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Film Review: Kumail Nanjiani is the Only Reason to See ‘Stuber’

Stuber

CHICAGO – Kumail Nanjiani is reaching the next level of stardom. Recently, he was the best thing in the rebooted “MIB: International” (as a cartoon sprite), and now he is the only reason to indulge in “Stuber.” Kumail portrays a nervy UBER driver named Stu (get it?), and upholds everything about the buddy movie that is enjoyable. The rest of it, including his buddy Dave Bautista, land with a dull thud.

Podtalk: Actor Elizabeth Laidlaw on ‘The Red Line’ and Beyond

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.

FLASHBACK Podtalk: Co-Creators, Actor of CBS-TV’s ‘The Red Line,’ Debuting April 28, 2019

View From Tall, The

CHICAGO – Chicago is again in the spotlight, due to the efforts of Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss, the creators of “The Red Line,” the based-in-the-Windy-City CBS TV series that debuts Sunday, April 28th, 2019. They even cast a veteran Chicago actor for the ensemble, Michael Patrick Thornton.

Interview: Chicago’s Asian Pop-up Cinema Features ‘High Flash’ on Mar. 28, 2019

High Flash

CHICAGO – It’s week three in Season Eight of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC), featuring films from Taiwan. On Thursday, March 28th, 2019, APUC will screen “High Flash,” a whodunnit thriller mixing romance, corporate intrigue, the environment and politics.

Flashback Podtalk, Photo: Jussie Smollett on The Red Carpet in 2017

CHICAGO – Before everything else happened, Jussie Smollett was an actor from the TV series “Empire” and portrayed Langston Hughes in the film “Marshall” … featuring Chadwick Boseman of “Black Panther” as young Thurgood Marshall. Smollett walked the Red Carpet for the film in 2017, at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.

Film Review: De-Glamorizing Nicole Kidman Can’t Save ‘Destroyer’

Destroyer

CHICAGO – If you are in a particular frame of mind you can kinda see why someone thought “Destroyer” would be a good idea. It’s got an Academy Award winner, doing a physical transformation, and has a hard-boiled detective story. All of these elements in the right hands could have added up to awards show adulation.

Slideshow, Audio: Red Carpet for ‘The Hate U Give’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival

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Amandla Stenberg portrays Starr Carter in ‘The Hate U Give’

CHICAGO – With a film that is seemingly ripped from the headlines, “The Hate U Give,” made its Red Carpet debut at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival on Thursday, October 11th, 2018. The lead actor in the film, newcomer Amandla Stenberg, along with veteran director George Tillman Jr. (“Soul Food”) and producer Robert Teitel, walked the carpet.

Film Review: The Tumbling Delicacy of Life in ‘Blindspotting’

Blindspotting

CHICAGO – How can we understand the day-to-day factors of men and women who continued to be judged by their skin color, economic circumstances, difficult jobs or gender fluidity, if we are not any of those categories? Our art can help us, as given a great example in the new film “Blindspotting.”

Podtalk: Co-Stars Daveed Diggs & Rafael Casal of ‘Blindspotting’

CHICAGO – If there are themes emerging in the 2018 film year, a couple of them are incorporated in Oakland, California, and African American identity. Like the recent “Black Panther” and “Sorry to Bother You,” the new film “Blindspotting” – written by and featuring Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal – involve those themes.

Interview, Audio: Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis of ‘Whose Streets?’

CHICAGO – The historic 2014 street killing by law enforcement of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. – and the subsequent deflection by the police – continues to resonate. “Whose Streets?” is a new documentary about the incident and aftermath, and it marks the debut of co-directors Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis.

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