Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

Oh my, how times (and The Times) have changed. Or maybe they haven’t. I wish Amy Spindler were still alive to sort through all of this for me.

It’s been 46 years since 1962 when Carole King wrote “He hit me and it felt like a kiss,” and 2008 when Leona Lewis sang the megahit “You cut me and I keep bleeding love.” Somewhere during that time there was a women’s movement(?).

photo by Steve Fenn/ABCIt’s been been 46 years between Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1962 televised tour of the White House and Michelle Obama’s tour de force guest host appearance yesterday in a White House Black Market dress (retail value $150) on ABC’s The View.”

Yesterday, Michelle Obama definitively made it clear to her critics– with humor, warmth and (dare I say it) that dress– that they better move on to an easier target.

If you listen to the conventional view, Ms. Obama has an image problem. Yesterday’s New York Times ran the front page story “After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction.”

She more than found that introduction on “The View,” where she was able to make good on her remark at the end of the article: “You know, if someone sat in a room with me for five minutes after hearing these rumors, they’d go ‘huh?’ They’d realize it doesn’t make sense.”

I won’t rehash the unfounded criticisms leveled against her–read for yourself, from any source you’d like–but I will put them in context for you.

I told USA Today last fall that “this is an election, maybe the first one since Kennedy-Nixon, where appearance really does matter. Because we have credible female, black, Hispanic candidates, style and substance may actually be competitive, or even equally important to the public.”

Comparisons to Jack and Jackie abound for Barak and Michelle. He gets compared to JFK for his political style and she to Jackie for her sense of style.

Last week, The Times ran the article “She dresses to Win” by Guy Trebay in its Style section. Mr. Trebay points out correctly that on the night her husband clinched the Democratic nomination “what grabbed the eye was the sleeveless purple silk crepe sheath made for Mrs. Obama by Maria Pinto.” She did indeed look stunning in that dress.

“But it was particularly the color Michelle Obama chose Tuesday night that seemed symbolically rich, even if its message may have been so subtle as to be subliminal.” The article makes the arguably misguided attempt to point out that that, despite the dress’ $900 price tag, purple might have been the color of choice because it is the color achieved by mixing blue and red (states, get it?).

I say arguably misguided because even I instantly thought that the populist, budget conscious, black and white sleeveless number she wore on “The View” was worn with such drop-dead-gorgeous-sans-culottes insouciance and was, therefore, so deliciously subversively ironic that it couldn’t have been accidental. Could it?

What I do know is that, while a woman of such accomplishment as Michelle Obama can be lauded for understanding the power of dressing, she cannot simplistically be reduced to the choices of her outfits. Yes, we all want to be considered people of substance and style. But, take it from someone who gets paid to make this call, it is a dangerous mistake to think that style is ever a lasting substitute for substance. Yes, it’s an advantage if you know how to use it to your benefit but that advantage has its limits.

I do wish the dimwits who were responsible for the film version of “Sex and the City” understood this. As Manohlia Dargis put it in her deservedly scathing review of the movie, “It isn’t that Carrie has grown older or overly familiar. It’s that awash in materialism and narcissism, a cloth flower pinned to her dress where cool chicks wear their Obama buttons, this It Girl has become totally Ick.”

And speaking of it, I’ve never been able to resist the opportunity to tell the following story because it is, well, irresistable. And suddenly pithy.

Three years ago, at a party given by Barney’s to benefit the Comer Children’s Hospital, Michelle Obama and the designer Narciso Rodriguez were the guests of honor. At that party I introduced her to Mr. Rodriguez as “the wife of Senator Obama.” She graciously corrected me by addressing Mr. Rodriguez: “Hello. I’m Michelle. I also work for the Children’s Hospital. Actually, I wear many hats.”

Thinking he’d get the joke I was about to make, I turned to Mr. Rodriquez and said “Do you make hats?” Perplexed, he looked at me and then at Michelle and said “No, but I can make you some really beautiful suits.” (I still wonder if he ever got the joke.)

The problem her critics have with Michelle Obama is that she is a woman of both style and substance. She is the coolest chick in the country wearing an Obama button.

In 2008, why is that such a bee in our collective bonnet when it should be a feather in her cap?


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Jon Ibrahim, NBC5 Street Team

With the Sex and the City Juggernaut sweeping the nation I’ve noticed a lot of media writers and columnist, mostly men, defending the male position that they shouldn’t be pressured by their wives / girlfriends to go see the movie with them. At the same time they blast these same women for being dismayed if their man doesn’t want to go. I have a problem with that.

