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Film Review: Celebration of Creation in Warm ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

CHICAGO – The world of creation, and the imagination behind it, gets an honorable and elegantly performed treatment in the fascinating “Saving Mr. Banks.” What seems like a “making of” film about the legendary “Mary Poppins,” becomes much more rich in symbolism and consideration.

TV Review: NBC Wants You to Enroll in Likable ‘Camp’

CHICAGO – Here are a few words that adequately describe NBC’s “Camp,” a Summer series premiering this Wednesday, July 10, 2013 — “Likable,” “Amiable,” “Cute,” “Fun.” It’s not designed to challenge your dramatic expectations and delivers exactly what you’d expect it to deliver but the cast has some notable stand-outs and the whole thing has the feel of a long weekend away in the Summer — fun while it lasts if not overly memorable.

Interview: Matthew Rhys Red Carpet for ‘The Scapegoat’ at Chicago International Film Festival

Matthew Rhys, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The new film “The Scapegoat” made a premiere splash at the 48th Chicago International Film Festival, with lead actor Matthew Rhys – of TV’s “Brothers & Sisters” – and director Charles Sturridge walking the Red Carpet on Thursday, October 18th. The festival wraps up this week on October 25th.

DVD Review: ABC TV Releases Including ‘Cougar Town,’ ‘Brothers and Sisters,’ More

Cougar Town S2

CHICAGO – Disney and ABC Studios are releasing waves of DVDs in the coming weeks that are designed to allow you to catch up before new episodes of your favorite shows premiere or, as is the case with two of the first titles, remember the days when they were still on the air. The most recent seasons of “Brothers & Sisters” and “Off the Map” hit stores this week, August 23rd, 2011, followed by “Cougar Town” and “Desperate Housewives” next week, August 30th, 2011.

DVD Reviews: ‘Brothers and Sisters,’ ‘Chuck,’ ‘Supernatural’

Supernatural

CHICAGOLast week we covered several of the more notable rookie programs of the just-passed TV year and their inaugural TV-on-DVD season sets. This week, we’re back with a few of the veterans of the field, three shows that have never become critical smashes but have all developed their own devoted followings for good reason.

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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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