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Film Review: Excess & Dwayne Johnson is How ‘Skyscraper’ Works

CHICAGO – The Dwayne Johnson formula is what it is, as it seems for about three to five films a year. A disaster strikes, but the Johnson character has loved ones among the victims, and in his background (military, police, mercenary) there is enough expertise to rescue them. “Skyscraper” is the latest.

Interview: The Men of ‘13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’

CHICAGO – Director Michael Bay’s new film interpretation of the controversial Libyan battle, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” began with the true events. Consulting the production were three of the actual participants in that tense battle, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, Mark “Oz” Geist and John “Tig” Tiegan.

TV Review: NBC’s ‘Ironside’ is Worst New Drama of 2013

CHICAGO – As the TV world was bombarded by new shows last week, I heard a number of complaints about the new dramas and comedies. “Hostages” was too cliched. “The Blacklist” wasn’t believable. “SHIELD” wasn’t fun enough. “Lucky 7” was, well, just awful. People, those shows will look even better if you happen to stumble upon “Ironside,” premiering tomorrow night on NBC.

TV Review: Netflix Continues Hot Streak with Excellent ‘Orange is the New Black’

CHICAGO – Jenji Kohan’s “Orange is the New Black,” premiering in its entirety this Thursday, July 11, 2013 on Netflix for those of you who love your binge viewing, is one of those rare programs that gets better and better in memory.

TV Review: Great Cast, Crew Elevate ‘A Gifted Man’ Into Fine Cheese

CHICAGOCBS’s new Friday night drama “A Gifted Man” has the kind of cheesy plot designed to appeal to fans who miss “Highway to Heaven,” “Touched by an Angel,” or “The Ghost Whisperer”.

Film Review: ‘Happythankyoumoreplease’ Falls Flat With Unlikable Characters

Happythankyoumoreplease
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Josh Radnor’s “Happythankyoumoreplease” wants to be a new-generation Woody Allen film but misses the mark wildly by presenting characters that aren’t likable in situations that aren’t believable. None of the relationships that drive this awkward dramedy ring true and only a few supporting performances make the effort worthwhile as they highlight the weaknesses at the core of the manipulative script.

TV Review: FX Boxing Drama ‘Lights Out’ Balances Cliché With Character

CHICAGO – What happens after the final bell rings in the life of a boxer? FX’s drama centers around a character who goes from having a bloody cut above his eye sewn shut to making breakfast for his daughters within the first few scenes.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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