Thriller

Film Review: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Gets Bogged Down in Conventionality

CHICAGO – Like his first film, “Get Out,” writer/director Jordan Peele creates a horror/thriller filled with symbolism and laughs. Unlike “Get Out,” “Us” is awash in overly concentrated plot points, a reliance on lesser references and an ending that can be seen from outer space. It’s not sophomore “jinx,” but more like the sophomore “over think.”

Interview, Audio: Actor Frank Grillo is ‘Wheelman’ on Netflix

Wheelman

CHICAGO – Actor Frank Grillo is on the rise, as evidenced from his high profile supporting role in Marvel Studios “Captain America: Civil War” and portraying Sgt. Barnes in “The Purge” series of horror films. He recently has partnered in a production company (WarParty Films) and is the title character in their debut movie “Wheelman,” which is distributed and available now on Netflix, as part of their film group.

Interview, Audio: Trey Edward Shults Directs ‘It Comes at Night’

CHICAGO – In 2016, a new filmmaker voice made its way into the scene, and it was significant. Trey Edward Shults released his debut film “Krisha,” a shattering story of addiction and its effect on family. The film got him a deal with the distributor/producer A24, and his sophomore effort – the horror/thriller “It Comes at Night” – will be released on June 9th, 2017.

Film Review: Story Won’t Go All the Way in ‘The Boy Next Door’

CHICAGO – There was a different kind of vibe coming from the thriller “The Boy Next Door,” different than what is expected when hearing “Jennifer Lopez as teacher caught in a scandal with a student.” But for every piece of original thinking, there was a fear of making it too different.

Interview, Portrait: La Toya Jackson Talks Michael Jackson, Celebrity Life

La Toya Jackson

CHICAGO – La Toya Jackson has been making news for two weeks now, as she tours with her new book, “Starting Over.” In it, she relates that her brother Michael Jackson feared for his life, and his premature demise might have had implications beyond the cause-of-death revelations.

Interview: Director Chris Folkens on ‘Diversion’ Premiere at 2010 Hollywood Film Festival

Chris Folkens of "Diversion"

CHICAGO – The festival premiere of a new film is a great day for a director, and Chris Folkens is celebrating his new short film, “Diversion,” with an opening at the 2010 Hollywood Film Festival on October 23rd. Diversion is a taut thriller shot all in Chicago, as great a valentine to the city as a well-done paranoid narrative.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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