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Stephen King

Film Review: Effective Scare Factor & Teenage Traumas Define ‘IT’

CHICAGO – “IT” is the kind of film that relies on jump-scares and ghastly images a bit too much, but behind it all is a quirky story – based on a Stephen King novel – about that time in childhood where becoming a teenager and finding a way within the change is adventurous and unsettling.

Film Review: Good vs. Evil Brightly Entertaining in ‘The Dark Tower’

CHICAGO – Nobody does good vs. evil archetypes like author Stephen King, and this framework is purposeful in the film adaptation of King’s “The Dark Tower.” The popular book series gets a visual kick through the rendering of director Nikolaj Arcel and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.

Photo Gallery: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Star Aiden Sinclair’s ‘Illusions of the Passed’ Magic Show

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Illusions of the Passed by Aiden Sinclair at The Stanley Hotel

CHICAGO – While vacationing in Colorado, an unusual twist of fate landed me before “America’s Got Talent” star Aiden Sinclair while staying at The Stanley Hotel. His one-man show, “Illusions of the Passed,” took place in the billiards room of the hotel where Stephen King’s “The Shining” was inspired. Here are photos from the unusual experience.

Theater Review: ‘Carrie: The Musical’ is Surprisingly Serious

CHICAGO – Some people spend the rest of their lives trying to compensate for slights felt in high school – that social jungle is staged in “Carrie: The Musical.” Based on Stephen King’s novel, the story of Carrie White is presented as an adversarial tale by Bailiwick Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater.

Interview: Chloe Grace Moretz Takes on Iconic Role of ‘Carrie’

Chloe Grace Moretz is only 16 and already has 50 credits to her name, including “(500) Days of Summer,” “Kick-Ass,” and “Let Me In.” She filmed “The Amityville Horror” remake on the North side of the city when she was only 5 and returned this week to talk about starring in her first lead role, the title part in Kimberly Peirce’s remake of the Stephen King classic, “Carrie.”

TV Review: Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’ Shows Promise on CBS

CHICAGO – Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” would have likely been a standard mini-series back in the day when such a thing happened on the networks in iterations like “It,” “The Stand,” and “Storm of the Century.” In a time when network mini-series are a lost form, CBS has taken the daring move of turning King’s book into a fully-formed, 13-episode Summer series, with the door apparently open for more beyond this initial arc.

TV Review: A&E’s ‘Bag of Bones’ Feels Empty

CHICAGO – A&E’s “Bag of Bones” is a mess. There are elements that work but a source material that doesn’t exactly translate to the mini-series form along with a mediocre script by Matt Venne and generic direction by Mick Garris add up to an experience that’s disjointed and inconsistent. There was a time when a Stephen King mini-series was an event – “The Stand,” “It,” even “Storm of the Century” – but what’s so disappointing about “Bag of Bones” is how inconsequential the whole thing feels.

TV Review: Second Season of ‘Haven’ Premieres on SyFy

Haven

CHICAGO – The first season of “Haven” (recently released on Blu-ray and DVD) ended with a number of cliffhangers and the new season picks up, literally, right where it left off with guns pulled and chaos imminent in the town of Haven. Sadly, it also picks up with a similarly frustrating level of quality. This is a show that just doesn’t click, whether it’s the awkward performances or unbelievable dialogue. I want to like “Haven” but it’s a town I just can’t recommend visiting.

Video Game Review: Saga of ‘Alan Wake’ Concludes With ‘The Writer’

Alan Wake: The Writer

CHICAGO – Alan Wake’s continued nightmare is your gaming gain as the second installment of DLC for the Microsoft-exclusive title hit Xbox Live Arcade this week and we’ve endured the surreal episode and survived to give you the lowdown on what to expect.

Video Game Review: Saga of ‘Alan Wake’ Continues With ‘The Signal’

CHICAGO – Life for Alan Wake continues to be a walking nightmare in “The Signal,” the first of several downloadable chapters designed to lengthen and enhance the experience of one of the most unique and memorable games of 2010 — the mysterious-and-riveting “Alan Wake.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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