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Arliss Howard

Film Review: ‘Concussion’ Can’t Quite Tackle its Difficult Subject

Concussion

CHICAGO – “Concussion” suffers from what I call the “Moneyball” problem – it’s got an interesting subject matter, but it doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. It doesn’t have enough faith in its own material or its audience, so it stocks up on a lot of off-the-shelf melodrama in effort to avoid digging into what makes the story interesting in the first place. It’s also a movie that chickens out at the end and seems afraid to pick a fight.

Blu-ray Review: 25th Anniversary Edition of Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’

Full Metal Jacket

CHICAGO – Few directors were made for Blu-ray like Stanley Kubrick and recent editions of some of his classics, including the Criterion releases for “The Killing” and “Paths of Glory” and the stunning anniversary edition of “A Clockwork Orange” are among the best in my collection. His penultimate film, “Full Metal Jacket,” was just released in a Digibook HD edition from Warner Bros. and while it may not be one of my favorite flicks, it’s another visual masterpiece from Kubrick, which makes it a perfect fit for Blu-ray.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Flawed But Worth Seeing

The Time Traveler's Wife

CHICAGO – Robert Schwentke’s adaptation of the beloved novel “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was mostly critically ridiculed in theaters but should make for a satisfying rental this Valentine’s Day and deserves a second consideration from those that completely dismissed it at first. It looks beautiful in HD and the film’s flaws are easier to forgive at home without the expectation of this long-awaited project.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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