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John Leguizamo

Film Review: ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ Sucks Remaining Life From Franchise

CHICAGO – The families who get suckered into the truly horrendous “Ice Age: Continental Drift” should be angry. Not only does it fail when compared to the best animation of the year (“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits,” “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “Brave”) but it’s less entertaining than most children’s television.

Film Review: Katherine Heigl’s ‘One For the Money’ Was Made For No One

CHICAGO – Just under five years ago, Katherine Heigl became a decently known actress in the film world for her role as Alison in the Judd Apatow film “Knocked Up.” After having been in the show “Grey’s Anatomy” for a few years, Heigl had finally broke into the world of cinema, and seemed to have a decent amount of comedy acting skills.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Vanishing on 7th Street’ Likely to Disappear Into Horror History

Vanishing on 7th Street

CHICAGO – Horror writers and directors have been afraid of the dark since the start of the genre. Sadly, that fear of blackness has never translated to film as successfully as one would hope. There’s an inherent problem in watching a movie about darkness in that it can never make that fear fully real unless it goes to complete black screen. The latest entry in this flawed subgenre is Brad Anderson’s “Vanishing on 7th Street,” a minor work from a major director.

Film Review: Matthew McConaughey Nearly Saves Problematic ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’

CHICAGO – Proving yet again that he can deliver when he avoids horrendous romantic comedy cliches, Matthew McConaughey does his best work in years in “The Lincoln Lawyer,” but the film doesn’t quite come together like one wishes that it would due to the common traps that befall big screen adaptations of best-selling thrillers.

Blu-Ray Review: Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge!,’ ‘Romeo + Juliet’ Made For HD

Moulin Rouge

CHICAGO – Baz Luhrmann has made two great films and one masterpiece in “Strictly Ballroom,” “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet,” and “Moulin Rouge!” and the latter two are finally available on Blu-ray, the format for which they were made. In the only way we should expect from a perfectionist like Luhrmann, both films have been lovingly remastered in HD and accompanied by excellent special features. They’re a pair of great HD releases.

Blu-Ray Review: Third ‘Ice Age’ Sticks to Frigid Formula

Ice Age 3

CHICAGO – When did “gentleness” first become “unhip” in children’s films? Practically every studio in America, with the exception of Pixar, feels the need to make their “all ages” entertainment as abrasive, dumb and crude as their escapism targeted at teens and simple-minded adults.

DVD Round Up, Oct. 30, 2009: ‘Sauna,’ ‘The Tournament,’ ‘The Butcher’

The Tournament

CHICAGO – Many editions of the DVD Round-Up have featured a different genre and focus for each title within it. This week seems a little more thematically linked as we have a trio of foreign horror films and a few more independent films than usual. Of course, there has to a holiday comedy to spice things up.

Video: Teaser Trailer For ‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ Game

Ice Age 3 game

CHICAGO – All good summer movies come with video game tie-ins and Activision sent over a new vignette from their summer offering, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which will ship to retail stores in June for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, and PC.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Righteous Kill’ Represents New Low For Talented Actors

Righteous Kill

CHICAGO – “Is it killing time or is he just killing time?” If you don’t groan at a line of dialogue that shockingly horrendous then we’ve got a Blu-Ray release for you. Marking a new low in a baffling series of career decisions for two of the best actors of all time, “Righteous Kill” is as much an unqualified disaster on Blu-Ray as it was when critics ridiculed it and audiences ignored it in theaters.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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