Tim Martens

Video Game Review: Congested, Glitchy ‘Blades of Time’ Not Worth Playing

Blades of Time

CHICAGO – Gaijin Entertainment is a gaming company known for their car racing games and flight simulators. With releases like “Adrenaline,” “Anarchy: Rush Hour,” “Apache: Air Assault,” and “Death Track: Resurrection,” it was interesting when they brought out “X-Blades” (a hack and slash adventure game) back in 2009. Now, three years later, Gaijin is back with a spiritual sequel to “X-Blades” called “Blades of Time;” a confused and convoluted adventure that will make you wish Gaijin had stuck to cars and planes.

Video Game Review: ‘Tales of Graces f’ Excites with Fights, Stumbles with Story

Tales of Grace f

CHICAGO – Finally coming state-side after over a year in Japan on the Nintendo Wii, Namco Bandai and Namco Tales Studio brings us “Tales of Graces f.” The game actually fits as the twelfth release in the ‘Tales’ series out of thirteen, fitting in-between “Tales of Hearts” and “Tales of Xillia,” but is the first release in North America since the ninth game, “Tales of Vesperia,” which was released in 2008.

TV News: ‘Mad Men’ Receives Highest Ratings in Show History

Mad Men Title Card

CHICAGO – “Mad Men” was back and bigger than ever last night, as the two-hour, two-part premiere set a record for the most viewers of any episode in the series history. With 3.5 million viewers, 1.7 million of which were in the 25-54 demographic, “Mad Men” was up 21% from its season four premiere.

Film News: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2’ Teaser Trailer Released

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

CHICAGO – If you were one of the millions of attendees to a screening of “The Hunger Games” this past weekend, this is probably old news to you, but an official teaser trailer has been released for the fifth and final Twilight Saga movie. The teaser trailer for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2” premiered before “The Hunger Games” this weekend, and is now available to be seen online.

Film News: ‘The Hunger Games’ Dominates at Box Office, Sets Records

the hunger games katniss and peeta

CHICAGO – The games have begun, and the box office numbers are ever in “The Hunger Games” favor. The new film, an adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy, set box office records all weekend, and has been estimated to earn $155 million at the box office when Sunday’s showings play themselves out. That total is good enough for number three all time at weed box offices, just behind “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” ($169.2 mil) and “The Dark Knight” ($158.4 mil).

Film News: ‘The Hunger Games’ Grosses $19.7 Million at Midnight

The Hunger Games Katniss

CHICAGO – If you weren’t sure “The Hunger Games” was going to be as big as predicted, the news this morning may change your mind. Midnight showing totals for the new film are estimated to be $19.7 million. This record breaking number lands just above “The Dark Knight” at number seven in all-time midnight showing totals, and sits behind six other films with the words “Harry Potter” or “Twilight” in their titles.

Film Review: Splendid Photography, Strong Acting Almost Save ‘October Baby’ From Far-Fetched Melodrama

October Baby
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – When reading the plot synopsis for the film “October Baby,” there were a few things I already expected. “A college freshman’s world is rocked when she learns she is the adopted survivor of an attempted abortion” (IMdb). While this is clearly a recipe for melodrama and emotion, writers Jon Erwin and Cecil Stokes ended up creating a story that is even more unrealistic than I first imagined. Luckily for them, the film is still salvaged by some strong acting performances and some engaging visuals.

Video Game Review: ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations’

Naruto Shippuden Ninja Storm Generations

CHICAGO – The manga series Naruto has been around for over a decade in several different forms of media and entertainment. The story about a young fighter who aspires to be the greatest ninja in his village, Naruto is part of a manga cartoon series, an animated show, a series of films, three novels, a trading card game, inspiration for art and music, and several video games.

Film News: Ebertfest 2012 Lineup Announced


CHICAGO – As a graduate of the University of Illinois, I can tell you there is one time of the year that is very close to my heart, and many others in the Champaign-Urbana community. That is the last weekend of April every year which brings us Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (aka Ebertfest). And tonight, the lineup for the 14th Annual Ebertfest was announced and includes some very exciting guests.

Video Game News: Disney Announces ‘Brave: The Video Game’


CHICAGO – If you are excited for the upcoming Disney-Pixar film “Brave,” you may be interested to know that Disney Interactive Media Group announced today that a game is in production based on the upcoming movie. The game will be released on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Windows PC/MAC.

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  • Prodigal Daughter, The

    CHICAGO – One of the open secrets of Chicago is its horrible racist past, which remains like an echo. Playwright Joshua Allen has been exploring this theme in his Grand Boulevard Trilogy – the last chapter talking place during the infamous 1919 race riots – in Raven Theatre’s “The Prodigal Daughter.” For tickets and info, click TPD.

  • 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.


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