CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – TV on DVD has been shaped by Twentieth Century Fox and their releases for “The Simpsons,” one of the best shows in the history of television. It makes a certain degree of sense that one of the longest-running and most beloved programs in history would get the most detailed and elaborate DVD releases but the producers of “The Simpsons” always go above and beyond, as they have again with “The Simpsons: The Complete Fifteenth Season.”
CHICAGO – With shows like “Archer” and a still-creative “South Park” leading the way in TV animation along with all of the fascinating risks being taken by Adult Swim, what are we to make of a Sunday night lineup on FOX that feels more creatively stagnant than ever?
CHICAGO – Say the words “San Diego Comic-Con” to a certain comic geek subculture and suddenly heart rates are up and anticipation is in the air. The documentary maker Morgan Spurlock (“Supersize Me”) seeks to capture that feeling in “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” with help from Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Thomas Jane, Josh Whedon, Seth Green and Matt Groening.
CHICAGO – If one were listing the most influential people in the history of television, right there next to legends like Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, and Norman Lear, would have to lie Matt Groening, the man who reinvented TV animation for all time. Two of his creations, “Futurama” and “The Simpsons,” had volumes released recently on Blu-ray and both are typically FILLED with remarkable special features. We’ve said it before — Fox animation is the standard when it comes to TV on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – Long past the point when most thought it would be canceled, “The Simpsons” moved into its thirteenth season in the fall of 2001, not quite as clever or culturally relevant as at its peak but still funnier than a lot of television of its time. The first season of “The Simpsons” on Blu-ray with the same caliber of special features as the majority of releases for the most influential cartoon of all time returns the series to the must-buy form it lost with the disappointing “The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season.”
CHICAGO – Fry, Leela, Bender, and the rest of the gang of “Futurama” take a major step forward in their return from the other side of the TV schedule with the first brand new hour of television debuting tonight on Comedy Central. Fans are understandably nervous that something may have been lost during the show’s time off. Fear not space travellers.
CHICAGO – I never thought I’d be disappointed by a season release of “The Simpsons”. Even though I knew the show would start to dip in quality by the time it got to the end, I somehow assumed that the DVD (and eventual Blu-ray) releases would continue to be stellar. D’oh!
CHICAGO – Since Fox released the first season of “The Simpsons” on DVD, fans of the series have anticipated each new release like a kid waiting for presents for a fat man in a red suit to fall down a chimney in late December. Each season set for “The Simpsons” has set the bar for what TV on DVD should be. It’s no surprise that the twelfth season doesn’t change the excellent pattern.
CHICAGO – Still trying to get over an Oscar hangover? There’s no better way to deflate the pomposity of awards season than with a wicked car chase. Of course, one of the best of all time hit Blu-Ray this week in the controversial Blu-Ray release of “The French Connection,” but the same studio also released another pair of movies dedicated to automobile aficionados and an animated sci-fi comedy when all the metal destruction gets too much to take.