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Film Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Breaks No New Ground

CHICAGO – When the first “Sin City” (2005) was released – based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller – the conversion of a film to a noir-like comic book atmosphere was pioneering. The sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” has heightened that look, but this time has much less to say.

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”.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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