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Ellen Barkin

DVD Review: ‘Another Happy Day’ Plunges Headfirst Into Familial Hellhole

Another Happy Day DVD

CHICAGO – “Another Happy Day” is essentially the inverse of “Rachel Getting Married.” Instead of an unstable, self-pitying girl wreaking havoc on an otherwise pleasant wedding, we have a sensitive, otherwise pleasant woman driven mad by her unstable, self-pitying family…at a wedding, no less. I’ve seen war enemies with less animosity than this group of miserable basket cases.

Interview: Actor Ezra Miller Knows ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’

CHICAGO – In the new film, “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” there is a breakout performance that is simply mind-blowing. Playing opposite the conflicted mother – portrayed by the great Tilda Swinton – is Ezra Miller, as her son Kevin. The character is a teenager in crisis, motivated by forces beyond his control.

DVD Review: Fascinating Cast Can’t Save ‘Operation: Endgame’

Operation: Endgame

CHICAGO – As someone who has often gone home with a straight-to-DVD action movie that I hadn’t heard of before entering the video store, I know how easy it is to get drawn into something that looks a little bit left-of-center. “Operation: Endgame” is undeniably unusual but that doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Richard Gere Are ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’

Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle in "Brooklyn's Finest"

CHICAGO – The “thin blue line,’ that imaginary border that separates society between order and chaos, is experienced on a daily basis by the police “force.” The human beings knighted with this responsibility are “Brooklyn’s Finest.”

Interview: Wesley Snipes, Director Antoine Fuqua on ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’

CHICAGO – Wesley Snipes is a great dresser, among other talents. The coolness and intuitive skills that he had displayed in “Blade,” “White Men Don’t Jump’ and “Passenger 57” is in evidence again with his role of Caz in “Brooklyn’s Finest.”

Top Five Irish Films: ‘Into the West,’ ‘Once,’ ‘The Commitments,’ ‘Bloody Sunday,’ ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’

HOLLYWOOD – Someone once said there are two kinds of people: “Those who are Irish and those who wish they were Irish.” While mom claimed I was the first, being an American for a few generations tossed me into the “mutt” category. If there truly is Irish in me, it’s in my big toe or my ring finger, which hardly makes me the Irish lass I had hoped.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • 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.

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