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Film Review: The Tone-Deaf, Formulaic Approach Murders 'The Little Things'

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CHICAGO – There are over 500 episodes of “Law and Order” but I’m not about to embarrass myself publicly by revealing just how many of those I’ve seen; let’s leave it at “a lot.” In the age of binge television, I know I’m not the only one that has taken a deep dive into the show and other long-running shows like it, but I know we can all agree why we continue watching them: they keep things fresh. Like any television series that has aspirations of longevity, they can’t stay the same over time, especially when it comes to detective procedurals. The Little Things pays homage to everything we love from an old-fashioned detective procedural but aside from being socially tone-deaf, it also has the misfortune of doing it a couple decades too late.

Film Review: Firth and Tucci Deliver Stellar Performances in 'Supernova'

CHICAGO – Stars are a concept that I don’t think I will ever understand. Giant celestial bodies of gas and fire that burn and shine with an unimaginable intensity. Their spherical appearance masks a double-edge that can both bring and sustain life, or out-right end it. Love is much the same way, simultaneously nurturing us up until the moment it isn’t.

Now On VOD: 'Birds of Prey' Soars High Above Our Expectations

CHICAGO – Comic book fatigue is real, and not just because there is an embarrassment of riches in screened content but because more than a few of them take the predictable approach. That’s what sank films like “Justice League” and “Suicide Squad”, and used to threaten the future of the DC cinematic universe, but no longer. I’m happy to report that “Birds of Prey” is no lame duck.

Film Review: 'Zombieland: Double Tap' Not Fresh But Still Has Some Life

CHICAGO - Zombieland: Double Tap lacks the freshness or the belly laughs of its predecessor, but I was surprised to see that this outrageously overqualified cast has not worn out its welcome. It’s ridiculous that three Oscar nominees and one Oscar winner headline a movie devoted solely to blowing zombies up. But when you employ Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, you’re going to get some unexpected surprises.

Film Review: Visual Beauty Can't Cover Up Cultural Vagueness in 'Abominable'

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CHICAGO – The changing view on yetis goes to show just how different my childhood was from kids growing up today. Back in my day, yeti’s were elusive creatures meant to be feared, much like Big Foot or Loch Ness. Films like “Smallfoot” and “Abominable” are paving the way towards acceptance were we ever to encounter a yeti, but the latter is more of a step back than forwards.

Film Review: Zellweger's Star Power Single-Handedly Saves Stale 'Judy'

CHICAGO – Even before I figured out my own sexuality, Judy Garland’s status as a gay icon was known to me. I wouldn’t understand why until much later in my life, but sure as the sky was blue, the city was emerald, and the brick road was yellow, I knew I was a friend of Dorothy. Heartbreakingly, “Judy” paints a bleak portrait of the star, but never takes a look at the bigger picture.

Film Review: 'Hustlers' Is Flashy But Empty Stripper Crime Caper

CHICAGO – This striper crime caper is flashy, buffed to a high gloss, and more entertaining and watchable than it has any right to be. But it’s never quite as smart, or layered as it seems to think it is. Constance Wu from “Crazy Rich Asians” stars as the proverbial stripper with a heart of gold, Destiny.

Film Review: ‘The Farewell’ Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

Film Review: Horror is Worth a Visit in 'Annabelle Comes Home'

CHICAGO – There is such an unnerving quality to older dolls, which is why they lend themselves so perfectly to horror stories. There’s just an unsettling feeling when looking at their static expression, usually plastered with a permanent smile that gives me terrible flashbacks to when I worked retail.

Film Review: Less Black Magic, More Black Mirror Succeeds in 'Child's Play'

CHICAGO – There are some fears in this world that seem irrational to us. Like a fear of clowns or the fear of using an elevator. Horror films are at the core of some of these fears, with the truly great ones creating new things to fear. The “Child’s Play” franchise may have had its roots in psychopathic soul transfers, but the update focuses on the ghost in the machine.

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  • Young Rock
    HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 5.0/5.0
    Television Rating: 5.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on February 18th, 2021, reviewing the new TV series “Young Rock,” Tuesdays on NBC-TV.

  • What Did Clyde Hide?

    CHICAGO – What is one of the greatest survival instincts of the pandemic? Creativity. The Zoom web series “What Did Clyde Hide?” is the result of a creative effort from Executive Producer/Show Runner Ruth Kaufman, Producer Sandy Gulliver and Director Sean Patrick Leonard. Kaufman and Leonard talk about the series, naturally, via Zoom.

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