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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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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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