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Starz

Interview: Film Critic Leonard Maltin on State of the Art

CHICAGO – If a “Mount Rushmore” of American film critics was ever considered, one of the men that would be a strong candidate is Leonard Maltin. An influential film essayist, critic and historian since the 1960s, Maltin also wrote the go-to directory for film buffs prior to the internet, “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide.”

TV News: Starz Cancels Chicago-Set Drama ‘Boss’

Boss S2

CHICAGO – We didn’t see this one coming. Starz has canceled their most highly-acclaimed drama “Boss,” starring Kelsey Grammer, Golden Globe-winner less than a year ago. The show had a number of critics on its side but the ratings never matched the press and Starz has decided not to re-elect the program for a third year.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ Was Made For HD

Spartacus Vengeance

CHICAGO – Starz’s hit “Spartacus: Vengeance” was designed for Blu-ray collectors. With the program’s emphasis on striking visuals, watching it in a quality any lesser than 1080p would be a crime. And Anchor Bay understands the cable hit they have on their hands and have given the show one of the most impressive HD transfers of the crowded TV-on-Blu-ray season and loaded it down with special features. There’s only one season of “Spartacus” left on Starz. Catch up with this 3-disc set before it premieres.

TV Review: Starz Hit ‘Boss’ Returns with More Confidence, Intrigue

CHICAGO – The Golden Globe Award-winning “Boss” returns tonight for a second season of riveting drama based on our favorite city’s foundation of dirty politics. I thought the first season was strong but drifted a bit at times, lacking the focus of truly great drama.

Blu-ray Review: First Season of Chicago-Based Political Drama ‘Boss’

Boss

CHICAGO – Starz’s “Boss” doesn’t so much reimagine life in politics in Chicago as Shakespearian drama as it does being in a mob family. Mayor Thomas Kane (Kelsey Grammar) is not too distinguishable from Tony Soprano in the way he manipulates those around him and in how betrayal could not only mean the end of your career but the end of your life (the First Lady of the Windy City describes politics as “money, muscle, and the neutralization of one’s enemies.”)

TV News: 2012 Hugo Television Awards Honors Kelsey Grammer

Kelsey Grammer, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The 48th Annual Hugo Television Awards took place last Thursday, April 19th, and the honoree for the career achievement award at the event was Kelsey Grammer, best known for portraying Frasier Crane on the series “Cheers” and “Frasier,” and currently portraying Mayor Tom Kane in the Starz Network cable drama “Boss.” Among the attendees paying tribute to Grammer was his long-time costar, John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father on the sitcom.

Blu-ray Review: Strong Set For Disappointing ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’

Torchwood: Miracle Day

CHICAGO – When “Torchwood: Miracle Day” premiered on Starz, I was completely up for the ride. My 4/5 review displayed a little bit of concern given that the show was often 5/5 in its original BBC America airings (and in the brilliant “Children of Earth”) but I held out hope that the show would iron out its wrinkles and deliver on the potential of its clever set-up. In fact, the opposite happened. Stretched to meet a running time that the writers couldn’t deliver on and ultimately cheesy where the original “Torchwood” had been edgy, “Miracle Day” is a disappointment. The Blu-ray release is still strong and there are some things to like here, but only diehard fans should apply (see every episode and “Children” before this…twice) and they’ll likely be the most disappointed.

TV News: Kelsey Grammer to Be Honored in Chicago at Hugo Television Awards

Kelsey Grammer in "Boss"

CHICAGO – Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival will be honoring television icon Kelsey Grammer at their 48th Hugo Television Awards, in Chicago on April 19th. Grammer portrayed Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcom “Cheers” and the spin-off “Frasier” for 20 years, tying a record for playing the same TV character continuously.

TV Review: B-Movie Take on Legendary Hero Thrills in Starz’s Bloody Hit ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’

CHICAGO – “Let us split darkness with the cries of Romans.” Boobs, blood, and betrayal — “Spartacus” must be back. Following up on the action of the beloved “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” and coming on the heels of the most critical acclaim in the history of the network (“Boss”), Starz hopes to keep momentum going with the well-made if ridiculous “Spartacus: Vengeance.”

TV Review: Chicago-Set ‘Boss’ Begins With Shaky First Term

CHICAGO – A television premiere is not unlike the first term of an elected candidate in that advertisements give way to actuality and constituents are forced to decide whether or not they want the candidate to be a part of their lives a second time.

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