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Film Review: Olivia Wilde Resurrects Horror in ‘The Lazarus Effect’

CHICAGO – Psychological horror films are the best tweaks, because they remind us of our fears, and where are fears are rooted. The strange combination of science, religion and a blockbuster performance by Olivia Wilde creates an atmosphere of dread and weirdness in “The Lazarus Effect.”

Film Review: Bigger Not Better ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

CHICAGO – This is what happens when a beloved book gets sucked into the big Hollywood studio machine and gets all the endearing qualities – plus its heart and soul – sucked right out of it. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie.

DVD Review: Frustrating Fourth Season of ‘Community’

Community S4

CHICAGO – The fourth season of NBC’s “Community” was its most controversial by some margin. The program was barely renewed, its showrunner (Dan Harmon) was unprofessionally fired, and the on-set feuds with co-star Chevy Chase continued. To start the fifth season, Chase is gone and Harmon is back. No one has made out well in the court of public opinion and the fourth season was sometimes unwatchable. You would never know any of this from the recently-released DVD set.

TV Review: Beaten, Battered ‘Community’ Finally Returns to NBC

CHICAGO – Rarely has a low-rated show survived as much off-screen drama as NBC’s “Community,” returning tonight to the network bruised, battered, and slightly damaged but still funnier and smarter than most of the alternatives. Where do we begin?

DVD Review: Third Season of NBC Critical Darling ‘Community’

Community S3 Mid

CHICAGO – The third season of “Community” was more inconsistent than the brilliant second but it still featured some of the smartest writing and best performances on network TV. I think the writers lost sight of some of their characters in pursuit of concept over substance at times but has there been a modern show that was more unpredictable than this one? You never know where they’re going to go, what they’re going to reference, or how far they’re going to take their concepts.

TV Review: ‘Community’ Returns with Hysterically Self-Referential Episode

CHICAGO – Leave it to the writers of “Community,” one of the best shows on television, to take TV lemons and make a tasty comedy beverage out of them. After being forced into hiatus by a network that has never known how to support or promote it, “Community” is finally back on Thursday nights, pushing “30 Rock” to the spot formerly occupied by the done-for-the-season “Up All Night.”

TV News: Comedy Central Adds ‘Community’ Off-Net Rights to Network

Community

CHICAGO – It was only a few weeks ago when the cult favorite “Communtiy” didn’t have a home at all. Through two and a half seasons on NBC, the show was put on hiatus as the network decided what to do. Now, the hit comedy is returning to the NBC Thursday night lineup tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CST and it has also found a new home.

TV Review: ‘Community’ Opens Third Season on Confident Note

Community

CHICAGO – The second season of “Community” was a daring display of creativity without concern. It really felt like the producers of the show had been so freed by the fact that the nearly-canceled comedy was still on the air that they completely gave up on trying to please anyone but the program’s loyal fans. It was a show that didn’t “play” to anyone, never going for the easy, predictable joke as is common in the world of the sitcom. It was dark, clever, edgy, and unpredictable. And it was one of the best sitcoms of 2010-2011. Where does it go now? What will the third season of “Community” be like? Will it slide in quality? Maintain? Could it possibly get better?

DVD Review: Brilliant Second Season of NBC’s ‘Community’

Community S2 Premiere

CHICAGO – The program most unforgivably missing from Sunday’s Emmy telecast is NBC’s brilliant comedy “Community.” It’s almost as if the Academy decided there were too many NBC shows at the party (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock”) and so left out arguably the best of the Thursday night bunch. See the second season, now available on DVD, and see the level of Emmy injustice for yourself.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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