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T.J. Miller

TV Review: FOX Buries ‘The Goodwin Games’ For Good Reason

The Goodwin Games

CHICAGO – “The Goodwin Games” is bad, bad, bad. You know a show is likely to be awful when a network cuts back the order and buries its premiere in a time of year when most people are getting outside or going to see Summer blockbusters. While the networks are busy promoting Fall 2013 at Upfronts, who cares about a new show that won’t make it more than two months? And yet there is sometimes reason for hope that a network executive just missed the humor and is actually burying a hidden gem. Hope dies at “The Goodwin Games” and I wish they had buried it deeper.

Film Review: ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ with Steve Carell Can’t Find Honest Emotion

CHICAGO – Lorene Scafaria’s “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is a manipulative mess that’s only slightly redeemed by yet-another engaging performance from one of the best actresses of her generation.

Preview: Just for Laughs Chicago 2012 From TBS Kicks Off June 12, 2012

Just for Laughs Chicago 2012

CHICAGO – If a collective chorus of guffaws is heard throughout the Windy City this week, blame it on the ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’ 2012 Festival. From June 12th-17th, stages large and small throughout Chicagoland will feature some of the hottest comedy acts, stars and the taping of the ‘Conan’ TBS chat show, featuring Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter.

Film Review: Paul Rudd Makes a Difference as ‘Our Idiot Brother’

CHICAGO – Advertised deceptively as a comedy, the new film “My Idiot Brother” has a Zen-like quality that is surprising, and oddly captivating, but cannot sustain itself and eventually runs out of steam. Paul Rudd plays the brother to three errant sisters, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer.

Interview: T.J. Miller on His Chicago-Inspired Comedic Sensibility

CHICAGOT.J. Miller is not yet a household name, but his comic stylings are memorable in such films as “Cloverfield,” “She’s Out of My League,” “Gulliver’s Travels” and the upcoming “Our Idiot Brother.” Those comedic roots are in Chicago, doing stand-up and improv here.

Film Review: Jack Black, Emily Blunt Think Big in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

CHICAGO – Call it too much holiday eggnog, but the re-imagining of the immortal classic “Gulliver’s Travels,’ starring Jack Black, Emily Blunt and Jason Segal, has a little Yuletide fun and hurts no one. If you like Jack Black, you’ll enjoy the film. If you don’t, find another way to spend 93 minutes this tinsel time weekend.

Film Review: Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake Sink in Horrible ‘Yogi Bear’

Yogi Bear

CHICAGO – “Yogi Bear,” the latest degradation in the cynical family film 3D marketing universe, has done the improbable. It has taken notable and nostalgic cartoon characters (Yogi and Boo Boo) and turned them into animatronic shills for a post modern bore of a story that wouldn’t work if Fellini were directing it. Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake sell out (I mean lend) their voice talents.

DVD Review: Beautiful ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Plays Well For All Ages

How to Train Your Dragon

CHICAGO – “How to Train Your Dragon” is one of the best mainstream animated films of the last several years. After years of watching Pixar deservedly take home most of the critical acclaim in the medium, DreamWorks has produced a film that deserves mention in the same breath as the Pixar greats. With gorgeous visuals, strong voice work, and confident storytelling, “How to Train Your Dragon,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, works for all ages and will surely become one of the most highly-desired and purchased titles of the upcoming season.

Blu-Ray Review: Disappointing Raunch of ‘She’s Out of My League’

She's Out of My League

CHICAGO – Proving that what Judd Apatow has brought to the comedy genre in the last decade is much harder than it looks, “She’s Out of My League” has an extremely likable cast but writers and a director who mistake gross-out humor for genuine laughs. It’s one of those disappointing comedies for people who can’t say the word ejaculation without laughing like Beavis.

Interview: Jay Baruchel, Nate Torrence on ‘She’s Out of My League’

CHICAGO – Jay Baruchel and Nate Torrence, two of the leads of the romantic comedy “She’s Out of My League” dropped by Chicago recently to talk about their new film that has been compared to both “The Hangover” and the work of Judd Apatow. Candid, charismatic, and very funny in person, Baruchel and Torrence are the kind of interview subjects that make this job easy.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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