Ray Wise

Blu-ray Review: Wes Craven’s Cult Classic ‘Swamp Thing’

Swamp Thing

CHICAGO – After making incredibly influential, low-budget horror films like “The Last House on the Left” and “The Hills Have Eyes,” Wes Craven was essentially at a career crossroads. Keep staying off the radar or join contemporaries like John Carpenter in a quest for more mainstream success. Thus, “Swamp Thing” was born. While it is seen as a cult B-movie now, this was Craven’s attempt at showing he could do something more crowd-pleasing than his dark fare.

Blu-ray Review: Despite Interesting Intentions, ‘Chillerama’ Misses Target

Chillerama

CHICAGO – I was SO with “Chillerama” when it started. The concept is right in my wheelhouse as I’ve long been a fan of B-movies, having been raised on the works of Roger Corman, Troma, and the writing of Joe Bob Briggs. If “Chillerama” can’t appease me, it’s unlikely to work for anyone. Bad news. Despite its best intentions and clever foundation, the execution here is just off, resulting in a hit-and-miss film that does way too much of the latter half of that equation.

DVD Review: Great Final Season of ‘Reaper’ Gets Lackluster Release

Reaper

CHICAGO – Part of me is happy about the trend of TV being released quickly on DVD after a season ends, but what about when it turns out to be the last? Should seasons be rushed to store shelves or should time and respect be given for a show canceled far-too-soon? “Reaper: Season Two” is a bittersweet release, a set that’s barely even focused on the sophomore season of this excellent show much less the fact that it’s not coming back.

TV Review: ‘Reaper’ Finally Returns From the Dead With Disappointing Season Premiere

Reaper
HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 3.0/5.0
Television Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I adored the first, underrated season of “Reaper” and was as puzzled as any TV viewer that the CW saw in their wisdom to delay season two until nearly ten months after the last episode aired. More than ever, television viewers operate in an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality and I don’t see how the delay and the brief season (just 13 episodes) could possibly do anything to build a following for this nearly-cancelled gem.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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