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Patrick McDonald

‘The Signal’ Sports Plenty of Style, Little Substance in Sci-Fi Twist on Torture Porn

CHICAGO – In the last several years, the horror genre has become hot because of its return on investment. The strategy is to market the hell out of the scare factor, get a good opening weekend (which usually takes care of the filming costs several times over) and make sure the blood spatters well. There is no need for pricey star power because the “star” is always the quality kills.

Horror Master George A. Romero Reveals Veteran Zombie Lock in ‘Diary of the Dead’

CHICAGO – Master horror filmmaker George A. Romero is back for the fifth installment of his “Dead” series as what began with 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead” has fast-forwarded to “Diary of the Dead”. This time, Romero takes on the modern soul deadening of staring at screens and includes the constant navel gazing of videotaping, computers and the instant playback that has become our lives.

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.

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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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