Playing Catch Up: Latest Reviews

I set myself a goal at the beginning of 2019 to write a film review every week, and after nearly half a year I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to do that for all but one week. Go me! Some weeks, I’ve even managed to post two reviews rather than just one, over-achiever that I am.

Only problem is that rather than getting all that coverage posted here, I’m putting it all up over at Third Coast Review, the Chicago-centric culture website I’ve been working with for a couple of years now. Which is great, given that it’s an outlet with a significantly larger following that this ol’ thing. My writing there has opened all kinds of doors for me, including media accreditation at various festivals and events.

And as of this week, it afforded me official critic certification with Rotten Tomatoes! I love writing about movies, and that’s always been worth it to me; even if no one’s reading it, I enjoy the chance to hash out my own thoughts on what I see. None of that really changes with this latest development, I suppose, except that now I get to include my takes in a broader conversation about any given release. Which is pretty dang cool!

Here’s what I’ve been posting about recently at Third Coast Review:

Her Smell — If you only know Elisabeth Moss from her “Mad Men” days, you’re really missing out. From her starring role in “The Handmaid’s Tale” to this impressive turn as a rockstar on 11, she’s taking on interesting roles and knocking them out of the park. Read my full review here.

A Chorus Line at Porchlight Music Theater — A classic in its day (apparently unseated only by Cats‘ epic run), I was stoked to see a production I’d never seen before, and certainly Porchlight’s production delivers. But it’s not a show that resonates with me overall, and I’ve certainly seen better at this local musical theater company. Read my full review here.

Hesburgh — Somewhere, someone obviously thought this tribute to Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, a priest and the long-serving president of University of Notre Dame, was a good idea. And certainly he seemed like quite the public servant. It’s just that something about the “here’s how white men did it back in the day” take feels a bit stale… Read my full review here.

Hail Satan? — I saw this one for its Chicago premiere at Doc10 (one of my favorite film weekends of the year!), and wrote up a full review when it hit theaters shortly thereafter. It’s a wonderfully insightful look at members of The Satanic Temple, an organization much less about religion than it is about civic engagement and action. Read my full review here.

Ask Dr. Ruth — On the heels of another captivating doc about an inspiring octogenarian (the must-see RBG), Ryan White’s profile of the feisty, no-nonsense sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer offers a glimpse into her childhood (escaping the Nazi regime) and personal life (interviews with her grown children) alongside all the fame she found in the ’80s and ’90s talking about all the stuff no one else would. Read my full review here.

West Side Story at Lyric Opera of Chicago — In and around covering films and film festivals, I love getting to check out local theater, too. Chicago has such a vibrant theater scene, it’s an absolute treat getting to see so much of it each month. Lyric’s latest Broadway production is one of their best yet. Read my full review here.