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Donald Glover

Film Review: Nichely Entertaining ‘Magic Mike XXL’ a Substanceless Soft Porn

Magic Mike XXL with Channing Tatum

CHICAGO – You know those amateur porns with no-name actors that use cheesy dialogue in between the sex scenes those viewers simply want? You never expect a real story or actually developed characters because it’s a collection of sex scenes. It’s not a real, you know, movie.

Interview: Jada Pinkett Smith Plays Host in ‘Magic Mike XXL’

CHICAGO – Jada Pinkett Smith was doing it her way long before she became half of one of Hollywood’s biggest power couples. From modest beginnings, she worked her way up through the entertainment ranks on television, movies and in a metal band (more on that below). She portrays Rome in the sequel “Magic Mike XXL.”

Film Review: Olivia Wilde Resurrects Horror in ‘The Lazarus Effect’

CHICAGO – Psychological horror films are the best tweaks, because they remind us of our fears, and where are fears are rooted. The strange combination of science, religion and a blockbuster performance by Olivia Wilde creates an atmosphere of dread and weirdness in “The Lazarus Effect.”

Film Review: Bigger Not Better ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

CHICAGO – This is what happens when a beloved book gets sucked into the big Hollywood studio machine and gets all the endearing qualities – plus its heart and soul – sucked right out of it. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie.

DVD Review: Frustrating Fourth Season of ‘Community’

Community S4

CHICAGO – The fourth season of NBC’s “Community” was its most controversial by some margin. The program was barely renewed, its showrunner (Dan Harmon) was unprofessionally fired, and the on-set feuds with co-star Chevy Chase continued. To start the fifth season, Chase is gone and Harmon is back. No one has made out well in the court of public opinion and the fourth season was sometimes unwatchable. You would never know any of this from the recently-released DVD set.

TV Review: Beaten, Battered ‘Community’ Finally Returns to NBC

CHICAGO – Rarely has a low-rated show survived as much off-screen drama as NBC’s “Community,” returning tonight to the network bruised, battered, and slightly damaged but still funnier and smarter than most of the alternatives. Where do we begin?

DVD Review: Third Season of NBC Critical Darling ‘Community’

Community S3 Mid

CHICAGO – The third season of “Community” was more inconsistent than the brilliant second but it still featured some of the smartest writing and best performances on network TV. I think the writers lost sight of some of their characters in pursuit of concept over substance at times but has there been a modern show that was more unpredictable than this one? You never know where they’re going to go, what they’re going to reference, or how far they’re going to take their concepts.

TV Review: ‘Community’ Returns with Hysterically Self-Referential Episode

CHICAGO – Leave it to the writers of “Community,” one of the best shows on television, to take TV lemons and make a tasty comedy beverage out of them. After being forced into hiatus by a network that has never known how to support or promote it, “Community” is finally back on Thursday nights, pushing “30 Rock” to the spot formerly occupied by the done-for-the-season “Up All Night.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Pippin

    CHICAGO – It is the simple, timeless stories that work best when they are mounted again on Broadway, and the musical “Pippin” stays true to that assertion. Taking the concepts and the songs from a play that debuted in 1972, and featuring one of those original cast members in a key role, the National Touring revival of “Pippin” is being performed in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre until August 9th, 2015.

  • 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.

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