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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

  • 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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