Writing about “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” on its opening week is like walking into a minefield. How much of the plot can you give away in your review without provoking the ire of the countless fans who have yet to see it and still be able to offer a reasonable evaluation of […]

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Up until now, Adam McKay’s movies were not exactly my cup of tea. I have not seen “Anchorman” or its sequel nor “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” or “The Other Guys,” although I do love “Casa de mi Padre,” a film he produced. That may change after having seen “The Big Short,” his […]

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“I really pay attention to opening credit sequences, I think it is the way to get the audience’s mind attuned to what’s going to follow for the next two hours or so,” Spike Lee told film critic Sam Fragoso in an interview published in “The Atlantic” last February during the release of his Kickstarter-funded horror […]

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“There is an imaginary line out there between right and wrong, good and evil. I believe what I am doing is good and what I am standing against is evil,” claims Tim Foley, leader of paramilitary group Arizona Border Recon in Matthew Heineman’s troubling documentary “Cartel Land.” His words echo throughout director Denis Villeneuve’s and […]

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Tell me if you’ve read, heard or seen this story before: a privileged member of society (preferably white) is facing a personal crisis when he or she meets a noble member of a minority group whose wisdom will offer a way out of this person’s predicament, maybe eve a path to redemption. Their worlds briefly […]

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The best books, the best movies, the best music, in fact, the best works of art offer an uncompromising view of the world its creators live in. “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” Marielle Heller’s pull-no-punches adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s semi-autobiographical hybrid novel of the same name, is such a work. Unlike other teen-driven dramas, […]

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Michael Heineman originally intended to focus his new documentary on one of the many vigilante and militia groups that have taken it upon themselves to patrol the border between the United States and Mexico in an attempt to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants and drugs. His protagonist would be Tim “Nailer” Foley, founder of […]

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Pity the much hyped-about and twitted-about festival film. Whether it premieres at Sundance, Berlin, Cannes or Toronto, the film, once it opens commercially, has to meet the huge expectations placed upon it by the twittersphere, early reviews and word of mouth. Winning the Audience and Grand Jury Awards at Sundance and being the subject of […]

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Former Sony film chief Amy Pascal was right, after all, in her evaluation of Cameron Crowe’s now-titled “Aloha.” Although I wouldn’t go as far as calling it “ridiculous” like she did in one of the emails released after Sony’s email servers were hacked, I would agree with her assessment that “it never not ever once […]

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A 50+ year-old former/current mercenary/military operative/super spy is contemplating retirement or has retired when his past (it’s always a “he”) suddenly catches up to him and he is forced to holster up once again and kick some ass. That, in a nutshell, describes the plot of “Taken” and its sequels, “Red” and its sequel, “The […]

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, July 22 Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival Marquette Touist Park, Marquette MI,
Thursday, July 27 SummerDance at Humboldt with DJ Agúzate Humboldt Park, Chicago
Saturday, July 29 BANTU FEST Midway Plaisance, Chicago, IL 60637, United States,
Saturday, July 29 Peruvian Festival Chicago Kosciuszko Park, Chicago, Chicago
Saturday, July 29 Pilsen raise up – Big community march Plaza Tenochtitlan, Chicago
Saturday, July 29 Salsa: Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros and Arthur Murray Dance Spirit Of Music Garden, Grant Park, Chicago
Monday, July 31 Juan Díes: Beyond the Music Mather’s—More Than a Café, Chicago
Tuesday, August 1 Bend it Like Beckham Millennium Park, Chicago
Thursday, August 3 2017 Lollapalooza Lollapalooza, Chicago
Saturday, August 5 Quetzal Art Fest 2017! Sga Youth Family Services, Chicago
Saturday, August 5 50 Years of Verde Luz: Chicago Tribute to El Topo Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Chicago
Sunday, August 6 Slow & Low: Community Lowrider Festival 600 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616-1820, United States,
Friday, August 11 Beyond the Music: A Musical Geography of Mexico Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan
Friday, August 11 Festival Cubano 2017 6100 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60639-2705, United States,
Friday, August 11 Santana at Ravinia Festival Ravinia Festival, Highland Park
Saturday, August 12 My House Music Festival 2017 18Th St. & Blue Island Ave., Chicago
Monday, August 14 Broadway In Chicago Free Summer Concert Millennium Park, Chicago
Friday, August 18 Kizomba & Bachata: DJ Just Jacob and Latin Street Dancing Spirit Of Music Garden, Grant Park, Chicago
Saturday, August 19 Cumbia: Sonorama DJ Collective and Latin Rhythms Spirit Of Music Garden, Grant Park, Chicago
Thursday, August 24 Salsa & Cha-Cha: Angel d’Cuba and Latin Street Dance Willye B. White Park, 1610 Howard St.,
Saturday, September 2 LUCHA LIBRE in the Park / Lucha Libre en el parque Unity Park in Logan Square, Chicago