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Russell Brand

Film Review: ‘Trolls’ is Catchier Than it Has a Right to Be

CHICAGO – “Trolls” isn’t the type of confection that I would normally subject myself to, but at least it didn’t make me want to stick knitting needles in my ears. That’s because “Trolls” aspires to be this season’s “Frozen,” a full blown animated musical jam packed with songs you can’t get out of your head as much as you might try.

Interview: Directors Mike Mitchell & Walt Dohrn of ‘Trolls’

CHICAGO – The delightful new animated film “Trolls” takes the familiar doll to a new level of fun and heart. Behind this invention is the director team of Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, who have worked together in various animation roles over the years before teaming up in their first collaboration for Dreamworks Studio.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-ray Combo Packs of ‘Despicable Me 2’ with Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 5 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home release of “Despicable Me 2” starring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig!

Film Review: Diablo Cody Loses Tone in Awful ‘Paradise’

CHICAGO – Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, “Paradise,” now available everywhere On Demand and released this Friday in some markets theatrically, is an unmitigated disaster. It’s the most tonally inconsistent film of 2013, a flick that fluctuates wildly from broad satire to manipulative drama to something altogether indescribably bad.

Film Review: Same Formula in Weak Sequel ‘Despicable Me 2’

CHICAGO – Oh those wacky Minions. We just never know what those little yellow guys in “Despicable Me 2” will do, because they simply DO EVERYTHING! They sing, fart, burp, perform parodies and handle hazardous materials. More than comic relief, they are all-purpose story coverage.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Despicable Me 2’ With Steve Carell, Russell Brand

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated “Despicable Me 2” starring Steve Carell and Russell Brand!

Preview: TBS ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’ Kicks Off on June 11, 2013

Just for Laughs Chicago 2013

CHICAGO – The great city of Chicago can’t stop the funny this week. The TBS “Just for Laughs Chicago” comedy festival returns for another hilarious six days. Highlights include performances by Russell Brand, John Hodgman, Seth Meyers, Bill Maher and the legendary Chicagoan Bob Newhart.

Blu-ray Review: Catchy Tunes, Smart Editing Work For ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’

Katy Perry: Part of Me

CHICAGO – Few music documentaries transcend the fan base of their artist to become something greater. Of course, there are the classics like “Stop Making Sense” and “The Last Waltz” and I would add “Pearl Jam Twenty” to that list. But most music films are designed for one purpose — to appeal to the musican’s fans. So, if you’re going to judge a film based on what it intends to accomplish, you have to ask yourself — would Katy Perry fans like “Katy Perry: Part of Me”? Undeniably.

Film Review: Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough Have Fun in ‘Rock of Ages’

CHICAGO – Although the jukebox musical needs an available pasture to be put out onto, the new film “Rock of Ages” – based on the Broadway stage play – improves on that genre by having a little fun and lots of tongue-in-cheek. Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand rock the cashbox.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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