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Blu-ray Review: Howlingly Funny ‘Best in Show’ is a Comic Masterpiece

Best in Show Blu-ray

CHICAGO – The more one is familiar with the art of improv, the more one is bound to fall head over heels in love with the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest. Working from a mere scene outline, Guest and his ensemble of top-drawer comedians bring a colorful assortment of richly eccentric oddballs to life. Their ad-libbed dialogue is infinitely funnier than scripted punchlines since it emerges organically from their character’s own warped worldview.

DVD Review: John Cusack Fans Should Steer Clear of ‘The Factory’

The Factory DVD

CHICAGO – John Cusack is in a very bad mood. Not even a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner can melt his icily grim disposition, as he speeds through traffic, shouts expletives at random extras and takes part in several terse phone conversations (hopefully with his agent). Of course, if I was an A-grade actor trapped in Z-grade dreck, I’d be peeved too.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Final Destination 5’ Succumbs to Fitfully Amusing Silliness

Final Destination 5 Thumb

CHICAGO – There’s no question that the “Final Destination” series is among the most lame-brained, ill-conceived, lazily executed franchises in Hollywood history. Every installment follows the exact same plot formula, from the opening catastrophe to the bleak epilogue. There isn’t a single surprise or quality scare in these pictures, and yet they still continue to make copious amounts of money.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Dolphin Tale’ Surprisingly Delivers Quality Family Entertainment

Dolphin Tale Blu-ray

CHICAGO – As a refreshing departure from the snarky, shrill and soulless time wasters passing for children’s entertainment these days, this wholesome, fact-based drama works perfectly well. It captures some of the innocence and warmth that characterized ’60s-era Disney fare, as well as the blandness and exceedingly high cheese factor.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘V: The Complete Second Season’ Fails to Save Sci-Fi Reboot

V The Complete Second Season Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – After two increasingly rocky seasons, ABC’s soulless reboot of Kenneth Johnson’s ’80s miniseries and subsequent TV show “V” was finally cancelled. It ended the sci-fi serial on a tragic cliffhanger that was very much in keeping with the show’s status as a muddled downer. Though some fans have signed petitions to get the show renewed on a different network, it’s doubtful that “V” will garner a large audience outside of Comic Con conventions.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


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