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Juno

Film Review: Edge Ebbs & Flows in ‘The Edge of Seventeen’

CHICAGO – “The Edge of Seventeen” does attempt to do some different things with the growing-up-too-soon teenager soap opera – it throws in a authentic parent, contemporary sex issues and truthful awkwardness. But it can’t help being too heroic, and too “everything’s all right.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Labor Day’ with Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new drama “Labor Day” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin!

Interview: ‘Young Adult’ Director Jason Reitman on Open-Ended, Non-Message Directing

CHICAGO – Instead of trying to fill giant shoes in the shadows of his legendary filmmaker father Ivan Reitman (“Ghostbusters”), Jason Reitman has been successfully blazing his own path of films without message that are designed to incite your thoughts and question your actions.

Film Review: Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody Sway Us to Like the Unlikable in ‘Young Adult’

CHICAGO – Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) isn’t a girl you’d Facebook like. She’s got one too many dark passengers, she’s a repugnant drunk, she likes too much pink, her white dog is too puffy and most would consider it less than Usher cool that she’s throwing herself at a married man she couldn’t bag back in high school. Or is she? And is Mavis so different than you?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Young Adult’ With Charlize Theron

Young Adult with Charlize Theron

CHICAGO – In our latest dramedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “Young Adult” from the director of “Up in the Air” (Jason Reitman) and the writer of “Juno” (Diablo Cody) starring Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson!

Interview: J.K. Simmons Explains Why ‘The Music Never Stopped’

CHICAGO – If you’re not familiar with the name J.K. Simmons, you almost certainly know his face or maybe even just his voice. From “Oz” to “Juno” to “The Closer” to “Portal 2” and even the M&Ms commercials, the very-talented actor has been everywhere in the last few decades. The great character actor recently took time out of his busy schedule to give a call to HollywoodChicago.com on the eve of the release of his excellent drama “The Music Never Stopped” on DVD.

TV Review: ‘United States of Tara’ Offers Showcase For Toni Collette

United States of Tara 3

CHICAGO – I’ve said for two seasons now that Showtime’s “United States of Tara” isn’t as good as it should be, partially because the writing and parts of the ensemble don’t live up to the Emmy-winning work by its stunningly talented star, Toni Collette, but I might have been wrong. The start of season three, debuting tonight, Mar. 28th, 2011 on Showtime, hints at a broader program with a deeper ensemble, but I’m not sure any more that this is a good thing.

DVD Review: Toni Collette, Diablo Cody Shine in ‘United States of Tara: The Second Season’

United States of Tara Season 2 DVD

CHICAGO – It’s difficult to think of a role better suited for the chameleon-like abilities of Toni Collette than Tara Gregson, a devoted wife and mother struggling with dissociative identity disorder. Every episode holds an element of surprise, since viewers are never quite sure which of Tara’s “alters” will emerge next. Will it be the perky ’50s housewife, the flirtatious teenager or the testosterone-oozing Vietnam vet?

TV Review: Toni Collette Continues to Shine on ‘United States of Tara’

United States of Tara S2

CHICAGO – I personally think the show is slightly inferior to its hour-partner “Nurse Jackie,” but Toni Collette does such spectacular work on “United States of Tara” that her performance alone demands you tune in. Like Edie Falco on “NJ,” the incredibly talented Collette takes a challenging role that could have turned into caricature in the hands of a lesser actress and makes it genuine.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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