Warner Bros.

Exclusive Photo: In Memoriam, Edd Byrnes of ‘77 Sunset Strip’

Edd Byrnes, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – In the strange old days of three TV Networks and the fan-based crossovers that would come out of it, there was Gerald “Kookie” Kookson the Third of the ABC-TV show “77 Sunset Strip” (1958-1964). Kookie loved rock ’n roll, hair combing and cracking wise like a beatnik. For some reason, he became a break out star and full partner in the private investigation office of the title.

Podtalk: Tim Blake Nelson, Karan Kendrick of ‘Just Mercy’

CHICAGO – Getting the right chemistry in casting a film is crucial in a drama, and the new film “Just Mercy” anchors lead actors Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx with two vital characters actors. Karan Kendrick portrays Millie McMillian, the wife of Foxx’s character, who is on death row. Tim Blake Nelson is Ralph Myers, a key witness.

Podtalk: The Animated Rob Paulsen Offers ‘Voice Lessons’

CHICAGO – Who are the voices in our lives that really matter? If you were a cartoon fan in the 1980s and ‘90s then it was Rob Paulsen, the source for Pinky (“Pinky & the Brain”), Yakko (“Animaniacs”) and a myriad of others. Recently Paulsen beat cancer, which threatened his career, and he tells the story in the new book … “Voice Lessons.”

Film Review: Melodrama Mire in ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

CHICAGO – Everyone’s favorite city-flattening radioactive reptile, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” gets stuck in a mire of third-rate-TV-network domestic melodrama in this disappointing follow up to the thrilling 2014 reboot. But before I roar about the many ways this misbegotten miscreant messes up, let’s throw a few pebbles of praise.

Film Review: ‘Shazam!’ is a Paint by Numbers Superhero Movie

CHICAGO – The former Captain Marvel (story below) is now “Shazam!,” and has his own film in the DC Comics universe. Zachary Levi portrays the title character, now with a new origin to go along with his new name. Speaking of that, no new ground is broken in this pretty standard foster-kid-makes-good hero epic.

Podtalk: Rob Paulsen, Voice of Yakko in 'Animaniacs,' at C2E2 in Chicago thru Mar. 24, 2019

Rob Paulsen, "Animaniacs"

CHICAGO – If the words, “We’re Animaniacs…” immediately makes you think, “There’s baloney in our slacks…” then you’ll want to experience voiceover artist Rob Paulsen, the iconic character of Yakko on that series. Rob, along with Animaniacs voices Jess Harnell (Wakko), Tress MacNeille (Dot) and Maurice LaMarche (the Brain) are at C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo) through Sunday, March 24, 2019. For ticket information and details, click here.

Film Review: Something for Everyone in Delicious ‘Isn’t It Romantic’

CHICAGO – “Isn’t It Romantic” knows exactly what it is, and what it wants to be. It is simultaneously for people who love Romantic Comedy, and those who profess to hate them … but may secretly love them. It’s an amusing trifle that’s about as surprising as a heart shaped box of chocolates, but sometimes that’s what you want.

Film Review: ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ is Flat Out Funny

CHICAGO – There are two things I love as a film observer. The pretty colors of modern animation … and to laugh. I got both in the appropriately titled “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” Picking up where the first first left off, the gang of Lego brick figures, including Emmet, Wyldstyle and Batman, have a new adventure.

Film Review: World War I Comes to Life in ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’

CHICAGO – The First World War took place (1914-18) in conjunction with the early days of film, with enough cameras available to actually capture it. For years, that dusty and silent celluloid was used in documentaries, but never has it come to life the way that director Peter Jackson presents it in “They Shall Not Grow Old.”

Film Review: ‘Aquaman’ is a Watery Sleep with the Fishes

CHICAGO – The dripping sound of water you will hear this upcoming weekend will be the tears of DC Comics fans, as they cry from frustration over the latest cinema hit job on one of the Super-Friends. The tepid and overlong “Aquaman” is another hero movie that tries to combine origin story and “first case” adventure, and fails at both.

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