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Kelsey Grammer

Film Review: As Title Implies, ‘The Expendables 3’ Totally Expendable

CHICAGO – The old man as macho action hero trend has finally calcified. If you haven’t seen either of the two previous “Expendables” pictures – this is definitely not the place to start. Sylvester Stallone’s creaky franchise hits rock bottom.

Film Review: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Most Tolerable of Series

CHICAGO – I’ll say this for “Transformers: Age Of Extinction,” it’s the most tolerable Transformers movie Michael Bay has ever made. The substitution of Mark Wahlberg for Shia LaBeouf is a big part of that – and for its first two hours at least, Bay realizes less is more.

Interview: Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor on ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

CHICAGO – Among the Transforming machines in the fourth installment of the “Transformers” series are human actors, poised to react to the giant robot madness around them. Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor are newcomers to the series, and both are making major franchise film debuts in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Film Review: ‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return’ is For Kids Only

CHICAGO – The so-called “legend of Oz” will cease to be legendary if they keep producing lame re-engineerings of the 1939 classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Close on the heels of last year’s dud, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” comes the dully rendered “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.”

TV News: Starz Cancels Chicago-Set Drama ‘Boss’

Boss S2

CHICAGO – We didn’t see this one coming. Starz has canceled their most highly-acclaimed drama “Boss,” starring Kelsey Grammer, Golden Globe-winner less than a year ago. The show had a number of critics on its side but the ratings never matched the press and Starz has decided not to re-elect the program for a third year.

TV Review: Starz Hit ‘Boss’ Returns with More Confidence, Intrigue

CHICAGO – The Golden Globe Award-winning “Boss” returns tonight for a second season of riveting drama based on our favorite city’s foundation of dirty politics. I thought the first season was strong but drifted a bit at times, lacking the focus of truly great drama.

Blu-ray Review: First Season of Chicago-Based Political Drama ‘Boss’

Boss

CHICAGO – Starz’s “Boss” doesn’t so much reimagine life in politics in Chicago as Shakespearian drama as it does being in a mob family. Mayor Thomas Kane (Kelsey Grammar) is not too distinguishable from Tony Soprano in the way he manipulates those around him and in how betrayal could not only mean the end of your career but the end of your life (the First Lady of the Windy City describes politics as “money, muscle, and the neutralization of one’s enemies.”)

TV News: 2012 Hugo Television Awards Honors Kelsey Grammer

Kelsey Grammer, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The 48th Annual Hugo Television Awards took place last Thursday, April 19th, and the honoree for the career achievement award at the event was Kelsey Grammer, best known for portraying Frasier Crane on the series “Cheers” and “Frasier,” and currently portraying Mayor Tom Kane in the Starz Network cable drama “Boss.” Among the attendees paying tribute to Grammer was his long-time costar, John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father on the sitcom.

Interview: Director Mario Van Peebles Celebrates ‘We the Party’

Mario Van Peebles

CHICAGO – The Van Peebles name has had a long and historic contribution to the history of movies from the 1970s to today. Director Mario Van Peebles has extended a tradition of filmmaker credibility that began with his father Melvin’s breakthrough with “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” (1971) and continues with Mario’s recent release, “We the Party.”

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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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