CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.
George W. Bush
CHICAGO – Former president George W. Bush appeared in Naperville, Ill., at Anderson’s Bookshop to promote his book, “41: A Portrait of My Father.” The tome is a memoir of the Bush patriarch, George H.W. Bush, who was the 41st president.
CHICAGO – The reason some people fit into government service is fairly well defined in the latest film of iconic documentary maker Errol Morris. His profile of ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in “The Unknown Known” is a tale of history – affected by war, death, torture and justification.
CHICAGO – One of the more underreported stories of the past year is that income inequality – the gap between the wealthiest one percent in the U.S. versus the rest of the population – is at historic highs. When that balance of power is tilted, the result is documented in the new film, “Inequality for All.”
CHICAGO – The halls of the Capitol Building are paved with money. It takes a long time beyond civics class and history to realize that. Kevin Spacey illustrates that concept precisely playing “super lobbyist” and convicted larcenist Jack Abramoff in “Casino Jack”.
CHICAGO – The key line in “Fair Game,” a distillation of Valerie Plame’s outing as a CIA operative in 2003, is intoned by character actor Bruce McGill, in a scene reminiscent of the “Mr. X” moment in the “JFK” movie. Pointing to the White House and the Bush Administration, he simply says, “there are the most powerful men in the history of the world.”
CHICAGO – When I first heard about Will Ferrell’s one-man Broadway show in which he would deliver a nearly-90-minute monologue as outgoing President George W. Bush, I was both excited at the potential and nervous as to how on Earth the talented comedian could keep it interesting for its full running time.
CHICAGO – October 27th is the release date for “Nice Bombs,” a personal documentary from Cinema Obscura DVD about the homecoming of a native Iraqi to his old hometown of Baghdad, still in the midst of the Iraq War.
CHICAGO – In a previous interview, director Tim Disney of the new film ‘American Violet’ called his film one where “change begins, and change is possible, when individuals make choices and stand behind them.”
CHICAGO – In his third film, “American Violet,” director Tim Disney tackles the subject of unfair incarceration laws involving a poor African-American housing project in a rural Texas town.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
CHICAGO – What happened to Oliver Stone? Despite strong performances by Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, and Elizabeth Banks, “W.” is one of the most inert, middle-of-the-road movies that this once-controversial auteur has ever made, helped on the home market by an excellent Blu-Ray release but still a little “eh” as a film.