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Dylan Baker

DVD Review: Frustrating USA Mini-Series ‘Political Animals’

Political Animals

CHICAGOUSA’s mini-series “Political Animals” should have been one of the TV events of 2012. Instead it was just one of its biggest disappointments. That cast! That subject! In a political, election season! Zzzzzzz. Sadly, the creators of “Political Animals” delivered a program more like “Dallas” than “The West Wing” and viewers tuned out to the degree that the potential second season was canned. Now we can see what went wrong in one lackluster DVD set.

Film Review: Lauren Ambrose Shines in Heartbreaking Indie ‘About Sunny’

About Sunny Film Review

CHICAGO – In the annals of bad parenting portrayed on film, the heroine of Bryan Wizemann’s 2011 indie drama is a special case indeed. Though we watch helplessly as she makes countless bad decisions guaranteed to send her young daughter to intensive therapy, we don’t regard her a sinister figure on the order of Monique’s monstrous matriarch in “Precious.” Our gaze is one of empathy.

Film Review: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock in Sweet ‘2 Days in New York’

2 Days in New York
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Julie Delpy’s “2 Days in New York” is an amenable screwball comedy with some jokes that definitely fall flat and some awkward emotional beats in the final act but a likable tone that allows for easy passage over the screenwriting rough spots. Ms. Delpy is still charming and co-star Chris Rock is more effective here than he typically is in film. It’s just a likable little movie without pretension to be anything more.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘2 Days in New York’ With Chris Rock, Julie Delpy

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “2 Days in New York” with Chris Rock and Julie Deply!

TV Review: Sigourney Weaver Carries USA’s Disappointing ‘Political Animals’

CHICAGO – I’m a political junkie who naturally loves to follow the world of journalism as well and so I was psyched about the premiere of USA’s mini-series, “Political Animals,” a star-studded affair about how a powerful Washington family deals with a headstrong reporter and the secrets they still hope to keep.

TV Review: Glenn Close, Rose Byrne Return For More ‘Damages’

CHICAGO – Can DirecTV do what so many other companies have failed to do and actually rewrite the way shows make it to air? They did something truly remarkable with their deal to co-produce and co-air “Friday Night Lights” and now they have taken it a step further by exclusively airing the new season of “Damages,” starting tomorrow night, July 13th, 2011.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Trick ‘r Treat’ is Shockingly Tasty Horror Anthology

Trick 'r Treat

CHICAGO – From producer Bryan Singer (“X-Men,” “Superman Returns”), “Trick ‘r Treat” is a fantastic horror anthology film that has inexplicably been rolling around the Warner Bros. offices for years, having initially been scheduled for release back in 2007. Finally getting a Halloween-tied Blu-Ray release, this is one of the best straight-to-DVD horror flicks in years, a consistently clever and enjoyable genre entry that will have horror fans screaming in glee this holiday season.

TV Review: Ambitious ‘Kings’ With Ian McShane Unlike Anything Else on Network TV

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 3.5/5.0
Television Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – You won’t see many shows much more ambitious than NBC’s “Kings”. The multi-character drama borrows from the story of King David to create a tapestry piece about power, corruption, and war. It’s dense, layered, complex storytelling that you rarely see on network television.

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  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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