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Don Johnson

Film Review: Sharpness Wears Down to Dull in ‘The Other Woman’

CHICAGO – Cameron Diaz has a firm grasp on her…image. She has carefully transitioned throughout her career from ingenue to comedienne to voiceover to the new film “The Other Woman.” But what begins as a sharp revenge comedy collapses into a bonding-sticky-sweet dullness.

TV Review: Premiere of ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ Lacks Originality

From Dusk Till Dawn

CHICAGO – It’s been a year of updatings that has seen venerable characters like Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter solidly re-envisioned by the small screen. So how fare the Gecko Brothers? Not all that great sadly. This overly slick redux of the fantastic film “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1997) not only suffers from pretty people syndrome but borrows so heavily from the original film that it feels less like homage and reboot than redress and reshoot.

Blu-ray Review: Remastered Edition of ‘70s Cult Hit ‘A Boy and His Dog’

A Boy and His Dog

CHICAGO – Some people take L.Q. Jones’ adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s “A Boy and His Dog” very seriously. When Jones begins his new discussion with the author talking about how there are people who consider his film the best science fiction movie of all time, it raises an eyebrow for a second, but he’s right. There are people who bow at the altar of this kinky tale of survival. Not me. I’ve always found it a bit clunky and too episodic in its narrative but if you think I’m crazy for that opinion, the Blu-ray is a beauty with a gorgeous transfer and illuminating special features.

Film Review: Torturous, Awful ‘Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star’

CHICAGO – Adam Sandler lost a bet. How else to explain the existence of “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” a movie that no one but the man behind Happy Madison would possibly finance? If you took this script (co-written by Little Nicky himself) to any sane film producer, they would assume you were pulling a prank.

Blu-Ray Review: Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’ With Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro


CHICAGO – “Machete” may be one of the most wonderfully-conceived films of 2010. The idea that one of the fake trailers from “Grindhouse” could ever become a full-length film is a movie lover’s dream come true (and it’s so ironic that “Machete” grossed more domestically than the movie that spawned it). While I love the very existence of “Machete,” the movie itself is something of a disappointment, and it’s not helped by a mediocre Blu-ray that barely has any special features.

Film Review: Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’ Pushes Excess Past Breaking Point

CHICAGO – Not everything should be filet mignon. Sometimes you just want a greasy, delicious cheeseburger. Now imagine eating ten of those cheeseburgers in a row.

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  • 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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