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Patrick McDonald

Despite Offering Tantalizing Possibilities, ‘Jumper’ Weakened By Formulaic Clichés

CHICAGO – As a distinct premise, “Jumper” offers tantalizing possibilities. The ability to transport yourself from one location to another with simple mind control is a cool rule of the world. While the film speaks to some of the far-reaching potential of the power, it also follows story formulas that weaken it.

Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson Feel Valentine’s Day Love in ‘Fool’s Gold’

Fool’s Gold (1)

CHICAGO – Check off this list of stock movie characters: the broke rogue adventurer, his sensible love interest, the daffy heiress, her gruff but benign wealthy father, the evil rival, the doltish but loyal sidekick, the evil rival’s goons and the “seems to be evil but in the end turns out heroic” buddy.

Lebanese Film ‘Caramel’ Coats Women’s Relationships With Truth

CHICAGO – In the social palette that makes up relationships for adult women, the main brushstrokes involve trust, unity and a passion for friendships. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if they can meet in their favorite beauty parlor. The film “Caramel” follows the lives of five women in Beirut, Lebanon as they experience aging, commitment, lifestyle choices and bikini waxing.

Despite Flawed Plot Clichés, Dancing Takes Center Stage in ‘How She Move’

How She Move

CHICAGO – Kids, it’s an old-fashioned dance off, and despite being about the contemporary and very urban stepdance craze, it has all the hope, dreams, choreography and clichés of a golden-age Hollywood musical revue.

Star Power Can’t Save ‘Mad Money’ From ‘Thelma & Louise’ Writer Callie Khouri

Ted Danson in Mad Money

CHICAGO – Whenever there’s stunt-movie casting with divergent generations of Hollywood “stars,” there’s bound to be trouble at the multiplex. This time, the “old to young” range of Diane “Annie Hall” Keaton, Queen Latifah and the increasingly annoying Katie Holmes attempt a stab at the classic heist movie in “Mad Money”.

Woody Allen’s ‘Cassandra’s Dream’ Expressly Hitchcockian

CHICAGO – Woody Allen – the most prolific American writer/director of the last quarter century – has a desire for a particular expression in this last part of his epic career.

Voice of Homer Simpson Pedals With ‘The Bicycle Men’ For Chicago Tour de Force

The Bicycle Men

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – Frantic and fantastically funny, the musical-comedy play “The Bicycle Men” invades Chicago again for a limited run at the Lakeshore Theater this time featuring the man – Dan Castellaneta – who is best known as the voice of TV’s Homer Simpson.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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