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Ellen Barkin

Film Review: Adam Sandler’s ‘The Cobbler’ a Historical, Stupefying Disaster

The Cobbler, 2015

CHICAGO – The newest Adam Sandler film that doesn’t feature him dressed like a chubby middle schooler is really bad, but in a special way. Similarly, it is an instant classic in the legacy of bizarre disasters, a footnote in writer/director history that must be witnessed to be fully understood.

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

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Nothing Without a Company’s new world premiere stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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