Guys, take it from me, there is nothing wrong with liking SATC. In fact, men can learn endless volumes about women from SATC. You see, Hollywood is dominated by male writers. SATC is different in that the majority of the writers for that show are female. Writers always inject a little of themselves in what they write so we’d be foolish to believe that these female writers didn’t write a little truth about what women really want, need, and experience in the four female characters. It’s the epidome of life imitating art.

The bottom line is don’t be insecure. Seeing a chick flick doesn’t mean you’re not a man. Be mature and grow a pair. There’s no downside to attending with your girl. She’ll be happy you cared enough to go with her and if you have half a brain you might even learn something.

The great sex talk doesn’t end with the blog!  Every week myself and Dr. Paul Dobransky, my psychiatrist partner-in-crime, record our street smart-yet-clinical podcast “The Fireman and the Shrink”.  Check out our thoughts on the SATC here:

Full Audio Version:

Video Teaser:

And don’t forget to check out my blog, “Sex 911: Confessions of a Serial Dater,” at www.nbc5.com/bettersex.


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Cara CarriveauCara “Cara’s Basement” Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

I could have gone to the preview of Sex In The City a few nights ago but my Mommy duties came first. Today, though, my son was in daycare and my daughter was in school – so off to the theatre I went for a noon showing. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to a movie by myself and I’m wondering why I don’t do it more often. I’m the type that likes to NOT talk at all (and of course don’t want to be talked to) during a film, anyway, so why do I need someone I know next to me? Besides, it’s much easier to find a good seat for one.

There were actually several solo women at this showing – likely, fellow mothers with kids in school. And to my surprise a few solo men were in the audience. I was surprised to see any men at all.Sex In The City

Like so many other women, I spent many Sunday nights throwing SATC get-togethers (lots of wine!) w/girlfriends. Actually it was usually with one (ex) girlfriend in particular who I used to hang out with – she always reminded me of Samantha (and I of course was more than a bit like Carrie). So most of the time during the SATC movie I kept thinking about my (ex) girlfiend and wondered if her life had turned out like Samantha’s had – I won’t spoil the movie for you, but let’s just say that I was a bit surprised by Samantha’s story line. But it did make logical sense and even seemed likely to have happened to my (ex) girlfriend.

I remember always thinking that 30 minutes was never enough when SATC was on HBO. And this movie still didn’t seem long enough even though it’s a whopping 2.5 hours — just goes to show if you love SATC you won’t feel it’s a long movie. It was just enough for closure on some things and just enough to satisfy the long wait for the movie to arrive. Frankly, they could bring back the series to TV and I’d be ecstatic. As far as I’m concerned SATC was absolutely one of the greatest shows of all time. And not all great TV shows would make a great movie – I loved Friends and Seinfeld, but have no desire to see them on the big screen. SATC is a different animal. So funny and so true. I saw so much of me in each of the ladies’ storylines in this movie. I laughed, I cried. And when it was over I went shopping. Yep, the perfect girly day even if I was by myself!

Type my name in the search bar or click HERE to see/hear more of my posts including interviews with Alanis Morissette, The Bravery, Lovehammers, Triumph’s Rik Emmett, Matthew Santos, Shooting Star, Mike Tafoya comedian Lee Camp & more.

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who got turned away at the ”Sex and the City” premiere this week. The poor AMC employees this Tuesday looked like they wished they were wearing riot gear as they made a grim series of announcements to the mob of women: “At a certain point, the theatre will be filled! Not everyone will get in!”…”The line will be stopping soon! The theatre is almost filled!”…”Ok, the theatre is filled! Write your email on the back of your ticket!”… and my favorite, the plaintive, “It’s not AMC! It’s not AMC! We had NO control over issuing the tickets!”

At least the waiting in line was good for people-watching. I was hoping for at least a few entertaining Carrie dress-up wannabes, but no such luck. I have to say that as lovely as we Chicago ladies are, I certainly didn’t feel as glamorous as any of the SATC gals in my corduroys, struggling to devour a sandwich in time to enter the theatre (an epic sandwich battle is much more “30 Rock” than “Sex in the City”, anyway). In the end, my sandwich saga was for naught…no SATC for me! Oh well. The fact that I was denied just makes the need to see it all the greater. (Much like my irrational desire to get into the new exclusive club, the Lifebook Lounge. Apparently, you can only be admitted if you register for a personal development workshop by Lifebook. These members, according to their website, are among “the mysteriously uplifted”. Huh.)

