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Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Not Worth the Trip

CHICAGO – “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is as manufactured and flavorless as a frostbitten Lean Cuisine. However, as the impresario of a Michelin-starred Restaurant in the south of France, Helen Mirren implores her staff that food is not an old tired marriage, it is a passionate affair.

Interview: Co-Stars Michael Ealy, Regina Hall Tell ‘About Last Night’

CHICAGO – The path to this year’s remake of the 1986 film “About Last Night” starts right here in Chicago, based on the original 1974 stage version, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet. Two co-stars in the remake – Michael Ealy and Regina Hall – visited the source city to talk about their version.

Film Review: ‘Running from Crazy’ is Essential Link in Hemingway Legacy

Running From Crazy

CHICAGO – If you thought the end of the story was the suicide of famed author Ernest “Papa” Hemingway in 1961, then you never paid attention to the fate of the generations down the line bearing his name. Granddaughter Mariel Hemingway seeks her own truth among the tragedy of her family’s legacy in the redemptive “Running from Crazy.”

Film Review: Family Emotions Uplift ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

CHICAGO – In one of the more intriguing ways to frame the 1960s civil rights movement, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” places the context of that African American struggle through the filter of family dynamics, focusing on the father as a butler in the White House, through six presidents.

Interview: Director Lee Daniels Entitles ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

CHICAGO – Director Lee Daniels is on a mission of education. With now two generations removed from the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, Daniels hopes to revive and highlight that history in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” – the sensitive and emotional story of one family’s journey through the winds of change.

Interview: Forest Whitaker Serves Up ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

CHICAGO – In person, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is a man at peace. His talent has created a demeanor of a guru – soft spoken with transcendent thoughts. His latest film is “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” in which he portrays the title character. As a black man caught between two eras in American history, Forest Whitaker does relate.

Slideshow: Oprah, Paris Hilton Highlight 20-Portrait Gallery at ‘The Cable Show 2011’ in Chicago

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Oprah Winfrey promotes her OWN Network at The Cable Show 2011

CHICAGO – The excitement was in Chicago last month as ‘The Cable Show 2011” gathered at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Many celebrities associated with the cable industry, including Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton and Kelsey Grammer, participated in the event and provided meet-and-greet opportunities.

Blu-Ray Review: Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’ Gets HD Upgrade

The Color Purple

CHICAGO – Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 and became a highly-acclaimed film just two years later from what was then-seen as an unlikely directorial choice in Steven Spielberg. Despite the controversy, the film went on to be nominated for a stunning eleven Academy Awards and is now one of the first Spielberg works to get the HD upgrade.

Interview: Director Davis Guggenheim on ‘Waiting For Superman’

Waiting For Superman

CHICAGO – Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) has returned with another film likely to play a major role at next year’s Academy Awards, the devastating “Waiting For Superman,” an indictment of the entire American education system that stands both as riveting documentary filmmaking and a call for change.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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