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Entertainment News: Stan Lee, of Marvel Comic Fame, Dies at 95

LOS ANGELES – The last of the great comic book creators has flown to the beyond. Stan Lee, who led the resurgence of comic book culture – especially in the movies – created legendary superheroes for Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Black Panther and X-Men. Lee passed away at age 95 in Los Angeles on November 12th, 2018.

Film Review: Formula Works Well in Hilarious ‘Deadpool 2’

CHICAGO – We could all use some laughs, and “Deadpool 2” blessedly delivers. The meta superhero Deadpool – who exists both as a anti-hero and actor playing him – provides the wisecracks in the midst of the mayhem he experiences, and entertains in a way that other comic book movies wish they could be.

Film Review: For Better or Worse, ‘Ready Player One’ is Nostalgia at its Purest

CHICAGO – Just in time for Easter, there’s a film filled with enough Easter eggs to drown a small country. “Ready Player One” is a “Where’s Waldo” of mostly 80’s pop culture references that are meant to trigger our (and especially filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s) sentimental, nostalgic cores by bombarding us with reminders of our childhood. These trips down memory lane are fun until they’re not.

Exclusive Photo, Audio: Patrick Stewart at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Make it so, and the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival accomplished “it,” honoring Patrick Stewart at a tribute event on October 25th, 2017. The versatile actor gained fame as Star Trek’s Jean Luc-Picard and X-Men’s Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X.

Film Review: ‘Logan’ Bares Its Sharp Claws & Eviscerates Us Emotionally

CHICAGO – There is a war raging in the comic book cinematic universe where filmmakers think that these kinds of films should embrace their over the top (verging on campy) nature while others think they should be darker and made deathly serious. “Logan” proves that they are both wrong as it strikes a balance between all of those elements while remaining true to the character.

Interview: Director Jeremy Saulnier Invites Us to ‘Green Room’

CHICAGO – Combining punk rock, neo-Nazism and horror is not an easy balancing act, but filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier (“Blue Ruin”) was up to the task. As a former punker himself, it was natural to transfer the energy of that music, and translate it into a slash and burn scary movie. It’s time to step into the ‘Green Room.’

Film Review: Anti-Heroism of ‘Deadpool’ Revels in Sass & Violence

CHICAGO – It was inevitable that we would get an “R-rated” superhero movie, and “Deadpool” fits the bill with its swears, violence and a little sex/nudity. It also has Ryan Reynolds as that hero, doing his “Van Wilder” smarmy act to the nth degree. How that all works will determine how you like the film.

Film Review: No Supernatural Slam Dunks in Teen Horror ‘Wolves’

Wolves, 2014

CHICAGO – For the pack of horror fans who mourn the “PG-13” toothlessness of the teen wolf, the limited-release film “Wolves” tries to reclaim the character with slow-mo, WWE-with-claws fight scenes and some sprinkles of brief softcore wolf porn. If that’s all one could ask for from a werewolf movie, you probably can’t be blocked from giving this one a curious look; however if you’re trepidatious of a plainly junky, R-rated reaction to “The Twilight Saga,” perhaps you can be stopped.

Video Game Review: Lackluster ‘X-Men: Destiny’ Has No Super Powers

CHICAGO – Imagine this — an X-Men game in which you don’t play a known member of the legendary team. Want to rage with Wolverine’s claws, shoot beams with Cyclops’ eyes, or rain chaos with Storm? Well, you’ll have to go back to the last “Marvel Ultimate Alliance” game to do so because they’re not playable here.

Film Review: Matthew Vaughn’s Entertaining, Stylish ‘X-Men: First Class’ Rocks

CHICAGO – Matthew Vaughn rights the ship of mediocre superhero movies with the incredibly accomplished “X-Men: First Class,” the best Marvel Movie since “Spider-Man 2” and a film that proves that big blockbuster summer entertainment can be both commercially crowd-pleasing and intellectually complex at the same time.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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