Anyway, I’d imagine some people are tired of the SATC hype already.  “Sex and the City” is a bit like segways or golfing: you either get it, and you LOVE it; or, you just find it annoying. If you’re in the latter group… yes, there are other activities for you to do this weekend besides seeing the movie repeatedly, followed by a pathetic attempt to drink cosmopolitans AND walk in high heels (hey, it’s a tricky combination!)

For instance, surely everyone loves tap dancing, right? Of course you do! Come marvel at the tappers (tapmen? tap-people?) and celebrate National Tap Day at the Old Town School on May 31st. Then grab some München at Mayfest, this summer’s German festival at Lincoln Square. Not be confused with the similarly celebrated beer-drinking, brat-toting fest following the Von Stuben parade, Mayfest is summer’s partytime for German pride. Round out your multiculturalism by checking out the Chicago Turkish Festival at Daley Plaza, which features everything from baklava to carpet weaving to something called Mevlana’s Whirling Dervishes.

For your artistic and somewhat thirsty side, visit the newly-unveiled “Wall of Cups” at Lillstreet Art Center and Gallery in Ravenswood. The 40 completely functional ceramic mugs, which are created by artists from across the nation, are all for sale. Then feed that science-y side of your brain by visiting the Networld exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibit claims to take you inside the internet (presumably, minus the porn.)

End your weekend by relaxing at River North’s Scoozi with your pooch – dine outside with your dog, and even treat her to a special puppy meal off the canine menu.  Did you know that they make a special doggy chicken risotto?? Wow. Or, if you are pet-free, just take advantage of the free hot dogs at Full Shilling Public House in Wrigleyville during Cubs home games. Apparently, though, you have to wait for the “dancing hot dog man” to come by…ominous or awesome?? You decide.

If you’ve got suggestions on what I’ve missed for this weekend, write me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com. Be sure to type “Lodewyck” into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner to see my previous blogs and to watch my segments with Nude Hippo.

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Liz Holland, NBC5 Street Team

It’s finally here. Sex and the City- all 2 hours and 20 minutes available for your viewing pleasure this Friday.

I remember when I could go from dorm room to dorm room, only to hear SATC on infinite repeat. Admittedly, I was not sold from the beginning, but you can’t deny the dynamics between the cast and the hilarity of the situations that transpire.

Whether it’s Carrie’s fashion, Samantha’s unapologetic sexcapades, proper Charlotte and her quest for love, or quirky Miranda and her trails of motherhood, we ladies can somehow relate.

Above all else, I am going to see the movie this weekend because of the CLOTHES! Ohh The FASHION! Better than Devil Wears Prada, I will gush about the amazing clothes I can only aspire to wear. The cast has already been making the rounds in high end eye candy at the London and New York premieres.

Patricia Field, SATC’s award winning stylist and fashion designer, has outfitted the movie stars with six seasons of stunning dresses, boots, stilettos, handbags, hats, coats, and accessories. After all, Elle Magazine did dub SATC,

“the biggest thing in fashion since the invention of pants”.

Not to sound cliche, but I am most excited about getting a closer look at the flamboyant veil and princess style wedding dress by Vivienne Westwood. The New York Post reports that Carrie’s custom made dress costs upwards of $18,000 and her “Extreme Gladiator Platform” shoes by Christian Dior cost $770 plus $100 for added Swarovski crystals. Delish.

Back to Chicago, grab your favorite pair of shoes and plan on drinking some stiff Cosmos at the Victor Hotel for a Premier Party and Fashion Show, this Friday at 7 pm. For $35 you can attend a reception complete with gift bags, Champagne, Martinis (of course), and bites from Fleming’s Steakhouse. Cheers ladies!

Victor Hotel

311 N. Sangamon



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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

I wish I could say that I share the breathless excitement many of my female brethren are feeling for the release of the Sex In The City movie, but I’m more than willing to wait for the DVD release — or the HBO release for that matter. In fact, I’ve purposely refrained from even talking about it, and thankfully, my lady friend hasn’t even raised a peep about wanting to go and see it.

