November 1, 2012 |
*** (out of four) When engaged couple Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) backpack in the Georgian mountains with nothing but each other and their guide Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze), what could possibly happen? A) If Bernal's work in “Y Tu Mama Tambien” is any indication, they'll all get it on. B) Dato will fall off a cliff, leaving Alex and Nica on their own. C) Dato will attempt to hunt his clients for sport. D) An encounter with deadly animals, for which they are unprepared due to a lack of Liam Neeson.
December 7, 2011 |
I'm no rabid Cubs fan by any means, but when I heard Theo Epstein was moving into a $3.25 million mansion in Lakeview and becoming my neighbor, I was pretty pumped. And by neighbor, I mean I can see the back porches of this beast from my apartment. So I can only imagine Theo and I are going to get close. Really close. I've already got Rosie around the corner and Dempster down the street, but they're not quite within borrow-a-cup-of-sugar distance. And with a kitchen that size, I'm sure Theo's got plenty to spare.
January 12, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) Much of “The Iron Lady” features post-retirement, ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) doddering around the house, imagining that her deceased husband (Jim Broadbent) is still hanging around with her. Meanwhile, the movie covers Thatcher's relationship with Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandela and the fall of the Berlin Wall in a montage. Weird. “The Iron Lady” could have been a complete portrait of how one ambitious, unwavering grocer's daughter became the first female prime minister in England and what she did in the role.
January 12, 2012 |
*1/2 (out of four) Breaking news: When you get married, you will inevitably deal with your spouse's family and exes in some capacity! This is the major insight of writer-director Edward Burns' inane “Newlyweds,” which has nothing in common with “Bridesmaids” but shares a lot with many other sources. Burns (“The Brothers McMullen”) bites conflict from a “Seinfeld” episode, a line from “Chasing Amy” and needlessly has characters address the camera ala “The Office” to comment on what just happened.
January 31, 2012 |
Somewhere, Ryan Seacrest is giggling to himself. Eonline.com confirmed Tuesday that judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones are out at "The X Factor," leaving Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid as the only survivors. Despite the fact that Simon told The Hollywood Reporter that "an audience of less than 20 million viewers would be a flat-out 'disappointment,'" the show earned an average of only 12.5 million viewers -- a far cry from "Idol's" 29.3 million. Here's how it went down -- before and after.
April 12, 2012 |
*** (out of four) In the recent pro-life drama “October Baby,” the abortion debate poses no debate at all. The planet's most divisive issue contains one perspective, and the movie isn't a movie so much as a “Shame on you” wag of the finger to anyone who feels differently. Fortunately, the religious examination in “Blue Like Jazz” mostly exists as a discussion, not a sermon. The film explores a conflicted belief system through the epitome of a person seeking self-discovery and extended conversation: a college student.
May 3, 2012 |
** (out of four) Shame on 2-star movies for the indifference they cause. For the mild successes that quickly fade and for the flaws that could have been avoided with a simple change of procedure. For the fact that bad movies stir up some impassioned reaction. All a 2-star movie inspires is, “Eh.” That's the long way of saying that “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” a dramedy about a group of elderly British folks who retire to a not especially luxurious senior spot in India, unfolds with all of the expected highlights from its great cast and lowlights from its obvious-yet-contrived story.
June 7, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) When a young prostitute tells Anne (Juliette Binoche) that men appreciate the opportunity to fulfill fantasies they can't realize with their wives, I imagined syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage appearing on screen and asking, “Well, why do you think men feel unable to indulge kinks with their spouses?” Unfortunately, Anne, a journalist writing a story for Elle about students earning money through the world's oldest profession, follows only a predictable line of questioning.
June 18, 2012 |
EAT Order up Pecking Order, 4416 N. Clark St. 773-907-9900 The new Filipino-style "chicken every which way" restaurant by local chef Kristine Subido and her mom, Melinda, features hormone- and antibiotic-free grilled, fried or roasted birds pre-marinated in cane sugar, tamari, garlic and vinegar ($10.95 half; $17.95 whole). They are served with one or two sides, respectively, including grilled sweet corn with lime mayo and fresh cheese or green beans with tomato-ginger sofrito.
August 29, 2012 |
Beer gimmicks are nothing new: vortex bottles, color-changing labels, easy-flow cans. Recently Escondido, Calif.-based Stone Brewing--known for their Arrogant Bastard ale--launched a beer guaranteed to not stay on fridge shelves too long. Their "Stone Enjoy By 09.21.12 IPA" was released Aug. 17 in Chicago, New Jersey and Southern California and if the name didn't already explain it, it's best enjoyed before the end of September. Bars and retailers will no longer serve the double IPA after Sept.