CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
CHICAGO – I must admit that I approached the Farrelly Brothers’ long-delayed reboot of “The Three Stooges” with a heavy amount of trepidation. The previews were pretty atrocious and I had serious doubts that the filmmakers and the actors chosen to play the iconic title characters had any chance of capturing the spirit of the original. The fact that “The Three Stooges” works as often as it does is somewhat surprising. It’s a reasonably enjoyable family film. Far from painful but just as far from brilliant.
CHICAGO – Moe, Larry and Curly are three of the most popular names in the show business universe, and bringing them back to life in the new film “The Three Stooges” was a questionable risk. The re-imaging, with Chris Diamantopoulous, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso filling the trio’s roles, is a loving tribute that unfortunately veers in too many “Un-Stooge” like directions.
CHICAGO – Since her breakthrough “comic” role in “Knocked Up,” Katherine Heigl has a line-up of titles that almost reads like parody – “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Killers” – but there had to be some audience or they really wouldn’t exist. She makes just enough box office to keep working, which explains the latest and maybe worst of the bunch, “Life As We Know It”
CHICAGO – Laugh tracks are a dying breed. Think of classic, full-throttle laugh tracks from “The Jeffersons,” “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Full House.”
CHICAGO – Coming from the punishing fires has never been wackier in the new animated TV series from TBS, “Neighbors From Hell.” Featuring the voice talent of Patton Oswalt, Molly Shannon and Kurtwood Smith, Neighbors reminds us that our current paradise is closer to actual hell than ever before.