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Red-Carpet Voices: Chris Messina for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

CHICAGO – You’ve seen him in many familiar roles over the years, from “Argo” to “The Mindy Project.” Character actor Chris Messina is memorable in all those roles, and currently is taking on Detective Richard Willis in the hot new HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” opposite Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson.

Film Review: Fun and Uproarious ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies'

CHICAGO – If a good laugh is golden, then “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is worth its weight. Although the meta-make-fun of superhero movies have already been done almost to death (Deadpool?), the Titans have been doing it on the Cartoon Network since 2013, and take it to a new level in their movie adventure.

Podtalk: Jerry Vasilatos on Premiere Screenings & 2018 Awards for the 48 Hour Film Project

48 Hour Film Project 2018

CHICAGO – That’s a wrap! The Chicago 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) goes into its final stage for 2018 with the Premiere Screenings of the short films – created in 48 hours by over 60 production teams – at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on July 29th and 30th, with the “Best of” screening and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, August 3rd. Producer Jerry Vasilatos oversaw judging and the 48HFP itself for the fourth straight year, in its 14th edition in Chicago. For film line-ups and ticket information, click here.

Podtalk: Director Robert Schwentke of German War Film ‘The Captain’

Captain, The

CHICAGO – Films about the Nazis and the German military during World War II are numerous… except for the ones with a pure German perspective. “The Captain,” directed by Robert Schwentke (“R.I.P.D.”), is based on a true story about a German army deserter who finds a Captain’s uniform, and decides to ride out the waning days of the war with the power of an officer.

Podtalk: Cast of Netflix's ‘Orange is the New Black' on Season Six Download for July 27, 2018

Orange is the New Black

CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

Film Review: Tom Cruise Outruns Time in ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout'

CHICAGO – By any reasonable account, Tom Cruise should be entering into a phase in the “Mission Impossible” series not unlike the latter James Bond films of Roger Moore… appearing in closeups and letting the stuntmen do the rest. However, Cruise continues to outrun the ravages of time, and his stunts only seem to get crazier in the sixth film, “Mission Impossible: Fallout.”

Film Review: The Artist’s Obsession in ‘Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti’

CHICAGO – The art masters, and the masterpieces they have created, become a background culture in our lives… even if we don’t necessarily know the artist. Paul Gauguin is one of those painters-as-cultural-influencer, and a vital point in his artistic life is told in the film “Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.”

Film Review: Awkward & Difficult is Played Out in ‘Eighth Grade’

Eighth Grade

CHICAGO – We’ve all been there. Depending on what school structure you lived through, everyone had issues in “Eighth Grade.” Writer/director Bo Burnham puts those universal issues in a modern context (social media, online video), and portrays them through a girl struggling to belong while navigating the choppy waters of adolescence. It’s difficult, awkward and representative.

Theater Review: Art’s Healing Power from Brown Paper Box Company’s ‘Everybody’

Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Red-Carpet Voices: Patricia Clarkson for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

CHICAGO – The HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), will broadcast its third episode on Sunday, July 22nd, 2018. It features Amy Adams in the lead role as Camille Preaker, and also features the incomparable and shining movie star Patricia Clarkson, as Camille’s disparaging mother Adora.

Film Review, Podtalk: Director Eugene Jarecki Crowns Elvis Presley ‘The King’

The King

CHICAGO – Elvis Presley, besides being one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th Century, does symbolize to an extent what can happen to icons when they turn towards certain directions in a career. Director Eugene Jarecki has created an amazing documentary about Elvis called “The King,” that uses his rise and decline as a symbol for the American Dream.

Film Review: The Tumbling Delicacy of Life in ‘Blindspotting’

Blindspotting

CHICAGO – How can we understand the day-to-day factors of men and women who continued to be judged by their skin color, economic circumstances, difficult jobs or gender fluidity, if we are not any of those categories? Our art can help us, as given a great example in the new film “Blindspotting.”

Film Review: ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ is a Bubbly Musical

CHICAGO – I give in. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” the sequel to the much derided “Mamma Mia,” is a bubbly, frothy here-come-the-good-times musical that fits summer like a glove. The flashback format will also answer all the burning questions that were left unanswered from the first film, and the cast includes Cher!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Orange is the New Black

    CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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