Sarah Bolger

Film Review: Olivia Wilde Resurrects Horror in ‘The Lazarus Effect’

CHICAGO – Psychological horror films are the best tweaks, because they remind us of our fears, and where are fears are rooted. The strange combination of science, religion and a blockbuster performance by Olivia Wilde creates an atmosphere of dread and weirdness in “The Lazarus Effect.”

Film Review: Studio Ghibli Gives Fans Sweet ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’

CHICAGO – The torch is being passed at Studio Ghibli from the great Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away”) to his son Goro, who directs this week’s tender “From Up on Poppy Hill,” certainly not one of the best in the Ghibli canon but a well-made, enjoyable melodrama nonetheless. A full awareness that it’s kind of a cheap melodrama (one of the characters even says so) doesn’t change the fact that it is but the young Miyazaki’s visual palette is notably beautiful and the voice work is strong throughout.

Blu-ray Review: Startlingly Amateurish ‘The Moth Diaries’ Fails to Frighten

The Moth Diaries Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Sarah Bolger is a truly lovely actress. She delivered one of the best child performances of all time in Jim Sheridan’s 2002 family drama, “In America,” and over the last decade, has blossomed into a real screen beauty. Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before the actress starts getting offered projects more worthy of her abilities. No one this lovely should be sentenced to a film as dreary as “The Moth Diaries.”

Film Review: Inert, Ineffective ‘The Moth Diaries’ with Lily Cole

CHICAGO – Mary Harron’s “The Moth Diaries” is a perfect teaching tool for potential filmmakers. It is proof of two oft-forgotten rules of cinema: 1. Not every successful piece of work in one medium should be adapted to another (or not all good books make good films). 2. Even talented directors can be the wrong fit for the material.

TV Review: 16th-Century Soap Opera Wears Thin on ‘The Tudors’

The Tudors

CHICAGO – Not exactly for history buffs, Showtime’s “The Tudors” has always been more about bodice-ripping and political intrigue than about straightforward historical facts. Still, in its first three seasons, with a combination of multi-dimensional characters and inspired casting choices, the “Desperate Housewives” of sixteenth-century England was a guilty pleasure not to be missed.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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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