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TV Review: Connie Britton Carries a Dramatic Tune to ‘Nashville’

Nashville

CHICAGO – It seems unlikely to be the artistic accomplishment of “Friday Night Lights” or “American Horror Story,” but Connie Britton has done it again, bringing another character vibrantly to life on “Nashville” and cementing her position as one of the best actresses on television. She’s easily the best thing about this entertaining if inconsistent show, a program that too often submits to its soap opera trappings but has enough rhythm to presume that it could be a solid weekly diversion.

Blu-ray Review: Impressive Scope of Mini-Series ‘Hatfields & McCoys’

Hatfields & McCoys

CHICAGO – The History Channel waited years to debut their first narrative property but the wait seemed to be worth it both for fans and for the network that’s probably still counting their profits from one of the biggest TV events of 2012 and one of the year’s most notable Emmy nominees. I had my doubts going into the recent Blu-ray release of “Hatfields & McCoys” but this is an impressive mini-series of the type they don’t really make any more. It’s not surprising it was huge in the ratings and I expect the Blu-ray to sell for years (especially around Father’s Day and the holidays).

Blu-Ray Review: HBO’s ‘Deadwood: The Complete Series’ Archives Incredible Drama

Deadwood

CHICAGO – Just in time for the holidays, HBO’s brilliant “Deadwood” has been chosen for induction into the complete series Blu-ray catalog of the most important TV network in the last twenty years. Very few HBO series are available in complete series HD sets from HBO (“Band of Brothers,” “Rome,” “The Pacific”) and while fans of “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” and “Six Feet Under” may finally have their day next holiday season, this one belongs to David Milch’s masterpiece.

Blu-Ray Review: Ridiculous ‘MacGruber’ Wears Out Repetitive Routine

MacGruber

CHICAGO – Is anyone surprised that a 20-second sketch from “Saturday Night Live” literally comes apart at the seams when it’s stretched into a feature film? Wouldn’t you have been more surprised if “MacGruber,” recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, had actually worked?

Will Forte, Kristen Wiig Explode a Megaton Bomb in ‘MacGruber’

CHICAGO – In a parallel universe, perhaps a version of “MacGruber” exists that actually understands that comedy should be funny…oh what a beautiful world that would be.

Slideshow: 22-Image Gallery From ‘MacGruber’ With Will Forte

| Image 1 of 22 |
Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) is surrounded by his thugs.

CHICAGO – This 22-image slideshow features all the official press images for Rogue Pictures’ “MacGruber” starring Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Powers Boothe, Maya Rudolph, and Val Kilmer. It was written by Forte & John Solomon & Jorma Taccone and directed by Taccone. It will open on May 21st, 2010.

DVD Review: HBO Bids Farewell to ‘Deadwood,’ ‘The Wire’ With Series Sets

Wire DVD

CHICAGO – “Deadwood” and “The Wire”, two of the best television programs of the last decade, have been given lavish, must-own treatment by HBO with spectacular season sets available just in time for the holidays.

TV Review: ‘24’ Searches For ‘Redemption’ With Prequel to Season Seven

24: Redemption

CHICAGO – After a delay that lasted well in excess of a year, “24” returns to FOX this Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 from 7 to 9 p.m. with a two-hour “special event” (they used to just be called “TV movies”) called “24: Redemption”.

Slideshow: 22-Image Gallery For ‘24: Redemption’ With Kiefer Sutherland

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Captured in Africa exhibit: 24 producer Michael Klick captures Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) performing a stunt while filming 24: Redemption, which airs on Nov. 23, 2008 on FOX. Photo credit: Michael Klick


CHICAGO – This 22-image slideshow contains official press images for the new TV film “24: Redemption” (previously named “24: Exile”), which stars Kiefer Sutherland, Gil Bellows, Robert Carlyle, Cherry Jones, Powers Boothe and Jon Voight. The prequel to the seventh season of “24” airs on Nov. 23, 2008 at 8 p.m. EST or 7 p.m. CST on FOX.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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