November 4, 2011 |
Rapper-turned-movie-actor Common wasn't looking for a TV role, but something about Elam Ferguson drew him to AMC's new Western "Hell on Wheels. " "I hadn't seen any material written this great for a black character, especially of this time period, and I was so attracted to the role because I felt like, man, this is some depth. There's depth in this human being," the Chicago native said during a phone interview last week. "They wrote Elam Ferguson as a person who was a slave that had been oppressed but [was]
December 17, 2012 |
Reviews of the new Stephen Spielberg-Daniel Day Lewis supermovie “Lincoln” have been mixed, ranging from “best movie of the year” to “I fell asleep while Sally Field was doing her impersonation of Sally Field playing Mary Todd Lincoln in a high school production of 'Lincoln.'” Admittedly, the film was riddled with Spielbergian schmaltz and lesser actors were getting blown off the screen by the heavy hitters of Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee...
February 20, 2013 |
The Super Bowl, the Grammys, Valentine's Day, the Oscars. Yep, February is a busy month, but for me it's most notable as Black History Month. With only a week left, this seems to be the perfect time to reflect on some highlights - or lowlights? - from 2013. Here are three stories that caught my eye. Chicken and waffles became chips Yes, it's true: You can now eat the famous dish as a Lay's potato chip - at least for now. The Do Us a Flavor contest pits the soul food staple against Siracha and Cheesy Garlic Bread flavors in a battle to determine which flavor will remain on store...
November 8, 2012 |
From the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop on the Near North Side to the Lincoln Restaurant featuring Abe's mug on the sign in North Center, you can't hang out in Chicago and escape seeing our 16th president. Hey, the phrase "Land of Lincoln" is stamped on our license plates, for Pete's sake. Though Lincoln obviously made his name in the state capital, Springfield, Chicago gets plenty of Lincoln love, too. Honest Abe actually visited Chicago plenty of times. In fact, after he was assassinated, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln moved to Chicago with two of her...
December 21, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) I couldn't listen to writer-director Quentin Tarantino talk for an especially long time, but the guy's got a remarkable knack for dialogue. His characters, and the highly cinematic scenes he creates for them, command the screen. He's always a talent, no matter the product. That's a nice way of saying Tarantino's latest exploitation flick, “Django Unchained,” like Wes Anderson's “The Life Aquatic,” does more of what the filmmaker does well while suggesting he can probably cool it with his preferred style...
November 8, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) It's pretty incredible that Steven Spielberg got the real Abraham Lincoln to play himself in “Lincoln,” a recounting of the first few months of 1865 as the president worked to pass the 13th Amendment and end the Civil War. What? That's not the real Lincoln? Hell if Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't pass for Honest Abe to a degree that's downright astonishing. With a beard, makeup and the right clothes, the lanky Day-Lewis already kind of looks like America's 16th president.