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Don Johnson

Podtalk: Filmmakers Bill Holderman & Erin Simms Join ‘Book Club’

CHICAGO – If your impression of a book club is one of staid pseudo-intellectuals creating pithy symbolism out of nothingness, then your impression is about to change. Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen star in the new comedy “Book Club,” co-written by Erin Simms and director Bill Holderman.

Film Review: Sharpness Wears Down to Dull in ‘The Other Woman’

CHICAGO – Cameron Diaz has a firm grasp on her…image. She has carefully transitioned throughout her career from ingenue to comedienne to voiceover to the new film “The Other Woman.” But what begins as a sharp revenge comedy collapses into a bonding-sticky-sweet dullness.

TV Review: Premiere of ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ Lacks Originality

From Dusk Till Dawn

CHICAGO – It’s been a year of updatings that has seen venerable characters like Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter solidly re-envisioned by the small screen. So how fare the Gecko Brothers? Not all that great sadly. This overly slick redux of the fantastic film “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1997) not only suffers from pretty people syndrome but borrows so heavily from the original film that it feels less like homage and reboot than redress and reshoot.

Blu-ray Review: Remastered Edition of ‘70s Cult Hit ‘A Boy and His Dog’

A Boy and His Dog

CHICAGO – Some people take L.Q. Jones’ adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s “A Boy and His Dog” very seriously. When Jones begins his new discussion with the author talking about how there are people who consider his film the best science fiction movie of all time, it raises an eyebrow for a second, but he’s right. There are people who bow at the altar of this kinky tale of survival. Not me. I’ve always found it a bit clunky and too episodic in its narrative but if you think I’m crazy for that opinion, the Blu-ray is a beauty with a gorgeous transfer and illuminating special features.

Film Review: Torturous, Awful ‘Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star’

CHICAGO – Adam Sandler lost a bet. How else to explain the existence of “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” a movie that no one but the man behind Happy Madison would possibly finance? If you took this script (co-written by Little Nicky himself) to any sane film producer, they would assume you were pulling a prank.

Blu-Ray Review: Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’ With Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro

Machete

CHICAGO – “Machete” may be one of the most wonderfully-conceived films of 2010. The idea that one of the fake trailers from “Grindhouse” could ever become a full-length film is a movie lover’s dream come true (and it’s so ironic that “Machete” grossed more domestically than the movie that spawned it). While I love the very existence of “Machete,” the movie itself is something of a disappointment, and it’s not helped by a mediocre Blu-ray that barely has any special features.

Film Review: Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’ Pushes Excess Past Breaking Point

CHICAGO – Not everything should be filet mignon. Sometimes you just want a greasy, delicious cheeseburger. Now imagine eating ten of those cheeseburgers in a row.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Orange is the New Black

    CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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