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Ryan Murphy

TV Review: ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Casts a Spell

CHICAGO – Take this with a giant grain of salt but FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven” shows incredible promise in its premiere episode tonight, setting a number of creative plates spinning in directions that could be fascinating. Why the salt? Well, “American Horror Story: Asylum” started with similar promise and quickly became cluttered and unfocused.

Blu-ray Review: Third Season of FOX Hit ‘Glee’

Glee S3

CHICAGO – The kids of “Glee” are back a little early this year as FOX has released the third season of the hit musical comedy earlier than the wave of TV-on-Blu-ray releases that are about to hit stores. This season was a bit of a letdown after the first two, earning much fewer Emmy nominations and sliding pretty far in the ratings. And the Blu-ray release feels like a step down from previous years as well. True fans will be happy but newcomers should obviously start with seasons one or two.

TV News: ‘American Horror Story’ Gets Green Light For Second FX Season

American Horror Story

CHICAGO – Show creators/executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are on quite a roll. After creating the hit series “Nip/Tuck” and putting America in a singing and dancing craze with “Glee,” the pair have created another mega hit with his horror/drama series “American Horror Story.” Now, the pair hit treat instead of trick on Halloween afternoon as FX has given the go ahead for a second season of the series.

TV Review: FX’s ‘American Horror Story’ Mixes Sex With Supernatural

CHICAGO – Ryan Murphy (“Nip/Tuck,” “Glee”) returns to the network that turned him into a star with this week’s premiere of the highly-anticipated “American Horror Story,” a new FX series that mixes sex with the supernatural to create something truly unique. The show’s very existence feels like it could be inspired by HBO’s “True Blood” (another show with horror and sex).

Blu-Ray Review: Fox Cashes in With ‘Glee Encore’

Glee Encore

CHICAGO – You truly know that something has become a phenomenon when a studio begins to take advantage of its fans with repetitive releases designed to pry open the purses or wallets of teenagers who must have everything related to their favorite pop culture trend. Witness “Glee: Encore,” a Blu-ray release with nothing new and little reason for anyone who owns the excellent first season to pick it up.

DVD Review: ‘Nip/Tuck: The Complete Series’ Captures Once-Promising Show

Nip/Tuck

CHICAGO – Having started writing about television and DVD right around the time that “Nip/Tuck” premiered on FX and always having lovely contacts at both the network and Warner Brothers, who released the DVDs for the series, I have possibly written about the adventures of Drs. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) more than any other program. And so I greet the “Complete Series” box set, recently released on DVD, with a tinge of sadness as I say goodbye to a program with definite highlights that somehow never quite lived up to its potential.

Blu-Ray Review: Amazing HD Release For First Season of ‘Glee’

Glee BD

CHICAGO – We at HollywoodChicago.com have reviewed dozens of HD season TV sets and the one for the first season of FOX’s beloved “Glee” is easily one of the best yet released. It plays perfectly to both fans of the show and those who have never seen it before, making it the collector’s item that it should be along with expanding the audience of its program. Other studios should take notes (no pun intended).

Film Review: Julia Roberts Learns How to ‘Eat Pray Love’

Eat Pray Love
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Despite its flaws, the often-beautiful “Eat Pray Love,” starring Julia Roberts, works because it refuses to talk down to its audience. This is the rare “chick flick” that treats its demographic with respect, never becoming the sentimental or manipulative dreck that so many other filmmakers would have delivered from Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoirs.

DVD Review: TV Season Sets Including ‘Entourage,’ ‘The Closer,’ ‘HawthoRNe’

Entourage S6

CHICAGO – The wave of TV on DVD sets that always comes crashing down upon us after the end of a traditional September-to-May season is still a few months off, but a few interesting releases have popped up recently and we thought they each deserved a mini-review for potential fans out there looking for something new now that their DVRs have gotten pretty empty. Take notes, there might be a test at the end.

TV News: ‘Glee’ Lands Third Season Pickup

Glee

CHICAGO – Before the first season has even concluded, FOX announced that they have renewed their massive hit show “Glee” for a third season, clearly confident in the long-term potential of this award-winning series. Peter Rice, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Networks Group; and Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company made the announcement today via press release.

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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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