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Lauren Graham

Film Review: ‘Max’ is a Step Beyond the Heroic Dog Movie Genre

CHICAGO – From Rin-Tin-Tin to Lassie to Benji, American movie goers have loved the heroic dog. As the film “Max” throws its leash into the ring, the expectation was a dull family drama just about Max the dog himself. What a surprise to learn it was also a poignant meditation on people.

Interview: Actor Thomas Haden Church is Character Driven in ‘Max’

CHICAGO – Thomas Haden Church has the recognizable name, and a long career of character roles in comedy and drama. His laid-back persona gets a bit more intense as a conflicted father in the new film “Max,” about a military dog who comes home to an uncertain future with a grieving family.

TV Review: Fourth Season of ‘Parenthood’ Begins Confidently

CHICAGO – There’s an easy-going confidence in the first two episodes of the new season of “Parenthood” that separates the best family dramas from pure cliche. The team behind this beloved series clearly has reached a point where they know these characters down to their cores. The best family dramas reach a point where the characters feel genuine enough that we look forward each week to seeing how they’re doing, like old friends who we only see every seven days.

DVD Review: Strong Third Season of NBC Hit ‘Parenthood’

Parenthood: Season 3 Premiere

CHICAGO – The NBC family drama “Parenthood” has struggled to find a wide audience but the people that do watch it are remarkably loyal to the saga of the Bravermans. Their third season, which looked for some time like it could be their last, was recently released on DVD in advance of the fourth-season premiere on NBC on September 11, 2012.

TV Review: Comforting Family Drama of NBC’s ‘Parenthood’

CHICAGO – There’s something comforting about a family like the Bravermans. It’s a blend of perspective and identification that allows us to look at the clan at the center of a family drama like “Parenthood”.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ is Kind of a Good Movie

It's Kind of a Funny Story

CHICAGO – I’m conflicted about Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden’s “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” a good movie that I think a lot of people wanted to be great. After Fleck & Boden’s spectacular one-two punch of “Half Nelson” and “Sugar,” I think we started to expect that they would hit a home run every time. So, this one’s just a single. It’s still a creative hit despite its flaws.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Chicago Passes to ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ With Zach Galifianakis

CHICAGO – In our latest comedy/drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” with Zach Galifianakis and Jim Gaffigan!

DVD Reviews: 2010 Rookie TV Seasons Including ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘NCIS: Los Angeles,’ More

CHICAGO – We have written several times about the strength of the 2009-2010 television season with an incredible number of rookie hits and many of those great programs are now coming out on DVD.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Free ‘I Am Love’ Signed Poster, Magnolia DVDs to ‘Julia,’ ‘Two Lovers,’ ‘The Answer Man’

CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, two lucky winners will clean up with three DVDs from Magnolia Pictures for “Julia,” “Two Lovers” and “The Answer Man” plus a full-size poster for “I Am Love” signed by Oscar-winning star Tilda Swinton and an “I Am Love” soundtrack!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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