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James Frain

Film Review: Tensionless ‘Water For Elephants’ Fatally Mismatches Leads, Casts Spot-On Supporters

CHICAGO – While Robert “Twilight” Pattinson has persuasively branched out beyond his typecasting of reanimated and preternatural corpses, his miscast union in the tensionless “Water for Elephants” with pin-up circus spectacle Reese Witherspoon works as well as an elephant trying to spoon a sworn-enemy lion.

TV Review: Self-Serious ‘The Cape’ Misses Attempt at New ‘Heroes’

CHICAGONBC never learns. After not just countless rip-offs but “Heroes” itself tanked, why would they try to go back to a clearly-drained well for another comic book TV series like “The Cape”?

Film Review: Lopsided ‘TRON: Legacy’ is Heavy on Visuals, Light on Humanity

CHICAGO – Every great film is a delicate balance of a number of critical elements. Good films lack in one department while mediocre films have serious gaps that stick out like a red dress at a funeral. The overall mediocre “TRON: Legacy” is exceedingly fixated on its impressive visual effects while neglecting to focus on creating an evocative and humanized story.

New Concept Video, Pictures Released For ‘Tron: Legacy’ With Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde

| Image 1 of 8 |
Olivia Wilde (left) and Garrett Hedlund in Tron: Legacy.

CHICAGO – Exactly one year before its scheduled release date, this is an eight-image slideshow and a visual effects concept test video for the new film “Tron: Legacy,” which stars Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • 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.

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