Heights native exhibits artworks at Moraine Valley ‘Vestiges’ show

  • Written by Kari Nelson

JS pic 1In the print “This Could Really Happen,” Justin Santora explores the conflict between nature and manmade structures, a theme that is common to his work. Submitted photo.

Artwork by Palos Heights native Justin Santora will be on JS pic 2Justin Santora is well known for his prints promoting musical acts, from well-known rockers like Phish (right) to local bands struggling to make a name for themselves. Submitted photo.display from Monday, Feb. 10, through Saturday, March 8, at the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills.
The “Vestiges” exhibit will include about two dozen prints, according to Santora, a 2002 graduate of Stagg High School who later graduated Northeastern Illinois University.
A reception for the exhibit is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. Santora will speak at 3 p.m.
Santora’s work “represents a universal struggle: the want to stay young, avoiding the conventions of adulthood with the desire for control over one’s life. It seems in our world these two ideas are often at odds with one another. His work uses themes of construction and disassembly to relate to his pursuit for security and his desire for autonomy.”

‘Terminator Genisys’ is abysmal, yet enjoyable

  • Written by Tony Pinto

“I’ll be back” is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most memorable line from a movie, and back he is, in “Terminator Genisys.”

Movie-Still-copyPhoto by Melinda Sue Gordon – © 2015 Paramount Pictures. Still of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke in Terminator Genisys (2015).

Pinto-Tony Popcorn-PicksThe Terminator reprises his role in this enjoyable sequel/reboot/remake. They brought the franchise back with hopes of making a new series of films starring Schwarzenegger.

The only real reason to watch is Arnold. The previous film in the franchise, “Terminator Salvation,” didn’t include Arnold (he was too busy being the govern-ator of California), and it was horrible.

This film’s not much better, but it’s enjoyable. This film markets the return of Arnold and for good reason: without him, no one would be interested in this film. When the film falters, which it often does, Arnold is around to elevate it to an enjoyable level.

Arnold’s role could be seen as a joke to some. It’s full of one-liners that don’t really work well. He spouts his same old lines that you come to expect. At least his character doesn’t disappear for long periods like the previews suggest.

Do not to watch the trailer if you plan on seeing the film. If you do, you’ll know the major plot twists that occur.

In “Terminator Genisys,” we get an alternate timeline of what happened in the original “Terminator.” If you haven’t seen the previous four movies of the franchise, that’s alright, because this film has a long opening voiceover that explains those movies. It’s far too long, but it does help explain what happened in the past. Maybe if they do make another film they can speed up that part.

The leader of the survivors, John Conner (Jason Clarke), sends his top revolutionary solider, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), back in time to protect John Connor’s waitress mom, Sarah Connor (Emilla Clarke) from the terminators. Now Kyle and Sarah can save the world together.

As of this writing, it’s looking like a box office flop. With the next film originally slotted for 2017, it’s looking like the long holiday weekend box office fail puts any future films in doubt. With a $155 million cost and low box office revenue, it’s looking like Arnold will probably not be back.

Even with the disappointing box office numbers, which helped turn this into a flop, this is actually one enjoyable film. Don’t let the abysmal acting and confusing plot scare you away. This is exactly what you want in a summer movie: mindless entertainment.

Ultimately, this is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination. If you use common sense you’re probably thinking this review doesn’t recommend “Terminator Genisys.” For once you’d be wrong. Something makes this movie highly watchable and enjoyable even when all the parts are bad. Who knows why, but all we really want is for summer movies to be fun to watch like this one is.

If you take it for what it is and don’t expect a masterpiece, “Terminator Genisys” is actually one enjoyable thrill ride that I can’t believe I’m recommending.

—Tony Pinto’s grade: B+ for summer fun



  • Written by Tony Pinto

‘Ted 2’ sequel should have stayed in hibernation

The comedy “Ted 2” is an unneeded sequel to the film “Ted.”

The first brought us Mark Wahlberg as John, along with Seth MacFarlane as Ted, his foul-mouthed Teddy bear of a best friend.

This film picks up a little after the first film ended. We see the bear getting married to his sleazy fiancee, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), at a wedding officiated by Sam Jones of “Flash Gordon” fame.

For those who have seen the first, they will know the “Flash Gordon” bit is a rehash from the original. They recycle a lot from the first film and will probably recycle a lot for the third film. It’s coming even though it won’t be needed or wanted.

© 2015 – Universal Pictures. Still of Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried in “Ted 2” (2015).© 2015 – Universal Pictures. Still of Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried in “Ted 2” (2015).

Pinto-Tony Popcorn-PicksBack to this film: we don’t see marital bliss between Ted and Tami-Lynn, we see a crumbling marriage that needs saving. What is the most overplayed way to save a marriage? That, of course is to have a baby.

Obviously, a Teddy bear can’t physically have a baby, which writer-director Seth MacFarlane acknowledges with many crude and distasteful jokes. Some are actually funny, while some are just plain horrendous.

After medical reasons stop them from having a baby, they decide to adopt. That leads to the main storyline of the film, which is to legalize Ted. Apparently, Ted has no legal rights and is considered a possession.

The premise of the film is John and Ted trying to get Ted his legal rights so he can adopt a child. The two find a fresh law school graduate in Samantha Leslie Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) to help them sue the government. She’s free and a pothead, so she’s perfect for them. The best joke of the film has to do with Sam’s name and it won’t be ruined here.

A lot happens, but none of it’s actually important. For all practical purposes, an actual plot structure is non-existent. That’s actually perfectly fine, for this mindless summer blockbuster that’s best suited for drunken frat boys.

It also has Morgan Freeman playing a civil rights lawyer. Maybe Morgan Freeman really needs money and that’s why he chose to do this film. He does a fine job in his role but this is not a film he should be in.

Aside from the many pot jokes (maybe a high would make some of these jokes funnier), there are also a lot of racial, sex, and sexual preference jokes. Most of them seem to get reused throughout the film, which makes the film a little draggy.

It’s a funny film up to a certain point and then you start to see the same gags being played over again. Even this writer who is in the demographic of males age 18 to 35 the movie covets, got tired of the humor used throughout.

Where Seth MacFarlane fails the most is that this is a film for one demograhic and one demo only. If you’re not the right demo (most of us are not), this is an easy film to pass on and even if you are the right demo you still might want to pass it up.

—Tony Pinto’s grade C