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Exclusive Portrait: Zoë Bell at the Chicago International Film Festival

Zoe Bell, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Hollywood stuntwoman Zoë Bell is best known for an acting bit she did in Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” playing “herself.” Otherwise she has had a prolific career doubling on stunts for Lucy Lawless, Sharon Stone and Uma Thurman, among others. She attended the 49th Chicago International Film Festival last weekend to premiere her new film, with director Josh C. Waller, called “Raze.”

Blu-ray Review: ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ Was Made For HD

Spartacus Vengeance

CHICAGO – Starz’s hit “Spartacus: Vengeance” was designed for Blu-ray collectors. With the program’s emphasis on striking visuals, watching it in a quality any lesser than 1080p would be a crime. And Anchor Bay understands the cable hit they have on their hands and have given the show one of the most impressive HD transfers of the crowded TV-on-Blu-ray season and loaded it down with special features. There’s only one season of “Spartacus” left on Starz. Catch up with this 3-disc set before it premieres.

TV Review: B-Movie Take on Legendary Hero Thrills in Starz’s Bloody Hit ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’

CHICAGO – “Let us split darkness with the cries of Romans.” Boobs, blood, and betrayal — “Spartacus” must be back. Following up on the action of the beloved “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” and coming on the heels of the most critical acclaim in the history of the network (“Boss”), Starz hopes to keep momentum going with the well-made if ridiculous “Spartacus: Vengeance.”

Blu-Ray Review: STARZ Originals ‘Camelot,’ ‘Spartacus: Gods of the Arena’

Spartacus Gods of the Arena Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – One of the most popular opinions among modern audiences is the notion that television shows have become consistently better than films. This is partly because many of the year’s best movies are relegated to urban art houses, while shows like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are available on small screens nationwide. Yet I’d argue that there’s just as much derivative dreck on TV as there is in mainstream multiplexes.

TV News: ‘Spartacus’ Actor Andy Whitfield Passes Away at 39

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

CHICAGO – “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” star Andy Whitfield passed away yesterday morning after battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma since March 2010. Whitfield was 39 years old.

TV Review: ‘Spartacus: Gods of the Arena’ Delivers Bloody Goods

CHICAGO – It’s mere minutes into “Spartacus: Gods the Arena” before men are being decapitated and women are flashing their breasts. With all the self-serious junk on right now, it’s nice to have Starz’s biggest hit back.

Blu-Ray Review: Guilty Pleasures of ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

CHICAGO – “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” is a ridiculous program, a mix of pretentious dialogue that thinks its more important than it is, elaborate battle sequences shot in slo-mo to hide the show’s budget, and historical inaccuracies on an epic scale. And yet it’s also remarkably enjoyable. It’s a guilty pleasure program that has developed a rabid following on Starz and should put the network on the map when it comes to original series with the help of an excellent Blu-ray release for the first season.

Blu-Ray Review: Adam Sandler’s ‘Bedtime Stories’ Family Friendly Entertainment

Bedtime Stories
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGOAdam Shankman’s “Bedtime Stories” is far from perfect but it also was undeservedly lambasted by critics. Is this great family fare? Heck no, but I’d still take this variation of Sandler’s persona over his cartoonish characters in most of his silly comedies and the movie has an easy-going likability that’s hard to deny. The Blu-Ray leaves a lot to be desired but the movie itself is probably better than you think.

Slideshow: 16-Image Gallery For ‘Bedtime Stories’ With Adam Sandler, Keri Russell

| Image 1 of 16 |
BedtimeStories01.jpg

CHICAGO – This 16-image slideshow contains official press images for Disney’s “Bedtime Stories,” which stars Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Teresa Palmer, Richard Griffiths, Lucy Lawless, and Courtney Cox from writers Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy and directed by Adam Shankman. The film opens on Dec. 25, 2008.

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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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