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Film Review: Individualism in ‘Menashe’ Challenges the Tribe

CHICAGO – We all belong to something, be it a family, workplace, congregation or (expansively) a tribe. But within all that belonging is a sometimes nagging feeling of being an outsider. There is not a human being in existence that hasn’t felt that way, and a new film expresses that feeling in “Menashe.”

Film Review: Jessica Chastain is Steadfast as ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

CHICAGO – Jessica Chastain is a memorable and glamorous actress, who continues to challenge herself with in-depth and complex roles. “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is her latest, and her performance outweighs the formulaic based-on-truth story, set during the Holocaust.

Film News: Spertus Institute’s Sunday Cinema Series Concludes on Feb. 19, 2017

Spertus Cinema Series

CHICAGO – The Spertus Institute, Chicago’s leading center for Jewish learning and leadership, concludes a two-month film series at their downtown location, featuring a documentary entitled “Torah Treasures and Curious Trash,” preceded by the short film “Hannah Cohen’s First Communion.” The screenings begin at 2pm within the Institute’s Feinberg Theater, located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago…click here for more details.

Film Review: Searing Performances Invigorate ‘Walking with the Enemy’

CHICAGO – In movie land, the World War II Holocaust drama has been more personal – and in many ways more horrific – in our modern era. The latest film to tell a different story, from a different angle, is director Mark Schmidt’s “Walking with the Enemy.”

Interview: Jonas Armstrong, Simon Dutton are ‘Walking with the Enemy’

CHICAGO – World War II will never be over, in a sense, as long as it continues to influence the culture or teach us lessons about our contemporary lives. The new film “Walking with the Enemy” is rooted in the Holocaust, but uses the twist of a Hungarian Jew who brashly impersonated a Nazi officer to relocate his counterparts.

Film Review: An Insider’s View of Religious Tradition in ‘Fill the Void’

Fill the Void

CHICAGO – The absolution of marriage is difficult enough without having the specter of the “arranged” situation within a religious tradition. A new Israeli film, “Fill the Void,” explores the issues and answers within these arrangements, as the modern world pushes against Orthodox Hasidic Judaism.

Interview: Michael Stuhlbarg’s Passion in Joel, Ethan Coen’s ‘A Serious Man’

CHICAGO – In “A Serious Man,” the remarkable new film by Joel and Ethan Coen, Michael Stuhlbarg carries the narrative weight through his amazing performance as Larry Gopnik, the put-upon victim of a series of odd and desperate circumstances.

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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 3rd, 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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