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Film Review: Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium’ Feels Drained of Passion

CHICAGO – I’ve rarely said this about Neil Jordan movie – in fact, maybe never – but I was bored during his latest, the vampire drama “Byzantium,” a movie with an intriguing cast and interesting story but little in the way of passion, emotion, dread, or the other intangibles needed to make a horror film like this effective.

TV Review: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu Carry CBS’s ‘Elementary’

CHICAGO – “Elementary,” starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and debuting tonight on CBS at 9pm CST, is a tough show to review. Yes, it’s another procedural mystery show and I wouldn’t blame you if you’re just not interested in one of those. Who has time for all the fictional crimes being solved on TV every week?

Film Review: Keep Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’ Out of the Light

CHICAGO – Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” is one of the most inconsistent and frustrating major films in a long time. There are elements here and there that work but Burton and writer Seth Grahame-Smith seem incapable of figuring out how to wrangle them into a coherent, successful film.

Film News: Danny Boyle’s ‘Frankenstein’ to Screen at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre

National Theatre Live's Frankenstein

CHICAGO – Mary Shelley’s infamous monster is alive and well in Nick Dear’s acclaimed new stage adaptation set to be screened worldwide. It’s the latest installment of National Theatre Live, a series of high definition filmed performances released theatrically, courtesy of Britain’s National Theatre.

DVD Review: Helen Mirren Delivers One of TV’s Best Performances in ‘Prime Suspect’

CHICAGO – She is amply assisted by a who’s who of some of the best supporting actors Britain has produced in the last two decades but “Prime Suspect,” which recently saw its complete 7-series run released in one box set for the first time from Acorn Media, belongs to the amazing Helen Mirren.

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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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