CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – Jason Lee, best known as the star of “My Name is Earl,” took a different direction last year when he took the lead as a police detective in “Memphis Beat.” The second season premiere is June 14th on TNT Network.
CHICAGO – Pixar continued their line of excellent Blu-ray releases a couple of weeks ago by adding “The Incredibles” to their line. As new Pixar flicks have come out or hit Blu-ray, the company has usually reached into the vault to offer one of their past hits as a companion. With only one Pixar film left to be released in HD (“Finding Nemo”), your collection is nearly complete.
CHICAGO – As the Oscars are almost upon us, several studios have been releasing Academy Award juggernauts of the past like “Raging Bull,” “Dances With Wolves,” and “The Color Purple.” Consider the re-release of “Almost Famous,” in its “Untitled” form exclusively at Best Buy, an ugly duckling cousin of these releases. Yes, it won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (well-deserved) but it missed out on nods it should have received in multiple other categories. Yes, I’m still angry. “Almost Famous” is one of the best films of the ’00s and has held up beautifully since its release just over a decade ago.
CHICAGO – There have been TV cops in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and even Hawaii, 5-0, so it stands to reason that Memphis, Tennessee, would get its turn. Jason Lee (“My Name is Earl”) and Alfre Woodard are on the “Memphis Beat,” premiering June 22nd on the TNT Network.
CHICAGO – Very few filmmakers provoke the same kind of passionate adoration as the sometimes-great Kevin Smith, a man who has such a following that he can sell out large theaters filled with people who merely want to ask him questions for hours. Smith is a charismatic, interesting, clever filmmaker and his best work reflect his gregarious personality. Three of his best are captured in “The Kevin Smith Collection,” including two films with all-new Blu-Ray material.