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DVD Review: Dramatic Depth of ‘Big Love: The Complete Collection’

Big Love S5

CHICAGOHBO’s “Big Love” never quite got the attention it deserved. It’s the bridge from the “Sopranos” era of HBO to the “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” one that we live in now and the rollercoaster of quality in terms of seasons never allowed the program to really find a groove. I’m happy it existed. And I’m even happier to own “Big Love: The Complete Series,” a volume of quality drama to which history will be very kind.

TV Review: ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ Gets ‘Lost’ in Faerie Tale Land

CHICAGO – With two “Snow White” films currently in production, it’s tempting to believe that Hollywood’s well of originality has run dry. Sure, faerie tales have always been reinterpreted for new generations, but how many re-imaginings does one generation need?

Blu-Ray Review: Don’t Bother to Take ‘Something Borrowed’

Something Borrowed

CHICAGO – “Something Borrowed” is just a stupid, stupid movie. It’s not painful nor as horrendous as many recent romantic comedies largely through the overall likeability of star Ginnifer Goodwin, but it’s just stupid. It features stupid people doing stupid things and serves as more of a cautionary tale about picking the right people to support you than it does as any sort of modern romance. With too-little chemistry as friends or lovers, “Something Borrowed” never clicks. It should disappear soon from Blu-ray and DVD shelves and all but the most diehard fans of the romantic genre or the stars involved should give it back.

Interview: Engaging Colin Egglesfield of ‘Something Borrowed’

CHICAGO – Colin Egglesfield is in an enviable position. In his major film debut, “Something Borrowed,” he is engaged to Kate Hudson, and also shows his affection for Ginnifer Goodwin. He is torn between two lovers, but handles both with natural charm.

Film Review: ‘Something Borrowed’ is Something Bad

CHICAGO – Wedding movies, the wedding industrial complex, weddings as women’s literature, where does it end? (divorce) It’s that time of year, and the wedding film makes its ritualistic appearance, here represented by the morally bankrupt “Something Borrowed.”

TV Review: Stunning Premiere of ‘Big Love’ Returns Show to Prime Form

CHICAGO – As the credits for the premiere of the fifth and final season of “Big Love” started, I wondered exactly what I wanted from this year. Like Chloe Sevigny and most fans of the show, I agreed that season four was a serious disappointment, especially after the spectacular third outing.

Blu-Ray Review: Talented Pair of Young Actresses Carry ‘Ramona and Beezus’

Ramona and Beezus

CHICAGO – With junk like “Marmaduke” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” pitching themselves to children like bad fast food, it can be hard for an honestly-good and genuine family film to find an audience. “Ramona and Beezus” is the kind of family offering that will hopefully find a large audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s no classic and far from perfect but it’s definitely a success for its target audience that could surprisingly appeal to people outside of its demographic as well.

Film Review: Beverly Cleary’s ‘Ramona and Beezus’ Works For Young Adults

Ramona and Beezus

CHICAGO – “Ramona and Beezus” may not be the perfect film that Beverly Cleary fans hoped for when they fell in love with these characters but it is successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars. I admittedly have a soft spot for any film that places teachers on a higher pedestal than businessman and effectively teaches young viewers to stick to their creative visions. It’s flawed, but “Ramona and Beezus” works.

TV Review: ‘Big Love’ Starts Promising Fourth Season, Great Third Now on DVD

CHICAGO – It took me some time to get on the “Big Love” wavelength. HBO’s controversial show hasn’t really been on my radar since its debut season, one that I thought featured a great cast but underdeveloped dramatic potential.

Blu-Ray Review: Dull Special Features For Cute ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’

He's Just Not That Into You

CHICAGO – Ken Kwapis’ “He’s Just Not That Into You” is far from a romantic comedy masterpiece but it’s a decent genre entry with an immensely likable cast that will probably entice more than a few renters and maybe even a few buyers. They deserve a better Blu-Ray.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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