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John Cleese

Blu-ray Review: Extras-Packed Edition of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’

Monty Python & The Holy Grail

CHICAGO – Is “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” still as popular as it was when I was in college? For years there, “Holy Grail” and “Meaning of Life” were on constant rotation in dorm rooms around the country. Now you’ll have to pester the guy on your floor who has a Blu-ray player since the Monty Python gang have finally hit HD in all their hysterical glory. Packed with bonus features, this is one of the best comedy Blu-rays of the year to date.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Offers Charming Take on Classic Character

Winnie the Pooh

CHICAGO – Disney’s theatrical version of the classic A.A. Milne creation, “Winnie the Pooh,” was decimated at the summer box office by bigger, louder, and far more annoying family fare. Hopefully those of you with young ones in your family or those of you just young at heart will catch up with it because it was, without question, the best family film of the Summer of 2011. It’s a charming, delightful return to the Hundred Acre Wood that playfully offers what has always worked about these timeless characters.

Film Review: Traditional, Silly Fun in Disney’s ‘Winnie the Pooh’

Winnie the Pooh

CHICAGO – Walt Disney Pictures goes old school with their latest animated tale, a return to the Hundred Acre Woods and the adventures of “Winnie the Pooh.” Using the style of the classic “2-D” cartoon method, and crafting a story that is decidedly old fashioned, the folks at the Mouse Factory resisted updating the Pooh formula.

Blu-Ray Review: Ultimate Edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

CHICAGO – Clear some shelf space for the gigantic Blu-Ray releases of the first two “Harry Potter” films, timed with the not-as-enormous edition release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” the same week. These ultimate editions, complete with collectibles and new special features, are great collector’s set gifts for the holidays for the Potter nut in your family but feel a bit like overkill for everyone else.

Blu-Ray Review: Excellent Blu-Ray For Bad Movie in ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’

Day the Earth
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The 3-disc special edition of Scott Derrickson’s remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly is the perfect example of the difficulty of Blu-Ray reviews. Do you judge the movie or the Blu-Ray? The movie itself is a mess, but Fox has put together a spectacular home release for it.

Slideshow: 26-Image Gallery For ‘Pink Panther 2’ With Steve Martin, Emily Mortimer

| Image 1 of 26 |
Steve Martin stars in MGM Pictures and Columbia Pictures comedy The Pink Panther 2.

CHICAGO – This 26-image slideshow contains the official press images for “Pink Panther 2,” which was directed by Harald Zwart and features Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Emily Mortimer, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin, and John Cleese. The Sony Pictures release opens on Friday, February 6th, 2009.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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