Dark Knight”), and old Supes is bound for a makeover in “Man of Steel.” When it works, it’s adds to a legend’s richness. When it doesn’t, it is less than hero.

Film Review: ‘Man of Steel’ Soars Visually But Lacks Humanity

CHICAGO – From the CGI-heavy attack on Krypton that opens Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” to its soaring finale, I had the same reaction -– where’s the “Man half? Snyder’s attempt to reboot the Superman legacy with the loving assistance of David Goyer and Christopher Nolan of “The Dark Knight” fame gets the superhero part but misses the humanity at the core of this legendary character.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Judge Dredd’ Lands For Direct Comparison to ‘Dredd 3D’

Judge Dredd

CHICAGO – My God, “Judge Dredd” is bad. I forgot how bad until I rewatched it in its recent Blu-ray edition, clearly timed to ride the wave of the release of “Dredd 3D” in theaters. The movie has been remastered well in HD but that’s about the last nice thing one can possibly say about it.

Blu-ray Review: Diane Lane, James Gandolfini Shine in ‘Cinema Verite’

Cinema Verite Blu-ray

CHICAGOHBO’s under-appreciated original movie recalls the moment when entertainment-seeking Americans averted their eyes from actors to their neighbors over the fence. Voyeurism had a new name, “cinema verite,” and one-time producer Craig Gilbert was determined to take it from art houses to small screens in homes across the country.

Film News: First Official Image From ‘Superman: Man of Steel’

CHICAGO – Warner Bros. on Thursday released an official production picture for audiences to take a first look at the new Superman and his new suit, set to be appearing in the series’ next installment “Superman: Man of Steel.”

TV Review: HBO’s ‘Cinema Verite’ With Diane Lane, Tim Robbins

CHICAGO – How did we get here? How did the reality TV craze start? Some would have you believe that it is a modern trend and its popularity in the ’00s and ’10s has certainly been striking, but it’s much older than that.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Harry Lennix, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’

  • King and I, The

    CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.

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