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Cobie Smulders

Film Review: Two Women Create a Human Connection in ‘Unexpected’

CHICAGO – Providing human life to this planet is the dominion of women, given that they gestate new existence through to birth. It was refreshing to see that gender point of view carried to expressive terms in “Unexpected,” the latest film by Chicagoan Kris Swanberg, and featuring Cobie Smulders.

Interview: Cobie Smulders of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – Where did one of the most prominently featured actresses in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” decide to spend the Saturday night of the film’s release? It was attending the Chicago Critics Film Festival, greeting admirers and participating in Q&As – after her two new films, “Results” and “Unexpected.”

Preview: Stellar Weekend Kicks Off 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – Friday, May 1st, kicks off one of 2015 Chicago’s most special events, the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) – a film festival as programmed by the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association. The place to be is at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, and the titles included are an exciting batch of movies making their premiere here.

Film Review: Rousing ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Hits Modern Society’s Central Nervous System

Avengers: Age of Ultron with James Spader

CHICAGOLook. We all know sequels usually suck. And blockbuster films often get panned for overprioritizing special effects at the expense of a well-written story and character development. Even when a story in a big-budget film is redeeming, it’s practically impossible not to shoot holes through it.

2015 Sundance Diary: ‘Digging for Fire,’ ‘Entertainment’ & ‘Results’

PARK CITY, Utah – There are still some films to be discussed in my Sundance coverage. Here’s write-ups of “Digging for Fire,” “Entertainment,” and “Results,” which featured the return of festival-approved directors, albeit heading in different directions.

Film Review: ‘They Came Together’ Sharply Skewers the Rom-Com

CHICAGO – If there is any genre of film that needs a good blasting, it is the romantic comedy. These silly fantasies practically seem like satires anyway, so when the comic genius of writer/director David Wain ponders them, and casts Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the “couple,” the funny will fly.

Film Review: Though a Failed Comedy, ‘Delivery Man’ Shows Vince Vaughn’s Lesser-Seen Dramatic Side

CHICAGO – Has Vince Vaughn peaked?

Since hit films like “Swingers” and “Wedding Crashers,” critical flops like “Couples Retreat” and “The Dilemma” have shown he’s fighting an uphill battle to find redemption. While “Delivery Man” isn’t his re-breakout role, it does show you a lesser-seen side: his drama instead of his comedy.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 100 Pairs of Passes to ‘Delivery Man’ with Vince Vaughn

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 100 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new comedy “Delivery Man” starring Vince Vaughn!

Blu-ray Review: Even Nicholas Sparks Fans Will Be Annoyed by ‘Safe Haven’

Safe Haven

CHICAGO – At its best, Lasse Hallstrom’s “Safe Haven,” based on the book by the insanely popular Nicholas Sparks, is merely safe, Lifetime Channel TV Movie junk. At its worst, it’s pretty offensive and exploitative of women actually stuck in abusive situations and men forced into single parenthood after losing a spouse. As he has done before, Sparks takes real-world issues and turns them into manipulative devices. Hallstrom (“Chocolat”) has enough filmmaking skill to keep it from getting too boring despite the attempts on the part of the two remarkably dull leads to put you to sleep.

Film Review: Hey Lovers, ‘Safe Haven’ is a Decent Date Movie

Safe Haven

CHICAGO – It’s Valentine’s Day, and along with the impossible to get dinner reservations, the decision of which movie to see has probably spoiled this holiday as much as Walgreen roses. But the romantic drama ‘Safe Haven’ is a well performed, well paced narrative that won’t make you gag, and that includes you wishing-to-see-Die-Hard dudes.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

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