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Mystic River

Film Review: Animal Psychology Charges Rugged Thug Tale ‘The Drop’

The Drop

CHICAGO – For a film adapted from “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone” author Dennis Lehane, there are no children in danger in “The Drop,” but there is a pit bull puppy named Rocco. The dog’s involvement in the story, an animal who gets as many closeups this side of a Charles Martin Smith film, invites the uncharacteristically blunt metaphor of how creatures fight for power, or even just the impression of power.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Clint Eastwood: 20 Film Collection’ Highlights Legendary Career

CHICAGO – “Clint Eastwood: 20 Film Collection” is a great Father’s Day gift that’s nonetheless a bit difficult to describe. It’s not exactly a greatest hits collection of its legendary star since it’s missing some of his most iconic films and includes some of his most notable failures.

Book Review: Dennis Lehane Returns With Sizzling ‘Moonlight Mile’

Moonlight Mile

CHICAGO – Dennis Lehane remains one of our better fiction writers with some of his best-known material being turned into highly-acclaimed films including “Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and “Shutter Island.” He returns to his two most beloved characters — Angie Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie — those played by Michelle Monaghan and Casey Affleck in the film version of “GBG” to craft a direct sequel to that novel, “Moonlight Mile,” a reminder of how efficient Lehane can be when it comes to breakneck thriller pacing but a bit of a letdown if it truly is the final book with these memorable detectives.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ ‘Mystic River’

Fear and Loathing BD

CHICAGO – I know what you’re thinking: What do “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Mystic River” have in common? Nothing at all other than a Blu-ray release date of February 2nd, 2010. Oh, and they’re two films you should probably own if you have a Blu-ray player.

Clint Eastwood Idles With Caricature Over Character in ‘Gran Torino’

Gran Torino

CHICAGO – With his second film in just a few months, Clint Eastwood makes one of his biggest missteps of his illustrious career as one of the more esteemed American directors in the history of the medium.

Sean Penn’s Oscar-Possible Harvey Milk Puts Face to Gay Rights in ‘Milk’

CHICAGO – Just as Tom Hanks put a face to AIDS in 1993’s “Philadelphia,” Sean Penn has now put a face to gay rights as Harvey Milk in the new Gus Van Sant true-story film “Milk”.

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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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