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Kate del Castillo

DVD Review: Tilda Swinton Mesmerizes in Thrilling ‘Julia’

Julia

CHICAGO – Tilda Swinton, Oscar winner for “Michael Clayton,” gives the best female performance of the year to date in the riveting, thrilling, excellent “Julia,” now available on DVD and one of the best films of 2009 that you probably haven’t seen. The lack of special features on the Magnolia-produced DVD (and its lack of existence on Blu-Ray) is a bet of a let-down but the film is an underrated gem that should find a loyal audience on the home market.

Wizard of Oz is America in Immigration Film ‘Under the Same Moon’

CHICAGO – The immigrant “crisis” in the United States is discussed mostly in political generalities as if those seeking a better life are subhuman. “Under the Same Moon” focuses on the real faces of these people through a 10-year-old Mexican boy who risks everything in a journey to reunite with his mother in Los Angeles.

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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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