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Interviews: Flashback to Nia Vardalos, Lainie Kazan of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’

Nia Vardalos photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The second biggest release of the 2016 Easter Weekend is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” The sequel to the 2002 mega-hit, the film rolls out the same weekend as a certain “Bats v Supes,” but is a bit quieter – and more Greek – than its weekend neighbors. In anticipation of the new “Wedding,” HollywoodChicago.com reruns a couple interviews from featured stars Nia Vardalos and Lainie Kazan.

Film Review: Story Won’t Go All the Way in ‘The Boy Next Door’

CHICAGO – There was a different kind of vibe coming from the thriller “The Boy Next Door,” different than what is expected when hearing “Jennifer Lopez as teacher caught in a scandal with a student.” But for every piece of original thinking, there was a fear of making it too different.

Blu-ray Review: ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ Still Delights 10 Years Later

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Blu-ray

CHICAGO – It is with mixed emotions that one regards the tenth anniversary edition of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” On one hand, it evokes memories of the crowded theaters that guffawed in delight during the film’s year-long theatrical run. On the other hand, it serves as a bitter reminder of the failed career it had promised to launch.

TV Review: ‘United States of Tara’ Offers Showcase For Toni Collette

United States of Tara 3

CHICAGO – I’ve said for two seasons now that Showtime’s “United States of Tara” isn’t as good as it should be, partially because the writing and parts of the ensemble don’t live up to the Emmy-winning work by its stunningly talented star, Toni Collette, but I might have been wrong. The start of season three, debuting tonight, Mar. 28th, 2011 on Showtime, hints at a broader program with a deeper ensemble, but I’m not sure any more that this is a good thing.

DVD Review: Toni Collette, Diablo Cody Shine in ‘United States of Tara: The Second Season’

United States of Tara Season 2 DVD

CHICAGO – It’s difficult to think of a role better suited for the chameleon-like abilities of Toni Collette than Tara Gregson, a devoted wife and mother struggling with dissociative identity disorder. Every episode holds an element of surprise, since viewers are never quite sure which of Tara’s “alters” will emerge next. Will it be the perky ’50s housewife, the flirtatious teenager or the testosterone-oozing Vietnam vet?

Blu-Ray Review: Talented Pair of Young Actresses Carry ‘Ramona and Beezus’

Ramona and Beezus

CHICAGO – With junk like “Marmaduke” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” pitching themselves to children like bad fast food, it can be hard for an honestly-good and genuine family film to find an audience. “Ramona and Beezus” is the kind of family offering that will hopefully find a large audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s no classic and far from perfect but it’s definitely a success for its target audience that could surprisingly appeal to people outside of its demographic as well.

Film Review: Beverly Cleary’s ‘Ramona and Beezus’ Works For Young Adults

Ramona and Beezus

CHICAGO – “Ramona and Beezus” may not be the perfect film that Beverly Cleary fans hoped for when they fell in love with these characters but it is successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars. I admittedly have a soft spot for any film that places teachers on a higher pedestal than businessman and effectively teaches young viewers to stick to their creative visions. It’s flawed, but “Ramona and Beezus” works.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Free Magnolia DVDs to ‘The Burning Plain,’ ‘Two Lovers,’ ‘Flawless’

CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, one lucky winner will clean up with three DVDs from Magnolia Pictures for “The Burning Plain,” “Two Lovers” and “Flawless” plus a full-size poster for “Ondine” signed by stars Colin Farrell and Alicja Bachleda!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • King and I, The

    CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.

  • New Country

    CHICAGO – The Country Music industry has become as huge as any category of music entertainment. So Mark Roberts, the creator of the TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” has fashioned a boisterous new play about the machinations of that genre of music industry, and gave it the plaintive title of “New Country.”

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