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Jean Smart

Film Review: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones Elevate ‘Hope Springs’

CHICAGO – It can be argued that Meryl Streep is in the most fruitful period in her long and illustrious career, at least as far as the variety of character parts she has undertaken. She co-stars in “Hope Springs” with Tommy Lee Jones, as a mousy Omaha wife who is looking for a change in her marriage.

TV Review: Star-Powered, Clever Season Premiere of ‘Harry’s Law’

Harry's Law

CHICAGO – I had serious issues with the series premiere of NBC’s “Harry’s Law” earlier this year and some of those problems remain with the second-season premiere but there’s a reason that the first line of tonight’s episode is “Good morning, Harry — Our new beginning.” With a pair of mega-talented guest stars plus two great new permanent additions, “Harry’s Law” is significantly improved in season two. Everyone is going to be watching “The X Factor” tonight but those that stray to NBC should be pleasantly surprised by the first episode of this clever multi-part storyline.

‘Youth in Revolt’ Interview: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday on Bad Guys vs. Good Guys

CHICAGO – “Youth in Revolt,” which hit the street on DVD on June 15, 2010, has about broken even since its theatrical debut on Jan. 8, 2010 with $18.3 million in global box-office earnings on a $18 million production budget.

DVD Review: ‘Youth in Revolt’ Showcases Michael Cera’s Versatility

Youth in Revolt DVD

CHICAGO – Some actors are so brilliantly in command of their abilities that their efforts are routinely taken for granted. Michael Cera’s utter failure to hit a single false note onscreen has led some to believe that he’s simply playing himself, as if playing oneself was somehow easy to begin with.

DVD Review: Season Sets For ‘Dirty Sexy Money,’ ‘Scrubs,’ ‘Samantha Who’

Scrubs

CHICAGO – Buena Vista Home Video is releasing three sets next week that would be a trio of final season sets if not for the last-minute and surprising renewal of “Scrubs,” despite a beautiful series finale. That finale is included on “Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season,” which joins “Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete And Final Second Season” and “Samantha Who?: The Complete Second And Final Season” on store shelves this week.

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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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