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James Van Der Beek

Film Review: ‘Labor Day’ Provides Meaning to Romantic Tension

CHICAGO – There is a real power when the right filmmaker connects with the right performers. What appears on the surface to be a slight and well-worn story, gains a decided psychological edge. ‘Labor Day’ features Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and writer/director Jason Reitman.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Labor Day’ with Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new drama “Labor Day” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin!

TV Review: ABC’s Promising But Inconsistent ‘Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23’

CHICAGO – “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23” may seem at first like a cynical, modern program, but it’s really a throwback to sitcoms of the ’70s and ’80s when you think about it’s structure.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Stolen’ Wastes Talented Cast on Melodrama

Stolen

CHICAGO – On paper, “Stolen” probably looked like the kind of competent thriller that could get once-rising star Josh Lucas back into the spotlight and prove to producers that “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm could carry a motion picture. Sadly, lackluster direction of what is essentially no more interesting than an extended episode of “Cold Case” squanders the talent of both men, a pair of actors who deserve better showcases.

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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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