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Jack McBrayer

DVD Review: Historical Figures Cheersed in Brilliant ‘Drunk History: Seasons 1 & 2’

Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

Film Review: ‘They Came Together’ Sharply Skewers the Rom-Com

CHICAGO – If there is any genre of film that needs a good blasting, it is the romantic comedy. These silly fantasies practically seem like satires anyway, so when the comic genius of writer/director David Wain ponders them, and casts Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the “couple,” the funny will fly.

2014 Sundance Diary, Day 3: Comedies with an Edge

I’ve only seen three movies since my last dispatch — Sundance is about finding the time to write whenever you have it and it just comes earlier today than it did yesterday — but one was a true gem. So I’ll be brief.

Blu-ray Review: Solid Release For Entertaining ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

Wreck It Ralph

CHICAGO – Disney’s hit “Wreck-It Ralph,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, fits one of the most important criteria for a parent considering picking up a kid’s movie to own — replay value. As anyone with kids can tell you, if you buy something, you best be ready to watch it over and over and over again. And “Ralph” holds up surprisingly well. I’m still a little surprised it received the level of acclaim it did with some even suggesting it should win the Oscar (we all know that should have been “ParaNorman”) but it’s a good movie to throw on if your kids need a distraction with a good message. And the Blu-ray includes the Oscar winner for Best Animated Short, the great “Paperman.”

Film Review: Voice Cast Delights in Wonderful ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

CHICAGO – The nostalgia of the old video game arcade comes to life in a charming and fun way in the new Disney film, “Wreck-It Ralph.” One of the strengths is the precise selection of celebrity voices used to animate the rollicking characters. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch are part of the familiar voice cast.

Film Review: Nothing Nice to Say About Eddie Murphy’s Awful Comedy ‘A Thousand Words’

CHICAGO – The movie business is a funny thing in that EVERYONE involved with “A Thousand Words” has moved on and yet there are studio executives who still want you to care enough to open your wallet.

DVD Review: NBC’s ‘30 Rock’ Still Hilarious In Fourth Season

30 Rock

CHICAGO – Time flies quickly in the world of television. Look no further than the fact that NBC’s “30 Rock” has become one of the elder statesmen of the sitcom. As new shows like “Glee” and “Modern Family” stole headlines, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin’s brilliant creation kept knocking them out of the park. It never set the ratings on fire, but there’s no denying that this is still one of the best comedies on television.

Slideshow: 24-Image Gallery For ‘Despicable Me’ Starring Steve Carell

| Image 1 of 24 |
Gru (Steve Carell) uses a freeze ray to get to the front of the line.

CHICAGO – This 24-image slideshow contains a selection of the official press images for the highly anticipated “Despicable Me,” featuring voice work by Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Jack McBrayer, Miranda Cosgrove, and Julie Andrews. The film was written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and directed by Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin. It will be released on July 9th, 2010.

TV Review: ‘30 Rock’ Returns With Two Perfect Episodes

30 Rock

CHICAGONBC sent over the first two episodes of the fourth season of the Emmy-winning “30 Rock” and, believe it or not, the show may actually be better than when it left the air last spring. Tonight’s premiere is good but next week’s episode is even better with some of the strongest comedy writing of the year to date and amazing work by the standard cast and one of their most talented regular guest stars, Will Arnett.

DVD Review: Third Season of Emmy-Winning ‘30 Rock’

30 Rock

CHICAGO – Maybe you’ve heard of a little show called “30 Rock”? It doesn’t set the ratings on fire but critics and award-giving bodies go crazy for it like kids with pixie sticks. Personally, I think the third season of “30 Rock” was a slight step down from the second, but there’s no denying that this is one of the best comedies on television, as its recent major wins at the Emmys proved yet again.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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