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Interview: BADASSS Winner Julien Temple at 2015 Chicago CIMMfest

CHICAGO – In receiving the official BADASSS Award at the 2015 Chicago International Movies & Music Fest (CIMMFest), legendary rock documentary maker Julien Temple simply said, “Badass is not a phrase we use in England. I’ve never been called a badass, I prefer ‘enfant terriblé,’ with a hope toward ‘monstre sacré.’”

Exclusive Portrait: B.J. Novak Authors ‘The Book With No Pictures’

CHICAGO – It’s easy to recognize the author, producer and actor B.J. Novak from his many years on the TV series “The Office.” His latest project is his children’s title, “The Book with No Pictures,” and he came to Chicago last fall, for an appearance sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville, Ill.) at North Central College.

Film Review: High-Energy ‘Battle of the Year’ Needs More Originality

CHICAGO – “B Boys” – or as they’re known by the more familiar term as break dancers – are high energy street performers who combine gymnastic moves with tight choreographed dance. This all comes together in a film depicting an international competition called “Battle of the Year.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 20 Pairs of Guaranteed, Local World-Premiere Passes to ‘Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D’

Update on 8/6/12 at 1:28 p.m.: Due to popular demand, we increased this Hookup from 10 pairs to 20 pairs!
CHICAGO – In our latest local world-premiere edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 pairs of guaranteed movie passes up for grabs to “Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D”!

DVD Review: Clever First Season of MTV Hit ‘Teen Wolf’

Teen Wolf: Season One

CHICAGO – Having suffered through countless knock-offs of the “Twilight” and “True Blood” phenomena, I was kind of dreading MTV’s “Teen Wolf.” Haven’t we been here before? And way too often? So I’m more surprised than anyone to report that this “Buffy”-esque drama/comedy/horror show is pretty damn good. It’s not as landmark as the Joss Whedon creation that so clearly inspired it but it’s much closer than anyone could have predicted in terms of quality. Funny, smart, and often quite clever, check out “Teen Wolf: Season One,” now on DVD.

Blu-ray Review: Legendary Characters Return in ‘Beavis and Butthead: Volume 4’

Beavis and Butthead: Volume 4

CHICAGO – Thank God Beavis and Butthead are back. I’ve been lucky enough to speak to Mike Judge a few times in my career and I always got the impression that he not only wanted to bring back his legendary characters but felt, as I did, that the world needs Beavis and Butthead…now more than ever. What would Beavis think of Twilight? What would Butthead say about social media? And how would they react to “Jersey Shore”? Now we know.

TV on Blu-ray Round-Up: ‘The Borgias,’ ‘Archer,’ ‘Jersey Shore’

The Borgias

CHICAGO – A number of recent TV seasons hit DVD and Blu-ray right after Christmas, hoping to get a share of that gift card balance burning a hole in your wallet. If you have any left, we thought you might want to know the details so you can plan your assault of the local Best Buy or fill your Amazon cart. This is a Round-up feature that serves mostly as information, letting you know the synopsis, tech specs, special features, etc., but if we had to pick favorites, FX’s “Archer” rules. It’s the best of the bunch, but, honestly, all four should satisfy fans (even if “The Borgias” is annoyingly light on special features). Yes, even “Jersey Shore.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Neo-Noir DVDs to 2011 MTV Movie Award Winner ‘Viva Riva!’

Viva Riva! with Patsha Bay Mukuna and Manie Malone

CHICAGO – In our latest drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, we have 5 DVDs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of the action-filled neo-noir “Viva Riva!,” which is the 2011 MTV Movie Award winner for best African film!

DVD Review: ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Three’ Continues Reality Phenomenon

Jersey Shore S3

CHICAGO – When most people hear that I’m a TV critic, they usually make a snarky comment about the disaster of reality TV. While I agree that a vast majority of it is nearly unbearable, I don’t think it’s fair to lump the entire genre into one negative bundle. It’s not surprising that I love the critical darlings like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Top Chef” but jaws drop when I try to defend MTV’s massive hit “Jersey Shore,” the third season of which was just released in an uncensored, 4-disc set.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Jackass 3’ Shocks More Than First Two, But Misses Target

Jackass 3

CHICAGO – “Jackass 3” features more male genitalia and bodily fluids than most pornos. The boys have become bizarrely obsessed with their penises and, well, crap. And while the movie features some definite laughs, there are a surprising number of bits that either fall flat as comedy or seem designed to shock more than entertain. This big fan of Johnny Knoxville and the gang (I’ve seen every episode and the first two movies) just didn’t find the third installment as funny as I had hoped it would be — even in nauseating 3D.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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