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Cobie Smulders

Film Review: Take the Title Advice in ‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’

CHICAGO – The title of Tom Cruise’s second Jack Reacher adventure has almost prophetic ring to it – but we all would have been better off if the writers, and director and star of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” had heeded the advice. This film seems more like one of those bargain-bin-just-barely-released thrillers than a major studio action movie.

Interviews: Women in Film Chicago 2016 Focus Awards Honorees

CHICAGO – It was a celebration in late January for Women in Film Chicago, as the organization showcased notable women in media with their annual Focus Awards. Advertising guru Jean Batthany, director Kris Swanberg, Editor Kathryn Hempel and writer/actress Megan Mercier were the honorees.

Interview: Megan Mercier, 2016 Focus Award Honoree, Presented by Women in Film Chicago

Megan Mercier

CHICAGO – The advocacy group of Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) have an annual event that honors prominent members of the media industry in the city, and the 2016 Focus Awards Gala will take place this year on January 28th. The honorees are Advertising Creative Director Jean Batthany, Documentary Filmmaker Kathryn Hempel, Film Director Kris Swanberg, and Writer/Actor Megan Mercier.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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