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TV Review: NBC Has Likable Hit in ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’

The Michael J. Fox Show

CHICAGO – Seriously, if “The Michael J. Fox Show” doesn’t connect with NBC’s target audience, they might as well give up. Yes, the show could use a stronger lead-in but it pairs well with “Parenthood,” also returning tomorrow night, September 26, 2013, and it’s the most straight-up likable new sitcom of the season. The first episode is a bit rocky and overly self-referential but it settles in nicely over the next two and already looks like it could be on for years.

Film Review: Great Performances Anchor Melancholy ‘Four’

Four

CHICAGO – Like so many great plays, Joshua Sanchez’s debut drama “Four,” adapted from the stage by Christopher Shinn, is a tale of people who can find sexual connections but long for something more. It is about two hook-ups on the Fourth of July, both of which seem to do little to break their participants from their melancholy, and one of which has the potential to tear a family apart.

Blu-ray Review: Jason Statham Can’t Keep Dull ‘Parker’ Interesting

Parker

CHICAGO – How could a movie based on a Donald Westlake book that includes Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, Nick Nolte, and even Jennifer Lopez in support of Jason Statham be this dull? It feels like “Parker” director Taylor Hackford set out to make an old-fashioned noir but Statham and his team demanded too much of his square-jawed action. The result is a tonally inconsistent film that’s too silly to be called drama but too dull to be called escapism.

Film Review: Jason Statham Steers Convoluted Tale as ‘Parker’

CHICAGO – The Jason Statham “character” has served the actor well through a substantial action movie career. But as situations to fit his stoic British kick-ass persona start to drift away, Statham is left with messy narratives like in his new film “Parker,” co-starring Jennifer Lopez.

Blu-Ray Review: Underappreciated First Season of HBO’s ‘Treme’

Treme

CHICAGO – Is it unfair to say that “Treme” is to “The Wire” as “John From Cincinnati” was to “Deadwood”? After David Milch’s brilliant Western came to an end, fans eagerly anticipated his follow-up and, almost immediately, spat it out like an undercooked Chicken McNugget. It lasted only one season. Well, “JFC” wasn’t really that bad (and deserved more time to find its feet).

Film Review: Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington Nearly Save ‘Night Catches Us’

Night Catches Us
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “They’re all around us. Ghosts. They’re everywhere.” People don’t talk like that. Especially kids. Especially not after a major revelation about their dad. It just doesn’t feel real. And that’s the problem with “Night Catches Us,” a well-intentioned drama with strong performances that somehow can’t find the realism at the heart of its story. Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington nearly rescue the piece but it just doesn’t come together into anything memorable enough to recommend.

Interview: Director Tanya Hamilton on How ‘Night Catches Us’

CHICAGO – In the 1970s, there was a period in history when the civil rights movement began to splinter and disintegrate. Government infiltration, internal divisions and lack of direction especially hurt organizations like the Black Panthers movement, a focus of Writer/Director Tanya Hamilton’s new film, “Night Catches Us.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Night Catches Us’ on Black Power

Night Catches Us with Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington

CHICAGO – In our latest drama/romance edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Night Catches Us” with Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker”) and Kerry Washington (“Ray”)

TV Review: Flawless, Mesmerizing Rhythm of HBO’s ‘Treme’

CHICAGO – For fans of “The Wire,” expectations are ludicrously high for HBO’s “Treme” (pronounced “tre-MAY”), the newest dramatic work from David Simon and Eric Overmyer.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Megan Fox

    CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.

  • HoliDaze Front

    CHICAGO – Need a break from the noise of the holidays? Step Up Productions, – in residence at Chicago Dramatists Theater – present “HoliDaze,” a collection of six one-act plays, all dealing with the nature and nurture of the season. The showcase runs through December 21st, 2014.

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