I mean, I understand what the fuss is all about, and what SATC meant in terms of female empowerment and all that good stuff. I even enjoyed the first few seasons when the show was still under the radar, but like most programs that gain superstar status, I felt the quality suffered under the increased glare and scrutiny (Seinfeld??). Plus, it’s hard to create significant character development in a 30-minute sitcom, where the characters are typically one-dimensional at best. But don’t let me rain on the parade, not that my perspective will, ladies. Drink your Cosmos (the worst fad to come out of that show), and have fun!

Better yet, It gives the perfect opportunity to talk about sex, which I do on a weekly basis while co-hosting Dr. Berman’s Better Sex Podcast with renowkned Chicago sexpert Dr. Laura Berman. It’s a no-holds-barred look at a subject that many people are embarassed to talk about — but judging by the high numbers we receive — aren’t afraid to listen to. It’s a place where a conversation about “Mr. Big” might mean something very different than the character on SATC.

We tried something new this week, videotaping our audio podcast taping, and creating a teaser video. The idea is to make it viral so it can spread. This week we tackled viewer questions, and of course, if you have any sex and relationships questions, email bettersex@nbc5.com, or use the form on this page. Of course, you’ll remain anonymous.

For now, here’s to better sex — because you deserve it.

Click here to subsribe to Dr. Berman’s Better Sex Podcast.

Full Audio Version:

Video Teaser:

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Cara CarriveauCara “Cara’s Basement” Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

If it wasn’t for Speed Racer I may have become a dancer instead of a DJ. When I was 6 years old I quit taking ballet lessons because I was upset that they caused me to miss watching Speed Racer. And now I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld. Go figure.

I couldn’t wait for the big screen version to come out, especially after I saw the awesome movie trailer. We even have the Speed Racer DVD – my son Sam loves to watch it, so the movie preview today was a family affair and an early birthday present for him (he turns 3 next weekend). It isn’t in theaters until May 9.

We absolutely loved it! I’m pretty sure everyone in the theatre did judging by the loud applause and laughter throughout the film. The folks behind The Matrix did the fx for Speed Racer – and holy cow, this movie makes The Matrix fx seem prehistoric. Seriously. For those of us who love(d) the cartoon version, the movie version of Speed Racer takes every cartoon element to a much higher level. They managed to squeeze in every detail – from the stunningly similar physical appearances of all of the characters to the way cool races.

The race scenes, which were the bulk of the movie, were truly spectacular. I can’t wait to get the DVD just to see the extra features describing how they did the animation – it was jaw-droppingly good. You should see it on the big screen, though, because the sound and visuals will blow you away. The very first scene, when Speed Racer was a boy daydreaming in school, managed to hook me right away and then I just kept getting reeled in with each subsequent mind bending animation.

Something to keep in mind if you are a parent and want to bring your kids (it’s rated PG): there are a few naughty words beginning with the letters “a” and “s” thrown around plus a finger gesture you may not want your little ones to experience (luckily it all seemed to have gone right over my toddler’s head). And of course there are some mean character situations involving guns and flesh eating fish, but frankly no more disturbing than what’s in cartoons. And don’t bolt right when the movie ends because there’s quite an entertaining Chim-Chim montage during the ending credits.

This new Speed Racer movie is a jam-packed adrenaline-pumping explosion of entertainment – make sure you experience it on the big screen!

On a side note, a few years ago I met Peter Fernandez, the original Speed Racer cartoon voice, at the Chicago Auto Show. He told me that he voiced all the male characters and his wife voiced Trixie. He also told me that he was sent each episode with no script – only the animation, done in Japan – and he just made up the stories himself!

Type my name in the search bar or click HERE to see/hear more of my posts including interviews with The Bravery, Lovehammers, Triumph’s Rik Emmett, Shooting Star, Mike Tafoya comedian Lee Camp & more.

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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Listen up film buffs. The 24th annual Latino Film Festival kicked off today in Chicago.

The Festival features recent films from Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the United States.

If you’re tired of the standard tripe being ferried out of Hollywood these days, there’s sure to be a few movies in the mix that will stir your soul. In fact, I was forced to read subtitles in some of my favorite movies in recent years, like Talk to Her and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Be sure to check out Las Dos Caras de Jana, showing Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Landmark Century Cinema at 2828 N. Clark St.

Noted Puerto Rican actor Modesto Lacen stars in the film. Lacen dropped by the podcast studio this week to talk about his film, and the struggles of an Hispanic actor to try and break into the American mainstream. Check out our interview here:

The Latino Film Festival runs April 4 – 16th at various locations around the city. Log on to www.latinoculturalcenter.org for more information.

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