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James Marsh

Film Review: Heartfelt Tale of Human Needs in ‘The Theory of Everything’

CHICAGO – The life story of iconic physicist Stephen Hawking is given a well-deserved cinematic treatment this weekend with “The Theory of Everything,” an earnest presentation of an existence that defies the usual.

Film Review: ‘Shadow Dancer’ with Clive Owen is Tense IRA Thriller

CHICAGO – Would you betray your cause and the rest of your family tree for the safety of your son? Such is the nightmarish question that Collette must answer in James Marsh’s tense, complex “Shadow Dancer,” a slow-burn thriller that may be a bit too slow at times but builds in power by the final reel. It is On Demand now and opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, May 31. It’s worth seeking out.

DVD Review: ‘Project Nim’ Powerfully Chronicles the Tragic Life of a Chimp

CHICAGO – James Marsh’s much talked-about documentary, “Project Nim,” is one of the saddest films of 2011, charting the mishandling of a chimpanzee by well-meaning but misguided humans. Nim Chimpsky was the simian subject of a widely publicized ’70s-era experiment created by Professor Herbert Terrace. His goal was to discover if a chimp could speak in complete sentences via sign language.

Film Review: Fascinating ‘Project Nim’ Chronicles Tragic Failure

Project Nim
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Human beings are an egotistical, power-hungry species. There’s simply no way around it. And if you think any differently, watch James Marsh’s “Project Nim,” a documentary about the rampant egotism of man’s manipulation of another species. Even the urge to learn and teach that’s expressed at the beginning of “Project Nim” is just a disguise for control.

Blu-Ray Review: Riveting, Memorable ‘Red Riding Trilogy’

Red Riding Trilogy

CHICAGO – Thriller fans should seek out the fascinating “Red Riding Trilogy,” a series of films with largely different casts set in different time periods that attempts to pull back the facade of peace to reveal the dark face of evil underneath. The films are not perfect but they work together to create a memorable portrait of corruption that has infected an entire country and taken more than a few victims in its grip.

Death-Defying Audacity Walks Between the Twin Towers in New Documentary ‘Man on Wire’

CHICAGO – Where have all the true eccentrics gone? Where are all those people who achieve a Zen purpose just because the challenge is there?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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