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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’

| Image 1 of 23 |
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.

‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Creator Jared Hess Scores With ‘Gentlemen Broncos’

"Gentlemen Broncos" Mike White and Michael Angarano

CHICAGO - Writer/Director Jared Hess’ universe, where obscure pop culture references and strange survivors abide, gets another workout with the spontaneously funny “Gentlemen Broncos,” which also features Mike White and Jennifer Coolidge.

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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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