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Shawnee Smith

Film Review: Billy Bob Thornton’s ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’ Stalls Out

CHICAGO – There was a time when it looked like not only would Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton be one of our great actors but possibly a threat behind the camera as well. Everyone knows the impression of his character from “Sling Blade” but many forget that he directed it as well. He followed that up with the flawed but ambitious and interesting “All the Pretty Horses.”

TV Review: Charlie Sheen Wastes Your Time on ‘Anger Management’

CHICAGO – Charlie Sheen opens his new sitcom “Anger Management,” debuting tomorrow night on FX in a new comedy block with “Wilfred,” “Louie,” and “Brand X,” by yelling right to the camera.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Saw VI’ Improves the Franchise, But Still Weak

Saw VI

CHICAGO – “Saw VI” opens with two people in a race to cut off as much flesh as possible before time runs out. It’s gross. It’s nauseating. It’s exactly what fans of this franchise have been looking for and what its critics have derided. The twist is that these victims are a part of the current financial crisis, making their torture something audiences, many of which have been impacted through loss of income, would more likely cathartically enjoy.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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