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Video Game Review: Kid-Friendly ‘Rio’ Brings Animated Party Home

CHICAGO – The video game tie-in for the movie “Rio” should be a total disaster. It has three strikes against it being a movie tie-in, having gameplay aimed primarily at elementary school kids, and the fact that it’s yet another collection of mini-games. So, I’m happy to report that “Rio” isn’t that bad. It’s not going to be any child’s favorite game but it adequately translates the good will they have towards the hit movie into their living room.

Video Game Review: Clever, Addictive ‘LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars’

CHICAGO – Just as we were about to write off the LEGO games after some lackluster installments (“LEGO Indiana Jones,” “LEGO Batman”), last year’s excellent “LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4” was the best family video game of the season and news of the March release of another sequel in the franchise that started it all — “LEGO Star Wars” — allowed hope that this series was still very much alive.

Video Game Review: ‘Rango’ Tie-In Displays Film’s Creativity

CHICAGO – While most critics were praising the lavish visuals and impressive screenwriting of the animated hit “Rango” starring Johnny Depp (for one such rave, check out Patrick McDonald’s review here), the video game landed on my desk and I wondered if the pattern of bland movie tie-ins would be broken. If the film is that creative, shouldn’t the video game be as well?

Video Game Review: ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ a Witty Rival to ‘Guitar Hero’ Party Games

CHICAGO – Millions of players remember the worldwide phenomenon that is the witty and cheeky “You Don’t Know Jack” trivia game as a blast from their past.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Two All-New ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ Video Games From Chicago’s Jellyvision

You Don't Know Jack video game

CHICAGO – In our latest special edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Video Games, we have two video games up for grabs to the all-new “You Don’t Know Jack” video game from Chicago-based game developer Jellyvision Games!

Video Game Review: ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ Shatters Shooter Expectations

CHICAGO – It could still fall prone to some of the multiplayer glitches and failures that marred the experience with “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” but as of November 2010, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” is an amazing success and stands as one of the best games of its kind ever released.

Video Game Review: ‘Monopoly Streets’ Expands on Classic Board Game

Let Me In
HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The classic board game “Monopoly” has never really gone away and yet there have been definite peaks in its popularity. I’m old enough to remember when they first introduced versions of the game that used different locations and thematic variations on the typical board, reigniting the game by appealing to a number of new fan based with versions based on “The Simpsons,” “Star Wars,” sports teams, major cities, and much more. In the fall of 2010, there’s been a definite effort to bring “Monopoly” back again with commercials touting phone apps related to the game, a new physical version, and the EA game “Monopoly Streets,” one of the more pleasant diversions of the season.

Video Game Review: Addictive, Hilarious ‘Super Scribblenauts’ For Nintendo DS

Super Scribblenauts

CHICAGO – Puzzle games don’t get any more inventive or enjoyable than the ridiculously addictive “Super Scribblenauts,” a game that challenges the player to come up with the most creative way possible to solve a puzzle. Unlike many Nintendo DS puzzle game which require you to use the analytical part of your brain, this wonderful title demands that you think outside of the box. It’s one of the best games you could buy for your DS.

Video Game, DVD Review: World of Disney’s ‘Phineas and Ferb’ Expands

Phineas and Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas

CHICAGO – As often happens with programs aimed at children, Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” is becoming way more than “just a TV show.” It’s becoming an industry in itself, recently releasing a Christmas DVD called “Phineas and Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas” and a Nintendo DS video game called “Phineas and Ferb Ride Again.” Are these just attempts by the Mouse House to make a few more dimes off one of their successful properties or are they worthwhile on their own?

Video Game Review: ‘The Bachelor: The Videogame’ Makes For an Awkward Date

The Bachelor: The Videogame
HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 2.5/5.0
Video Game Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – When we first heard about a Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS video game tie-in to the mega-franchise of ABC reality shows known as “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” the mind reeled at the possibilities. Would the game be merely a series of conversation choices like some of the cheesy dating video games of the ’90s? How would the Wii-mote get involved?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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