Tate Donovan

Film Review: ‘The Upside’ Works Because of Kevin Hart & Bryan Cranston

Upside, The

CHICAGO – In 2011, there was a notable French film called “The Intouchables,” based on the true story of quadriplegic Phillippe Pozzo di Borgo and the relationship with his caregiver. Leave it to the U.S. film industry to get its sticky fingers on the story, and seven years later Bryan Cranston portrays “Phillip” and his caretaker is portrayed by Kevin Hart. Instead of story, this version relies on its lead actors.

Film Review: ‘Elvis & Nixon’ is a True Story That’s Fit for a King

CHICAGO – “When two great saints meet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Paul McCartney of John and Yoko. Well that also applies to “Elvis & Nixon.” Their meeting, albeit brief, has layers of meaning for our times – and their time – and the movie with the “E&N” title exposes that meaning with humor and grace.

TV Review: Great Cast, Clever Concept Carry ‘Hostages’

CHICAGOCBS’s “Hostages” is the first interesting new drama of 2013 (well, tied with NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which airs at the same time tonight, Monday, September 23, 2013). It’s not an instant hit creatively but there’s a lot to like here, particularly in its great cast and clever concept, one that engages the viewer enough with the promise of excitement for all fifteen weeks of this shortened season.

Blu-ray Review: 2013 Best Picture Winner ‘Argo’ Given Educational Edition

Argo

CHICAGO – Ben Affleck’s stellar “Argo” won three Oscars last night, including Best Picture of 2012, and Warner Bros. very purposefully timed the Blu-ray and DVD release to capitalize on the film’s wave of success. But they didn’t cut corners to do so. This is one of the best Blu-ray releases in some time, with a stellar collection of special features that don’t just enlighten viewers on the art of filmmaking but offer detailed histories of the true story that just won the Best Picture Academy Award.

TV Review: NBC Continues to Frustrate with Generic ‘Deception’

CHICAGO – The brain trust of programmers at NBC continues to make baffling decisions, producing yet another soap-covered drama that feels like it could have been created by a computer trying to replicate the success of other networks.

Film Review: Ben Affleck Reaches Career Peak with Masterful ‘Argo’

CHICAGO – Ben Affleck has reached the apex of his already impressive directorial career with the stunning “Argo,” a tight, tense machine of a film, a masterwork that delivers as comedy, action, drama, and more. Critics see movies all the time that we understand may produce a divided response. We get that many acclaimed films won’t make a dent with the populous.

TV Review: Rose Byrne, Glenn Close Return in ‘Damages’

CHICAGO – The second season of ‘Damages,’ recently released on DVD, was still quality television but felt like a bit of a letdown after the spectacular first season of this amazing show. Naturally, expectations are high for the premiere of season three.

FX’s ‘Damages’ Adds New Cast Members For Third Season

Damages

CHICAGOFX’s award-winning legal thriller “Damages” is adding four new actors, Campbell Scott (“Royal Pains”), Martin Short (“Primetime Glick”), Lily Tomlin (“Desperate Housewives”) and Keith Carradine (“Dexter”), to the cast for the upcoming season which premiers in January. Production on the series 13-episode season begins in New York tomorrow.

‘Damages’ Returns With Intense, Riveting Start to Season Two

CHICAGO – The complex, twisted world of FX’s excellent “Damages” returns this week with a spectacular set-up for what promises to be another riveting season of twists and turns down the alleys of legal ethics and questionable moral behavior with an even more impressive ensemble than the one that won Emmys for its highly lauded first season.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

  • 2019 Physical Theater Festival

    CHICAGO – The visual artistry of the stage is often due to the picture that is created through the physicality and movement of the actors. This is brought to light in the 6th annual Physical Theater Festival in Chicago, a cornucopia of international imagination generating theater through the physical realm. Co-founders/Artistic Directors Alice Da Cunha and Marc Frost created the fest, which runs from May 31st through June 9th, 2019, Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District. All the Festival information – including tickets – can be found by clicking here.

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