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Alien

Film Review: Suspenseful ‘Life’ is Tense, Compelling Science Fiction

CHICAGO – Combining the invasion elements of “Alien” with the life-raft-in-space morbidity of “Gravity,” the new film “Life” maintains a grip from the enlightened beginning to the twisted end. Mars is the origin, so the film joins “The Martian” and “The Space Between Us” in sourcing the red planet.

Film Review: ‘The 5th Wave’ Crashes, Then Slowly Dissipates

CHICAGO – Is there ever an end to the Young Adult Dystopia genre (“Hunger Games,” “Maze Runner,” etc.)? Or are we cursed with the end of the world every year, if it weren’t for those meddling kids? “The 5th Wave” is the latest adaptation, and if you haven’t read the source novel, good luck following it.

Film Review: Thought Illuminating, Mind Blowing ‘Under the Skin’

CHICAGO – Imagine a stranger taking a journey around the landscape of their destiny, and that only begins to describe the audacity and power of director Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin.” Scarlett Johansson creates a character of undeniable mystery and truth, a stranger in a strange land.

Interview: Director Jonathan Glazer Gets ‘Under the Skin’

CHICAGO – The buzz for the new film, “Under the Skin,” is tremendous, both for Scarlett Johansson’s performance and the amount of symbolic and real exposure for the actress. Director Jonathan Glazer (“Sexy Beast,” “Birth”) has fashioned a metaphoric gem based on a novel by Michel Faber, about an alien visitor.

Book Review: ‘Alien: The Illustrated Story’ Emphasizes Lost Art of Film Adaptations

Alien: The Illustrated Story

CHICAGO – I’m old enough dear readers to remember when books were more interesting tie-ins for feature films than websites and video games. When we fell in love with a movie, we had action figures, Happy Meal toys, and, believe it or not, books. There was a time when collecting everything related to your favorite flick meant a novel adaptation and one of the absolute best, the graphic novel edition known as “Alien: The Illustrated Story” has just been reissued to show readers why this is an art form they should miss.

Book Review: Classic ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ Books Re-Released in Time For ‘Prometheus’

The Book of Alien

CHICAGO – How excited are you for “Prometheus”? The highly-anticipated Ridley Scott prequel to one of the most influential films ever made, his masterful “Alien,” will finally hit domestic theaters on June 8, 2012 (we’ve seen it and will have a review for you on Thursday). Are you ready? Have you watched the Quarilogy again? What else can you do to prepare?

Blu-Ray Feature: The 10 Best Blu-Rays of 2010

CHICAGO – As more and more homes become HD-enabled, the Blu-ray market has finally started to expand to the point that it’s getting difficult to narrow a list of the best releases down to only ten. But that’s what we’re here for — to do the difficult jobs. These are the ten best Blu-rays of 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: Jaw-Dropping ‘Alien Anthology’ Stands Alone

CHICAGO – I’ve reviewed hundreds of DVDs and Blu-ray box sets and I can’t think of any that top the HD release of “Alien Anthology,” an amazing release that should stand alone at the top of all holiday season wish lists and be one of the first purchases that happen after you buy a Blu-ray player.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Pandorum’ Puts Space Saga on Autopilot

Pandorum Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Christian Alvart’s “Pandorum” is the kind of efficient time-waster that sucks you in, spits you out, and leaves you two hours older. There’s nothing that can be said in its favor, apart from the fact that its not offensively awful (like the producers’ “Resident Evil” franchise). But it is thoroughly mediocre, and for some viewers, mediocrity is offensive enough.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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