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April 2015

Slideshow: 2014 Hollywood Show Portraits Anticipate the 2015 Show From May 1 to 3

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Bai Ling of ‘The Crow.’

CHICAGO – The Hollywood Show is back, and all your favorite TV and movie stars are available to meet, take pictures with and get autographs. The 2015 Chicago edition is May 1 through 3, with Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd the celebrity appearance days. HollywoodChicago.com was there for the 2014 Show, and captured some Exclusive Portraits of the type of celebrities the Hollywood Show brings directly to the fans.

Rousing ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Hits Modern Society’s Central Nervous System

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGOLook. We all know sequels usually suck. And blockbuster films often get panned for overprioritizing special effects at the expense of a well-written story and character development. Even when a story in a big-budget film is redeeming, it’s practically impossible not to shoot holes through it.

Film Review: Rousing ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Hits Modern Society’s Central Nervous System

Avengers: Age of Ultron with James Spader

CHICAGOLook. We all know sequels usually suck. And blockbuster films often get panned for overprioritizing special effects at the expense of a well-written story and character development. Even when a story in a big-budget film is redeeming, it’s practically impossible not to shoot holes through it.

Film Review: Mixed Bag of Marvel Tricks in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

CHICAGO – Whew. There is so much going on in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” that you practically need a program to keep up with the players. This mixed bag has overwrought comic book action, head shaking plot points, and the usual Marvel angst that includes some riveting scenes.

Mixed Bag of Marvel Tricks in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Whew. There is so much going on in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” that you practically need a program to keep up with the players. This mixed bag has overwrought comic book action, head shaking plot points, and the usual Marvel angst that includes some riveting scenes.

Exclusive Portraits: Happy Milestone Birthday to Kate Mulgrew of ‘Orange is the New Black’

CHICAGO – April 29th is Kate Mulgrew’s 60th birthday, and what better way to celebrate than Exclusive Portraits of the former Starfleet Commander (“Star Trek: Voyager”). Mulgrew was in Chicago promoting her memoir, “Born with Teeth.”

Film Review: Intoxicating ‘The Age of Adaline’ a Featherweight Fantasy

CHICAGO – “The Age of Adaline” is a beautifully shot featherweight fantasy that remains charming as long as you don’t think about it too hard, or at all.  At one point one character asks another why he loves Adaline, and he replies “because she makes no sense.” The same could be said for this movie.

Intoxicating ‘The Age of Adaline’ a Featherweight Fantasy

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Age of Adaline” is a beautifully shot featherweight fantasy that remains charming as long as you don’t think about it too hard, or at all.  At one point one character asks another why he loves Adaline, and he replies “because she makes no sense.” The same could be said for this movie.

Interview: Nick Kroll Starts it Up in ‘Adult Beginners’

CHICAGO – Finding the adult button and hitting “on” is becoming more of a challenge as the tech generation morphs into their thirtysomething era. Comedian Nick Kroll (“Kroll Show,” “The League”) ponders this situation in the new film “Adult Beginners,” a primer on growing up and moving on.

Interview: 2015 Chicago Latino Film Festival Welcomes Filmmakers for ‘Day Release’

Day Release

CHICAGO – The film festival circuit is not for the faint of heart. Two young Spanish filmmakers – Geoffrey Cowper and Jesús Lloveras – are making their way across the U.S., as they promote their film “Day Release” (Tercer Grado). The pair started out in California – with a couple of film festivals there – and then stopped in Chicago, for the 31st Chicago Latino Film Festival.

Exclusive Portrait: Russell Crowe in Chicago for ‘The Water Diviner’

CHICAGO – Actor and Oscar Winner Russell Crowe, known for films such as “L.A. Confidential,” “Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man,” “Les Miserables” and “Man of Steel,” breaks out in his directorial debut and also stars in “The Water Diviner,” a story of war and his native Australia.

Video Game Review: ‘Life is Strange Episode 2: Out of Time’ Asks a Lot of Players

CHICAGO – Dontnod Entertainment struck potential conceptual gold with “Life is Strange.” Iterating on Telltale’s point-and-click episodic narrative adventure formula, they’ve crafted a truly intriguing world that begs to be explored through the lens of protagonist Max Caulfield’s eyes.

