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Barack Obama

Interview: Director Justin Simien Reflects on ‘Dear White People’

CHICAGO – Some say, to use a FOX News term, that America is “post-racial.” The election of Barack Obama is supposed to have ended the debate on race, and any marginalization because of race. Of course, that is not possible in society and culture, and it’s articulated in writer/director Justin Simien’s new film, “Dear White People.”

Video Game Review: ‘Masters of the World: Geopolitical Simulator 3’ is Economic Stimulis for the Brain

Masters Of The World: Geopolitical Simulator 3

CHICAGO – “Everyone hates the President” said my Mother after I, yet again, bemoaned the extreme polarization of folks on various social media platforms toward Mr. Obama. I guess it’s true. But still, don’t these people on Facebook and Twitter and Disqus know how hard that job is? What the actual *job* of the President is?

Interview: Harry Lennix on Digital Release of ‘Mr. Sophistication’

CHICAGO – One of the more unique independent films that worked the festival circuit in 2012 and ’13 was the drama “Mr. Sophistication.” The main character was Ron Waters, a comedian described as “Richard Pryor’s protegé.” Actor Harry Lennix took on the character, breathing in both the drama of the show business story and the particular style of stand-up.

Film Review: ‘Inequality for All’ Becomes a Cry for Democracy

Inequality for All

CHICAGO – One of the more underreported stories of the past year is that income inequality – the gap between the wealthiest one percent in the U.S. versus the rest of the population – is at historic highs. When that balance of power is tilted, the result is documented in the new film, “Inequality for All.”

Film Review: ‘2016: Obama’s America’ is a Cesspool of Partisan Hackery

2016 Obama's America

CHICAGO – What are you afraid of, right now? Is it the shaky economy, the red/blue political divide or maybe Dunkin Donuts ran out of Oreo smoothies? You know what’s easy about justifying those fears? Blaming President Obama. “2016: Obama’s America,” written and directed by conservative propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, wants to blame Obama for the sun going down.

Feature: Limited-Release Sarah Palin Film ‘The Undefeated’

Sarah Palin, The Undefeated

CHICAGO – Spending nearly two hours with Sarah Palin, midday on a Saturday, is a questionable use of time at best, especially when not an admirer of the half term governor and defeated vice presidential candidate. Producer Stephen Bannon creates an irony with the title of the Palin documentary, “The Undefeated,” but supporters don’t seem to notice.

Film Review: ‘11/4/08’ Assembles Interactive Portrait of Fateful Night

11/4/08 review

CHICAGO – When Barack Obama took to the podium at Grant Park and gave his acceptance speech on the evening of November 4, 2008, his face appeared strangely reserved. His eyes did not reflect the overwhelming excitement of his supporters. Their grassroots efforts led to the election of a candidate whose popularity transcended national boundaries, injecting cynics with hope.

Interview: Filmmaker Jeff Deutchman Revisits Historic Election in ‘11/4/08’

Jeff Deutchman Interview

CHICAGO – Jeff Deutchman’s “11/4/08” is a documentary like no other. It centers on the historic Election Day of 2008 that named Barack Obama as the next American president. Deutchman called on his friends, including Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes the Stairs”) and Henry Joost (“Catfish”), to capture footage from the day both nationally and internationally, from Manhattan to Dubai.

Interview: Foxy! Pam Grier Remembers ‘My Life in Three Acts’

CHICAGO – Pam Grier has a strong, peaceful aura. After inventing the female action hero in her early 1970s hits “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown,” Grier has navigated her life through optimistic success. She was in Chicago for a book signing at Borders State Street, promoting ‘Foxy: My Life in Three Acts.”

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ Finds the Provocateur in Top Form

Capitalism: A Love Story Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – No contemporary filmmaker has mastered the art of opinionated cinema better than Michael Moore. He doesn’t pretend to be fair and balanced, and he doesn’t claim to have all the answers. He’s more interested in raising questions that sorely need to be addressed and debated. There are few things more American than the act of questioning a system that most people have taken for granted.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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