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Film Review: Stylish ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a Bit Too Soap Opera

CHICAGO – “Crazy Rich Asians” is not meant to be anything but glitzy fun, but in the midst of the glamour, excessive wealth and beautiful people, there is a plot that ventures into Soap Opera land, and eventually becomes a distraction for the reason an audience goes to this show… to fantasize about living large.

Red-Carpet Voices: Gillian Flynn for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

Gillian Flynn, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – She is the author whose novels are screen friendly. Gillian Flynn has had all three of her books adapted for either television or film, and the latest is a miniseries adaptation of her first novel, which continues on HBO, titled “Sharp Objects.” The series runs eight episodes, and features Amy Adams in the lead role, supported by Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina and Elizabeth Perkins.

Red-Carpet Voices: Chris Messina for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

CHICAGO – You’ve seen him in many familiar roles over the years, from “Argo” to “The Mindy Project.” Character actor Chris Messina is memorable in all those roles, and currently is taking on Detective Richard Willis in the hot new HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” opposite Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson.

Red-Carpet Voices: Patricia Clarkson for HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

CHICAGO – The HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects,” based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), will broadcast its third episode on Sunday, July 22nd, 2018. It features Amy Adams in the lead role as Camille Preaker, and also features the incomparable and shining movie star Patricia Clarkson, as Camille’s disparaging mother Adora.

Film Review: ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Has Run Out of Life

CHICAGO – The third part of the “Maze Runner” trilogy is called “The Death Cure,” and that cure best describes the faint pulse of this run-out-of-steam dystopia aimed at “young adults.” It is mostly warring and not much more, except for a stab (literally) at misplaced emotion.

Film Review: Good vs. Evil Brightly Entertaining in ‘The Dark Tower’

CHICAGO – Nobody does good vs. evil archetypes like author Stephen King, and this framework is purposeful in the film adaptation of King’s “The Dark Tower.” The popular book series gets a visual kick through the rendering of director Nikolaj Arcel and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.

Film Review: ‘The Sense of an Ending’ Ponders a Vague Mystery

Sense of an Ending, The

CHICAGO – “The Sense of an Ending” is a highfalutin title, automatically putting most folks into book club mode. It is adapted from a novel, and the narrative has the same page turning-type rhythm. An old man, portrayed by Jim Broadbent, is encountering his past, while his current situation remains untenable.

Film Review: ‘The Shack’ is About Spirituality, Not Filmmaking

CHICAGO – To create spirituality from tragedy is like shooting the proverbial fish – a prominent symbol for Christianity – in a barrel. “The Shack” is based on a popular novel, and doesn’t try to do anything different or cinematic with a man encountering the Holy Trinity after a horrific incident.

Film Review: ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Takes Two Stories to New Levels

CHICAGO – Reality and fantasy have separate rules, and in fantasy there are no rules. This is the philosophy of “Nocturnal Animals,” a wild character study that exists on the reality/fantasy planes. And it has the bonus of the Amy Adams/Isla Fisher mix-up and Jake Gyllenhaal at his Gyllenhaal-iest.

Interview: Director Hannes Holm Meets ‘A Man Called Ove’

CHICAGO – In 2012, Fredrik Backman released his Swedish novel called “En man som heter Ove.” It was published in English in 2013, and became a best seller. The book that delved into the life of a cranky old man is now a major Swedish movie, distributed in the U.S. by Chicago’s Music Box Films, and directed by Hannes Holm.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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