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Movie Review

The Need For Each Other Transcends Politics, Resentment in Absorbing ‘The Edge of Heaven’

Nurgul Yesilcay, Patrycia Ziolkowska, The Edge of Heaven (4)

CHICAGO – As we sit here in the U.S. embroiled in the presidential elections and summertime, the rest of the world simmers within its own unique problems. What about Germany and Turkey? Director and writer Fatih Akin answers this question in the film “The Edge of Heaven” through several distinct characters who symbolize relations between the countries.

Julianne Moore Pushes Freudian Implications to Limit in ‘Savage Grace’

CHICAGO – The national acting treasure Julianne Moore never shies away from a performance challenge. From her memorable exposure in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” to her willingness to go all the way in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” Moore has proven that true vulnerability in a role requires the ability to bare – and bear with – all.

M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Happening’ a Creepy, Paranoid Ride Through Today’s Environment

The Happening (12)

CHICAGO – Trying to understand the thought process of writer and director M. Night Shyamalan is akin to analyzing Jell-O. What keeps it wiggling and what binds it together?

‘The Incredible Hulk’ Jacked Up on CGI Roids, But Medusa’s in His Face

CHICAGO – Technology has done double-edged service and disservice to the legendary Hulk superhero character from Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics.

In peering at the CGI-created ripped body of nothing remotely reminiscent of Edward Norton, the 2008 film iteration of “The Incredible Hulk” has a leg light years up on Lou Ferrigno’s character in the 1978 television series of the “The Incredible Hulk”.

Tepidly Paced ‘The Duchess of Langeais’ a Costume Drama Lacking the Dramatic

CHICAGO – Honoré de Balzac is a famous French writer from the post-Napoleonic age who focused on the societal mores with a sense of realism that hadn’t been seen in literature until that point. He reveled in the oblique moral ambiguity of the human condition.

Adam Sandler is White Ladies Man in Judd Apatow’s ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’

CHICAGO – In the relatively anemic anthology of recent Adam Sandler flops, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” hangs above with comedic charm and a nonsensically amusing plotline. The story is divisively intermingled with racial and ethnic sensitivities between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Relax, Float Upstream With Mike Judge’s ‘The Animation Show 4’

CHICAGO – This modern golden age of animation proceeds to entertain and astound with each passing year. Mike Judge – the preeminent creator of cartoon legends “Beavis & Butt-Head” and “King of the Hill” – presents his latest compilation of the worldwide best in animated short films.

Set in Tel Aviv, New Israeli Film ‘Jellyfish’ Shines With Virtue, Veracity

CHICAGO – It has been a banner year so far for the Israeli film industry. Following the American debuts of “The Band’s Visit” and “Beaufort,” we now have the stunningly composed and heart-rending “Jellyfish”.

Covering Up Sins a Harmful Decision For Catholic Church in ‘Constantine’s Sword’

James Carroll, Constantine's Sword (4)

CHICAGO – If there ever was an institution that has distressed itself through years of patriarchal rule, it is the Catholic Church. From examples of historical misdeeds through the recent priest scandals, the Catholic Church has done a dance around truth that would make Saint Vitus proud.

Actors Awkwardly Impersonate Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin in ‘Mister Lonely’

CHICAGO – The wonder of a filmmaker’s art and perspective is the ability to challenge and reflect the absurdity of our own nature back to us. Few filmmakers have done more to add provocation to that sensibility than Harmony Korine.

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  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Has anybody in show business had more “comebacks” than Cher… or if you added her many last names Cher Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman? All of the triumphs and downturns are shoehorned into “The Cher Show,” now in Chicago in a pre-Broadway run through July 15, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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