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Film Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Turns Up His Power in ‘Stronger’

CHICAGO – The second major film about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing (after last year’s “Patriots Day”) is “Stronger,” and it wisely focuses on one individual rather than the bigger event. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Jeff Bauman, a spectator near the explosion that lost both his legs.

Film Review: Boston is Strong Again in Reliable ‘Patriots Day’

CHICAGO – In the context of history, and the way information is consumed these days, the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013 seems both like yesterday and a long time ago. Director Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day” is the first film account of that horrid week, and features Mark Wahlberg.

Interview: Comedian Barry Crimmins of ‘Call Me Lucky’ at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the more emotionally stunning screenings at the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) was a film about a comedian. Barry Crimmins is a beloved comic, with a stable of famous friends. But he also had a secret in his past, and it’s all explored in “Call Me Lucky,” directed by fellow comic traveler Bobcat Goldthwait.

Film Review: Uninspired ‘R.I.P.D.’ is a Reminder of Better Movies

R.I.P.D.

CHICAGO – Did everyone see “Men in Black”? Or the film’s two sequels? They you saw “R.I.P.D.,” which unfortunately for the production team has “rip” in the title, because the film is a lazy rewrite and rip-off of “MiB.” Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are the protectors assigned in this one.

Film Review: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones Are ‘The Company Men’

Company Men, The

CHICAGO – Dealing with an overall economic downturn, as the world is still experiencing, becomes the story of the individual. The frustration and insecurity that develops in a long dry spell is poignantly rendered in writer/director John Well’s “The Company Men.” Ben Affleck joins Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner in telling the story.

Interview: Creator, Author Tess Gerritsen on TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’

CHICAGO – Tess Gerritsen is in that situation that authors sometimes face – seeing her creations come to life in another medium. In this case, her characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are being personified in the new TNT Network drama, “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz Meet Cute in High-Octane ‘Knight and Day’

CHICAGO – Whenever there is a audacious and entertaining action thriller like “Knight and Day,” how do the characters stay so calm? Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise are shot at, nearly blown up, asked to drive and leap around like lunatics, yet remain perfectly white-toothed calm. A normal human reaction would be ‘Oh my gaaaaaaaaaawd!”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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