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Jay Hernandez

Film Review: Freaky Villains is Where ‘Suicide Squad’ Works Best

CHICAGODC Entertainment, feeling the heat from Marvel Studios and the tepid response from “Batman v Superman,” comes back stronger with “Suicide Squad,” an overblown yet psychological comic book film about sociopathic villains who somehow have to save the world.

Film Review: Strong Cast Makes ‘Bad Moms’ Good for Some Laughs

CHICAGO – “Bad Moms” is another raunchy women behaving badly comedy that never met a curse word it didn’t like. But I’ll say this for ‘Bad Moms,’ it’s rebellion comes from a relatable place. What parent hasn’t wondered if they were in some way failing their children in some way by failing to live up to our pinterest levels of perfection?

Film Review: Something’s Gotta Give With T.I., Matt Dillon in ‘Takers’

CHICAGO – The ensemble cast is decent, the story fits the action/adventure essence of the heist film and one of the hottest music stars of the moment, Tip “T.I.” Harris, has a prominent role. Then why is the new film “Takers” such a seen-it-all-before exercise in action blandness?

Chicago Red Carpet: T.I. Channels His Acting Side in ‘Takers’

CHICAGO – Tip “T.I.” Harris has conquered the charts and the music business as a performer, producer and entrepreneur. He was recently in Chicago at a red carpet premiere for his film “Takers,” on which he serves as executive producer and co-stars with Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen and Zoe Salanda.

Slideshow: 27-Image Gallery For ‘Takers’ Starring Paul Walker, Zoe Saldana

| Image 1 of 27 |
Producers Will Packer (left) and Tip T.I. Harris on the set of Screen Gems action thriller Takers.

CHICAGO – This 27-image slideshow contains all of the official press images for the highly anticipated “Takers,” starring Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy, Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris, Chris Brown, and Hayden Christensen. The film was written by Peter Allen & Gabriel Casseus and John Luessenhop & Avery Duff and directed by John Luessenhop. It will be released on August 27th, 2010.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Quarantine’ With Jennifer Carpenter Rocks But Forgets Roots

Quarantine
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Quarantine” leaves this hardcore horror junkie conflicted. The film itself is one of the better genre entries of 2008, a thrill ride that will satisfy nearly everyone who rents or buys it on Blu-Ray. But the special features on the disc omit something unbelievably important and, in doing so, leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Blu-Ray Review: Mixed Bag of Clichés, Quality Performances in ‘Lakeview Terrace’

Lakeview Terrace
HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Neil LaBute’s “Lakeview Terrace” delivers as close to the “marginal thumbs up or down” line as any movie released in 2008. There are some intriguing ideas about race and excellent performances, but the film feels like a missed opportunity to be something greater, even if a strong Blu-Ray release helps the final product.

‘Nothing Like the Holidays’ Does Nothing to Stand Out From Christmas Movie Crowd

Nothing Like the Holidays

CHICAGO – When it was still called “Humboldt Park” and was probably more closely related to Chicago’s thriving Hispanic neighborhood, Alfredo De Villa’s “Nothing Like the Holidays” was probably a lot more interesting than the cookie-cutter dramedy that ended up on the big screen.

Interview: ‘Lakeview Terrace’ Director Neil LaBute Fans Flames of Human Relations in Incendiary Film

CHICAGO – Already an important and controversial American playwright, Neil LaBute is looking to make the same individual mark as a director in films. His most recent effort is “Lakeview Terrace” with Samuel L. Jackson. It’s an incisive and poignant meditation on race, class and gender relations in America.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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