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Michael Cera

DVD Review: Historical Figures Cheersed in Brilliant ‘Drunk History: Seasons 1 & 2’

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.

DVD Review: Juno Temple Delivers Tour De Force in ‘Magic Magic’

Magic Magic DVD

CHICAGO – I suppose it was only a matter of time before Sebastián Silva delved into the brooding waters of psychodrama. There are countless moments in his previous pictures—from Catalina Saavedra’s piercing Bette Davis stare in “The Maid” to Michael Cera’s hallucinogenic agony in “Crystal Fairy”—that threaten to spiral into horrifying derangement.

Film Review: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann Anchor ‘Crystal Fairy’

Crystal Fairy Review

CHICAGO – It’s a sad day in modern American distribution when a film as highly praised and perversely intriguing as Sebastián Silva’s “Magic Magic” fails to acquire a theatrical release. The very notion of a Sundance darling co-lensed by Christopher Doyle getting unceremoniously dumped on DVD is too maddening to contemplate. At a time when Disney labels a formulaic misfire like “The Lone Ranger” as a “risk,” it’s depressing to see a company like Sony Pictures follow suit.

Interview: Sebastián Silva Reveals New Side of Michael Cera in ‘Crystal Fairy’

CHICAGO – 12 years ago, Sebastián Silva went on a road trip with his friends. Their goal was to experience the hallucinogenic ecstasy of the San Pedro cactus. Along the way, he encountered a hippie named Crystal Fairy who ended up giving him a more transformative experience than any drug ever could. An evening of soul-bearing confessions caused Silva to have great compassion for the damaged women beneath the eccentric surface.

Film News: ‘David Lynch Swerves’ Author Martha P. Nochimson on Indie Outlook

David Lynch Swerves

CHICAGO – Acclaimed film critic and writer Martha P. Nochimson gave an exclusive interview to Indie Outlook, the independent film blog and podcast founded by Hollywood Chicago staff writer Matt Fagerholm. Her book, “David Lynch Swerves,” reveals how the titular director’s interest in quantum mechanics and the Holy Vedas of the Hindu religion provide a key to understanding his later work on an exhilaratingly new level.

TV News: Entire Cast, Writers Confirmed For ‘Arrested Development’ Revival

Arrested Development

CHICAGO – Ever since the final moments of the last episode of ‘Arrested Development’ (back in 2006), there have been rumors about a feature film being created for the TV series. Cast members and writers would be asked, “when is this movie coming out?” and responses would usually be “we are working on it” or “it’s coming.” Now, after six years, those responses may actually be true.

TV News: ‘Arrested Development’ May Return For New Season, Movie

Arrested Development

CHICAGO – Could this be the news fans of the old FOX series “Arrested Development” have been waiting for? Since the final episode of the canceled series aired on February 10, 2006, rumors and hope have swirled around that the comedy series would come back for a full length feature film. Now, the long wait may be over and fans could be getting more than just a movie.

Interview: Director Miguel Arteta Maps a Route to ‘Cedar Rapids’

Cedar Rapids, Director Miguel Arteta

CHICAGO – It takes a man born in Puerto Rico to really understand the Midwest, and director Miquel Arteta proves it in his stellar “Cedar Rapids.” Given an all-star cast including Ed Helms, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver and John C. Reilly, Arteta formulates a comedy that feels like the heartland.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ Bursts With Special Features

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

CHICAGO – Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” may have been (incorrectly) perceived as a box office bomb but a large cult grew around the film before it was even released and it’s a following that will only grow stronger with the fantastic Blu-ray release, a disc filled with more special features than even the most hardcore fan of the movie could have hoped for. The movie is still a bit flawed but it plays well at home and I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is when a top-notch studio like Universal treats a loyal film following with the respect they deserve.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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