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Eugene Levy

Blu-ray Review: ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation: 30th Anniversary’

National Lampoon's Vacation

CHICAGO – Few comedies from the ’80s are as beloved and rewatchable as “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” a surprise hit that produced multiple sequels and legions of fans. It’s probably playing somewhere on cable right now and will be for another three decades. However, in those cable airings, you won’t get to see the feature-length documentary, “Inside Story,” about the making of the film featuring new interviews with nearly all of the major players from Chevy Chase to Harold Ramis to Jane Krakowski. If you’re a comedy fan, the Blu-ray is worth picking up just for that special feature alone.

Blu-ray Review: Howlingly Funny ‘Best in Show’ is a Comic Masterpiece

Best in Show Blu-ray

CHICAGO – The more one is familiar with the art of improv, the more one is bound to fall head over heels in love with the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest. Working from a mere scene outline, Guest and his ensemble of top-drawer comedians bring a colorful assortment of richly eccentric oddballs to life. Their ad-libbed dialogue is infinitely funnier than scripted punchlines since it emerges organically from their character’s own warped worldview.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 ‘American Reunion’ Blu-ray, DVD Combo Packs With Jason Biggs, Tara Reid

American Reunion Blu-ray and DVD dombo pack

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the unrated version of “American Reunion” starring Jason Biggs and Tara Reid!

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Goon’ With Sean William Scott

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new ice hockey comedy “Goon” starring Sean William Scott!

Blu-ray Review: Catch Up with First Three ‘American Pie’ Movies

American Pie

CHICAGO – For a brief shining moment, it looked like the cast of 1999’s “American Pie” would be the break-out stars of the new millenium. Sadly, 13 years have passed and most of them haven’t fulfilled on their potential with a few never topping that first film, which is still a sweet, raunchy, comedy classic. Therefore, I’m sure most of the “Pie” kids were ecstatic that a fourth film, “American Reunion,” finally got off the ground, to be released on April 2nd, 2012. Before you catch up with them in a theater, catch up at home with the release of the first three films — the great “American Pie,” the decent “American Pie 2,” and the pretty-bad “American Wedding.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘American Pie Presents: The Book of Love’ Almost Entirely Free of Laughs

The Book of Love

CHICAGO – We’ve gone from apple pie to PB-and-J. No, I’m not kidding. The opening scene of “American Pie Presents: The Book of Love” features a character turning away from internet porn so he can bang his lunch. When his dog ‘joins in,’ he doesn’t stop him. Laughing yet? If you thought this straight-to-DVD franchise had hit the bottom of the barrel before, it turns out they’ve found another barrel below the false floor and it’s filled to the brim with horrible comedy.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Taking Woodstock’ Has Plentiful Atmosphere, Little Depth

Taking Woodstock Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Ang Lee’s take on the landmark music festival isn’t a film so much as a filmed idea. It aims to capture the atmosphere of the concert without ever showing the actual music. Of course, the real show was the crowd itself.

‘Astro Boy’ is Here to Save Whatever is Left of the Future

Astro Boy in 3-D

CHICAGO – The cartoon universe is replete with superheroes, none more distinct than the title character in the new animated film “Astro Boy.” Based on a Japanese comic book from 1951, Astro Boy has new life in 3-D cartoon form.

Ang Lee’s ‘Taking Woodstock’ Lays Down Too Mellow a Vibe to Be Memorable

CHICAGO – More about the vibe surrounding the three days of peace and love that would become the most influential festival in history than the actual music itself, Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” is a frustrating drama with individual elements that work but a cinematic set list that is ultimately disjointed and unsatisfying.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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