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Samantha Mathis

Film Review: Ryan Reynolds Gets Beneath it in Tense Thriller ‘Buried’

Buried, Ryan Reynolds 2

CHICAGO – In one of the most unusual settings for a film, actor Ryan Reynolds performs as a one-man tour de force as the only on-screen character in the new film “Buried.” Set in a coffin buried beneath the sands of Iraq, Reynolds conveys the panic, hope and inevitable outcome of a man buried alive and fighting for his very existence.

Blu-Ray Review: Horrors of Fatherhood Examined in ‘The New Daughter’

The New Daughter

CHICAGO – From “The Exorcist” to “Orphan,” the horror genre has a long history of films about a young lady becoming something truly dangerous. The latest, “The New Daughter,” comes courtesy of the man who wrote the great “[REC]” and stars Kevin Costner and Ivana Baquero (“Pan’s Labryinth”). Sadly, after a strong set-up and with gorgeous cinematography throughout, “The New Daughter” flounders in cliches and ends up too dull to be terrifying.

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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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