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Martin Short

Film Review: Beyond Being Trippy, ‘Inherent Vice’ is a Difficult Trip

CHICAGO – Interpreting the ambling and sonic prose of author Thomas Pynchon has eluded filmmakers until now. Director Paul Thomas Anderson takes a whack at “Inherent Vice,” and although much of the film has his usual eminent vision, as a whole it makes for difficult sledding.

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.”

Film Review: Wondrous Last Act for Hayao Miyazaki in ‘The Wind Rises’

The Wind Rises

CHICAGO – The master animator and film legend Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”) announced his retirement after his latest film, “The Wind Rises.” He is often called “Japan’s Walt Disney,” but there is more to him then that, a soul and a mystery that is revealed in the stages of his animated art, and his contribution to artistic culture will continue to influence for generations to come. “The Wind Rises” is nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2014 Academy Awards.

Blu-ray Review: Modest Release For Surprisingly Fun ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’

Madagascar 3

CHICAGO – An injection of A-list voice talent (including Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Frances McDormand, and Jessica Chastain) along with a new setting proves to be just what the “Madagascar” franchise needed. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” is the best of the three films, a fun, clever ride that works for both kids and adults. While the past two films had tons of bonus material with their Blu-ray releases, this one’s a little lackluster. But the movie itself should make thousands of wee ones happy this holiday season.

Film Review: ‘Frankenweenie’ is Visually Rich, But Lacks Monstrosity

CHICAGO – The immersion that is possible in modern animated films is so rich now that it is practically reality. “Frankenweenie,” the newest puppetry-style film from director Tim Burton, is heroically painted onto the screen’s canvas, but the limp retelling of the Frankenstein movie myth doesn’t live up to the visual tone.

Slideshow: 7-Portrait Comedian Gallery of 2011 ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’

| Image 1 of 7 |
Steve Martin begins his very stupid conversation with Martin Short.

CHICAGO – Last week, June 14-19, Chicago felt the roar of hilarity as it hosted the 2011 “Just for Laughs” festival, sponsored by the TBS Network. For five rollicking days, the Windy City entertained audiences at venues all around town, with both name comic celebrities, local stand-up and the Chicago school of improvisation.

Preview: 2011 TBS ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’ Kicks Off June 15

CHICAGO – Hilarity is back in the Windy City as the annual “Just for Laughs” festival comes to town to kick off summer. Over the next five days, Chicago venues will be rocking with comedy legends like Steve Martin, and the smaller clubs around town will also be featuring up-and-coming acts.

TV Review: Rose Byrne, Glenn Close Return in ‘Damages’

CHICAGO – The second season of ‘Damages,’ recently released on DVD, was still quality television but felt like a bit of a letdown after the spectacular first season of this amazing show. Naturally, expectations are high for the premiere of season three.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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