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Jemaine Clement

Film Review: ‘Moana’ is Walt Disney Pictures at its Breezy Best

CHICAGO – “Moana” is a solid example of the time honored Disney musical. It is exactly the sort of sun drenched warm weather beacon we residents of cold weather climes can enjoy as the holiday season approaches, and it a refreshing change from another spin of Mele Kalikimaka.

Film News: 4th Annual Shortcut 100 International Film Festival in Chicago on Oct. 8, 2016

Shortcut 100 2016

CHICAGO – The Shortcut 100 International Film Festival, presented by Nebula Creatives, is now in its fourth year, and gaining momentum as one of the premiere short film festivals in Chicago. The one day short film fest is Saturday, October 8th, 2016, and will take place at The Throne Room in Chicago, from 5pm to 8pm.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Rio 2’ with Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the animated sequel “Rio 2” from the creators of “Ice Age” starring Jesse Eisenberg!

Film Review: Muppets Still Know How to Entertain in ‘Muppets Most Wanted’

CHICAGO – There is a comfort, like a favorite drink in a childhood mug, about Jim Henson’s legendary Muppets and their standard of entertainment and humor. It’s brilliant that Walt Disney Studios continues to understand what makes them work, producing their latest, “Muppets Most Wanted.”

Film Review: ‘Men in Black III’ Deserves to Be Neuralyzed From Memory

CHICAGO – “Men in Black III” is such a soulless venture, a film made by committee that doesn’t display the touch of anyone with any remaining actual interest in the characters. In the pipeline for years, the film has been fine-tuned to the point that all of its personality was buffed out in the process.

Blu-Ray Review: HD Amplifies Strengths of Hit Family Film ‘Rio’

Rio

CHICAGO – Blue Sky Studios’ “Rio” feels nearly designed for Blu-ray as the film’s strengths are amplified by the world of HD video and sound. With bright colors and Brazilian music, it’s easier to get sucked into the world of this so-so family flick, and a large number of special features makes it easier to overlook the unsatisfactory nature of the actual movie. The important thing is that the little ones in your family will be captivated by the talking, dancing birds with the colorful plumage, especially in 1080p.

Film Review: Animated, Colorful ‘Rio’ Blends Into Mediocre Blur

CHICAGO – “Rio” is a film that nearly defies critical review. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it and I can virtually guarantee you that the little ones in your family will be captivated by the talking, dancing birds with the colorful plumage. But it’s also a film that’s strikingly unmemorable. The characters, the jokes, and even the striking visuals – they all dissipate from the memory like a piece of candy that seems tasty in the moment but ultimately isn’t very filling. “Rio” isn’t a bad movie but with great family entertainment options out there, just being “not bad” isn’t good enough.

Blu-Ray Review: Mediocre ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ With Paul Rudd, Steve Carell

Dinner For Schmucks

CHICAGO – “Dinner For Schmucks” proves that casting does not make a comedy. Steve Carell and Paul Rudd are easily two of the funniest people alive. They have perfect comic timing. Although you’d never know it from watching them go through the unfunny motions in this lackluster effort.

Film Review: Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd Serve ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

CHICAGO – The third of the Steve Carrell Seasonal Movie Trilogy debuts with the uneven but absurd comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” Paul Rudd, now the go-to actor for straight-man-yuppie-turned-wild-dude joins a strong cast, including the ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement (”Flight of the Concords”), and Bruce Greenwood.

Slideshow: 23-Image Photo Gallery of ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

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Steve Carrell is Barry and Paul Rudd is Tim in ‘Dinner for Schmucks.’

CHICAGO – Summer comedy gets a stellar cast and lots of laughs in the new film “Dinner for Schmucks,” starring Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Bruce Greenwood and Kristen Schaal. Directed by Jay Roach (”Meet the Parents”), this fun film is a mixture of absurd characters and hilarious situations.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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