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December 2016

Film News: ‘Moonlight’ Tops Chicago Film Critics Association 2016 Best Film Nominees

Moonlight

CHICAGO – The poignant journey of “Moonlight” topped the 2016 Chicago Film Critics Association nominations list with 11, as announced on Monday, December 12th. Other notable multi-category nominees included the biopic “Jackie,” the drama “Manchester by the Sea” and the musical “La La Land.” Janelle Monae (“Hidden Figures”), Lily Gladstone (“Certain Women”) and Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) scored double nominations in the Best Supporting Actress and Actor categories, as well as Most Promising Performer.

Film Review: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life in Concert’ at Chicago Symphony Center

It's a Wonderful Life at the CSO

CHICAGO – The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has come up with the perfect celebration for the pre-holiday weekend, presenting Frank Capra’s classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life in Concert.” On Dec. 10th and 11th, 2016. The CSO will accompany the soundtrack on a restored version of the film.

Film Review: ‘Miss Sloane’ Thrills Politically, But Drags Narratively

CHICAGO – Nothing says the holiday season like a film about lobbying and politics. If you read that sarcastically, you’d be wrong. “Miss Sloane” offers a female spin for an otherwise male-dominated political landscape. Most of you are trying to tune out politics after the elections, but this film builds off of that momentum by reminding us how we arrived to that point.

‘Miss Sloane’ Thrills Politically, But Drags Narratively

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Nothing says the holiday season like a film about lobbying and politics. If you read that sarcastically, you’d be wrong. “Miss Sloane” offers a female spin for an otherwise male dominated political landscape. Most of you are trying to tune out politics after the elections, but this film builds off of that momentum by reminding us how we arrived to that point.

Film Review: ‘Office Christmas Party’ is Just Ho-Hum Humbug

CHICAGO – “Office Christmas Party” summons up a few jolly ho-ho-ho’s, but can’t quite deliver even one decent belly laugh you’d expect, considering the talented cast chock full of funny folks. It’s halfway decent premise is drowned in a sea of unfulfilled potential and weak material that the ensemble can only do so much to save.

‘Office Christmas Party’ is Just Ho-Hum Humbug

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

CHICAGO – “Office Christmas Party” summons up a few jolly ho-ho-ho’s, but can’t quite deliver even one decent belly laugh you’d expect, considering the talented cast chock full of funny folks. It’s halfway decent premise is drowned in a sea of unfulfilled potential and weak material that the ensemble can only do so much to save.

Film News: ‘For Grace’ is Top Film at 2016 ‘Best of the Midwest’ Awards Night

Best of the Midwest 2016

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 6th, the Midwest Independent Film Festival gave out their 2016 “Best of the Midwest” Awards with a ceremony at Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago. Best Feature honors went to “For Grace,” directed by Mark Helenowski and Kevin Pang. Best Female Actor was Amy Frazzini of “Guidance,” Best Male Actors were T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi of “T.J. & Dave,” and Best Screenplay was Robert Putka of “Mad,” among other categories.

Interview: Co-Directors Josh Gordon & Will Speck Invite All to ‘Office Christmas Party’

CHICAGO – The raucous party movie has become a reliable staple in movieland, and now a production tackles the holiday soiré, and all that can go wrong. “Office Christmas Party” is co-directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who also gave us “Blades of Glory” and “The Switch.”

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival ‘Best of the Midwest’ on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016

MIFF 2016 BMA

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 6th, the Midwest Independent Film Festival will award their 2016 “Best of the Midwest” honors with a ceremony at Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard, in Chicago. The evening will be hosted by Festival Director Mike McNamara, and nominees include the short film “Lady of the House” (directed by Brad Bischoff), plus feature films “Mad” (directed by Robert Putka), and “My Friend’s Rubber Ducky” (directed by Josh Hyde).

Film Review: Natalie Portman Embodies a Magnificent ‘Jackie’

CHICAGO – Capturing one of the most familiar woman of the last fifty years would seem impossible, except when focusing on one of the defining moments of her life. “Jackie” reveals Jacqueline Kennedy during the time of her husband John’s assassination, and when the nation lost a president.

Natalie Portman Embodies a Magnificent ‘Jackie’

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

CHICAGO – Capturing one of the most familiar woman of the last fifty years would seem impossible, except when focusing on one of the defining moments of her life. “Jackie” reveals Jacqueline Kennedy during the time of her husband John’s assassination, and when the nation lost a president.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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