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John Leguizamo

Blu-ray Review: Laughs as Elusive as Acorns in ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’

Ice Age Continental Drift Blu-ray

CHICAGO – It ain’t over until the fat mammoth sings, and that’s precisely what happens—more or less—in “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the fourth installment of Blue Sky Studios’ increasingly tedious, decade-old franchise. Why can’t any of Pixar’s rival animation studios come up with a marketable formula better than Celebrities Voicing Animals Delivering Tired Sitcom Dialogue?

Interview: John Leguizamo Reflects on ‘Tales from a Ghetto Klown’ in PBS Doc

CHICAGO – From Toulouse-Lautrec in “Moulin Rouge” and Luigi in “Super Mario Bros.” to Sid in “Ice Age” and Chi-Chi in “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar,” John Leguizamo has made a career out of playing a wide array of colorful and challenging roles. In 2010, the actor made a celebrated return to the stage and tackled his trickiest role to date: himself.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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