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

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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