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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

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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