Interview: Hitting the Links with the Collaborators of ‘The Squeeze’

CHICAGO – Golf and gambling go together like the 19th hole and tall tales. The green grass of the course isn’t the same without a little wagering, and the new film ‘The Squeeze’ – written and directed by Terry Jastrow – follows the game from small town America to the big stage of Las Vegas.

Film Review: There are Future Consequences in ‘Ex Machina’

CHICAGO – The title “Ex Machina” is a play on Deus ex machina, the stage/scenario term meaning god from the machine, or the basic happy ending. By cutting out the “Deus” in the phrase, the film is left with just the machine, and the humans.

There are Future Consequences in ‘Ex Machina’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The title “Ex Machina” is a play on Deus ex machina, the stage/scenario term meaning god from the machine, or the basic happy ending. By cutting out the “Deus” in the phrase, the film is left with just the machine, and the humans.

Film News: Second Week Highlights of the 31st Chicago Latino Film Festival

Chicago Latino Film Festival Logo 2015

CHICAGO – It’s the second week of the 31st edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival which continues through Thursday, April 23rd, 2015. It concludes on that evening with the musical comedy film “Ciudad Delirio.” All films are at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Water Diviner’ With Russell Crowe

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new war dramaThe Water Diviner” starring Russell Crowe (his directorial debut!) and Olga Kurylenko!

Film Review: ‘True Story’ Just Leaves a False Impression

True Story

CHICAGO – Sometimes, just casting a film with “names” is not enough to make it work. Jonah Hill and James Franco play cat-and-mouse for 100 minutes in “True Story,” but the narrative, the structure and their own inability to communicate their characters conspired against the overall experience.

‘True Story’ Just Leaves a False Impression

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Sometimes, just casting a film with “names” is not enough to make it work. Jonah Hill and James Franco play cat-and-mouse for 100 minutes in “True Story,” but the narrative, the structure and their own inability to communicate their characters conspired against the overall experience.

Interview: BADASSS Winner Julien Temple at 2015 Chicago CIMMfest

CHICAGO – In receiving the official BADASSS Award at the 2015 Chicago International Movies & Music Fest (CIMMFest), legendary rock documentary maker Julien Temple simply said, “Badass is not a phrase we use in England. I’ve never been called a badass, I prefer ‘enfant terriblé,’ with a hope toward ‘monstre sacré.’”

Film Review: ‘Monkey Kingdom’ is a Disappointing Destination

CHICAGO – Disney has always imported a bit of its cutesy narratives into its nature films. The best ones seem to spring organically from the images on screen and it becomes easy to forget the contrivances and get swept up in the story.  n the lesser entries, these attempts to impose a Hollywood story structure on the lives of wild animals only highlight how artificial they all are.

‘Monkey Kingdom’ is a Disappointing Destination

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Disney has always imported a bit of its cutesy narratives into its nature films. The best ones seem to spring organically from the images on-screen and it becomes easy to forget the contrivances and get swept up in the story. In the lesser entries, these attempts to impose a Hollywood story structure on the lives of wild animals only highlight how artificial they all are.

Interview: Director Alex Garland Seeks Humanity in ‘Ex Machina’

CHICAGO – Who are we anyway, when as inventors of artificial intelligence, we can create a new wave of thought process? That is what writer – and now director – Alex Garland (“28 Days Later…,” “Sunshine”) has been grappling with his entire career. His directorial debut is the stunning and prescient “Ex Machina.”

Film News: CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, Opens April 16, 2015

CIMMfest 2015 logo

CHICAGO – CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, has become one of the fastest growing and buzzworthy Chicago film festivals in recent years. Combining film, tribute events and live performances – and centered in and around the neighborhood of Wicker Park from April 16th through the 19th, 2015, – CIMMfest is not so much a festival as a organic happening.

Theater Review: ‘Down the Moonlit Path’ a Sensational, Interpersonal Stage Experience

CHICAGO – The power of creativity, and the risk of live theater, is all on display through Nothing Without a Company’s latest amazing journey, “Down the Moonlit Path.” The interactive stage experience refreshes the soul and realizes the joy of life.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Unfriended’ From Jason Blum, Timur Bekmambetov

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new horror film “Unfriended” from horror producer Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge” and “Insidious” series) and visionary filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”)!

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  • Transformers 5 front

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