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Interview: ‘Weekend Workbench’ Host Ryan Salzwedel’s Do-it-Yourself Fix

Ryan Salzwedel, 'Weekend Workbench"

CHICAGO – Locally produced TV shows are old school, but WGN-TV in Chicago has had a long tradition of that type of show and hosts. Tapping into the legacy of Ray Rayner and Bozo the Clown, local programming is making a comeback, and one of the newest WGN-TV hosts is Ryan Salzwedel of “Weekend Workbench.”

TV Review: Clever, Fun ‘Toy Story of Terror’ Makes ABC Debut

CHICAGO – Was “Toy Story 3” the last great Pixar production? With the modest critical reaction to “Cars 2,” “Brave,” and “Monsters University,” it seems an entirely defensible position to take. In fact, one could easily argue that “Small Fry,” the “Toy Story” short that premiered with “The Muppets,” and “Partysaurus Rex,” which played with “Finding Nemo 3D,” should be considered higher on the Pixar hierarchy than “Cars 2” and maybe even “Brave.”

TV Review: ABC Pairs ‘Last Man Standing,’ ‘Malibu Country’ on Fridays

CHICAGO – I wasn’t a big fan of “Last Man Standing” when it premiered over a year ago but it looks like a landmark program when compared to the vastly inferior new sitcom with which it has been paired, the new “Malibu Country” with Reba (who apparently goes by one name now) and Lily Tomlin. Both shows hearken back to the old-fashioned TGIF brand of programming, complete with laugh tracks and borderline offensive cliches.

Film Review: Tim Allen Narrates the Humanity in ‘Chimpanzee’

Chimpanzee

CHICAGO – It’s Earth Day this weekend, and following on the heels of “Earth” and “African Cats,” previous releases from Walt Disney Studios and Disneynature, there is “Chimpanzee.” Tim Allen narrates the story of Oscar, Isha, Freddy and Scar, and the film is co-produced by the Jane Goodall Institute, which preserves the chimpanzee natural habitats in Africa.

TV News: Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing’ Opens With Strong Ratings

Last Man Standing Pilot

CHICAGO – Critics may have been cruel but audiences were curious enough to see what Tim Allen’s “Home Improvement” schtick looks like in 2011, sampling the series premiere of ABC’s “Last Man Standing” to the tune of a solid 3.5 rating in the key 18-49 demo. Last year, “No Ordinary Family” opened in the time slot with a 3.2 rating and it’s worth nothing that the baseball game on FOX ate into every other network, especially with younger viewers, so there’s reason to believe that the numbers would have otherwise been higher.

TV Review: Tim Allen Sinks to Idiocy & Beyond in ‘Last Man Standing’

CHICAGO – There’s something inherently unmanly about the need to prove one’s own manliness. What passes for virility in the mind of Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) is clearly masking a deep well of insecurity. He never passes up an opportunity to prove that he is, in fact, a man.

On WGN Radio: HollywoodChicago.com’s Brian Tallerico on TV Network Schedules

WGN Radio

CHICAGO – Brian Tallerico guests on Bill Moller’s show on WGN-Radio in Chicago on May 21, 2011 to discuss TV news including the announcements of all five of the network schedules with a focus on the shuffling at CBS, the aggressive new lineup at ABC, and the return of old TV stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tim Allen.

Blu-Ray Review: Pixar’s Spectacular ‘Toy Story 3’ With Tom Hanks Given Amazing Blu-Ray Release

CHICAGO – It’s always wonderful to see Blu-ray karma turn out the way it should. Blu-ray critics often see great releases with perfect HD and interesting special features for awful movies. Conversely, it’s not uncommon for great films to be given lackluster home releases. “Toy Story 3” is not only one of the best films of 2010, it’s one of the best Blu-rays as well.

Slideshow: Joan Cusack Introduces ‘Toy Story’ Jessie Doll in Chicago

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Joan Cusack at the Disney Store, Chicago, June 16th, 2010

CHICAGO – “Toy Story 3” has held onto the top spot at the box office for two straight weekends, and Joan Cusack – the voice of Jessie in the film – lent her star power to the debut of the doll based on her character. She appeared at the Disney Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and was photographed by HollywoodChicago.com’s Joe Arce.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Knick, The

    CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?

  • Transcendence

    CHICAGO – The Internet is for real in “Transcendence”, a B-movie with grade-A production quality, loaded with terabyte-size open-ended questions, so long as one can accept it lastly with a scientific mindset. It is a film that perceives technology to be more expansive than a box of wires and computer chips, and actualizes the expanse of the internet as limitless to the realm of spiritual.

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