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Elsa Pataky

Film Review: ‘The Fate of the Furious’ is a Vehicle Running on Fumes

CHICAGO – Bigger, Dumber, and Duller…that’s the name of the game this time in this ongoing franchise which is now so ludicrous it makes Bond films seem like the epitome of realism. While it’s true this is the first time Oscar winners and a “Fast and the Furious” film have ever been associated together, there’s a dearth of inspiration in this eighth go around.

Film Review: Relentlessly Action-Packed ‘Furious 7’ Actually Has a Story, Too

CHICAGO – I’ve never classified myself as a “Fast & Furious” franchise fan. Nor have I been a hater. I’ve fallen somewhere in between – willingly watching the popcorn flicks but then quickly going about my life as fast as the furious action ended. Until “Furious 7”…

Blu-Ray Review: Blockbuster ‘Fast Five’ is Addictive Escapist Ride

CHICAGO – “Fast Five,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is one of the most interesting pop culture phenomena of 2011. All of us who complain that sequels are never good and that films usually get worse as a franchise gets older had to admit that this was the exception to the rule. Not only the most critically-acclaimed film in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, it also became the highest-grossing in the series, making an AMAZING $620 million worldwide and currently ranking fifth on the year in domestic gross.

Film Review: ‘Fast Five’ Furiously Finds Fun Factor in Franchise Finest

CHICAGO – Maybe director Justin Lin learned how to have fun directing the now-classic paintball episode of “Community.” Wherever he figured out that his movies need not be so damn self-serious or wordy, he took that knowledge to the set of “Fast Five,” a movie that this critic who hated “Fast & Furious” absolutely dreaded when it was first announced. Now I can’t wait for the inevitable sixth movie in the most unexpected mega-franchise of the new millennium.

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  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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