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Film Review: Incredible Personal Tour in ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’

Antarctica: A Year on Ice, 2014

CHICAGO – Along with your local library’s DVD section and equality, Antarctica remains one of the general world’s greatest oversights, even though it’s the size of a continent (because it is one). Around this time of year, the North Pole gets a huge shoutout for its mass production of brand items, but it’s the South Pole that forever remains in the shadow of everything else in the world, only mentioned in films like Werner Herzog’s 2007 documentary “Encounters at the End of the World,” or that 2009 Kate Beckinsale snow thriller “Whiteout.”

Film Review: ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ is Definitely No Turkey

CHICAGO – The only thing rarer than a spinoff that soars over its inspiration is a DreamWorks Animation production without “Dragon” in the title, and one that’s actually worth watching. Improbably, “Penguins Of Madagascar” is both.

Film Review: Roger Ebert’s Treasure of a Journey in ‘Life Itself’

CHICAGO – We will never see the likes of his kind again – the influential arbiter of cinematic taste, whose magic thumb could make or break the dreams of both filmmaker and film fan. The journey of Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of our times, is told in the new documentary, “Life Itself.”

Interview: Chaz Ebert, Director Steve James on ‘Life Itself’

CHICAGO – The iconic film critic and renaissance man, Roger Ebert, deservedly gets a full documentary film treatment of his 2011 memoir, “Life Itself,” and who better to create it than the Chicago-based director of “Hoop Dreams,” Steve James. And who better to produce and guide it than Roger’s soulmate, his wife Chaz Ebert.

Film Review: Wondrous Last Act for Hayao Miyazaki in ‘The Wind Rises’

The Wind Rises

CHICAGO – The master animator and film legend Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”) announced his retirement after his latest film, “The Wind Rises.” He is often called “Japan’s Walt Disney,” but there is more to him then that, a soul and a mystery that is revealed in the stages of his animated art, and his contribution to artistic culture will continue to influence for generations to come. “The Wind Rises” is nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2014 Academy Awards.

Film News: Magnolia Pictures Acquires Roger Ebert Biography Film ‘Life Itself’

Life Itself, Roger Ebert

CHICAGO – The buzz at Sundance was for a documentary about the life of a film critic – but that film critic happens to be Roger Ebert, and the film is an adaptation of his memoir, “Life Itself.” Magnolia Pictures announced yesterday that they have acquired U.S. theatrical, Video-On-Demand and home entertainment rights to the film, and are planning on a summer release.

Interview: Director Joshua Oppenheimer Dissects ‘The Act of Killing’

CHICAGO – Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” is now playing in most major markets, currently running at the Music Box Theatre here in Chicago. The film is one of the most devastating experiences you’ll have in a theater this year and it’s a must-see.

Film Review: Riveting ‘The Act of Killing’ Demands to Be Seen

CHICAGO – We like to think that mass murderers are pure monsters. They don’t have kids. They don’t walk around free. They couldn’t possibly have a moment of joy after causing so much pain. This is, of course, nothing more than a comforting fallacy.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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