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July 2017

Film Review: ‘Detroit’ is Stark, Blunt and Honest History of USA

CHICAGO – It has become clear to anyone who is making an observation about authority and “order” in America, that for certain people it comes with a severe price. “Detroit” explores an incident within the 1967 riots there, when white police officers raided a hotel and perpetuated crimes of their own.

‘Detroit’ is Stark, Blunt and Honest History of USA

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

CHICAGO – It has become clear to anyone who is making an observation about authority and “order” in America, that for certain people it comes with a severe price. “Detroit” explores an incident within the 1967 riots there, when white police officers raided a hotel and perpetuated crimes of their own.

Theater Review: Brown Paper Box Co. ‘They’re Playing Our Song’ is Bright Entertainment

They're Playing Our Song

CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box. Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

Film News: ‘La Choses De La Vie’ in French Film Series at Gene Siskel Center on July 24, 2017

La Chose De La Vie

CHICAGO – The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is in the midst of a series called “Journeys Through French Cinema.” The theme is based on filmmaker/film historian Bernard Tavernier’s documentary “My Journey Through French Cinema,” and highlights his experiences with the rich cinematic influences of French film. The series, which runs through August 2nd, 2017, is putting the spotlight on “La Choses De La Vie” (The Things of Life) on July 24th.

Film Review: ‘City of Ghosts’ Puts Citizen Faces on Syrian Crisis

CHICAGO – Syria has become a distant place, disconnected from the wider world through civil war and extreme sociopolitical instability, including the takeover of some regions by ISIS (the Islamic State). “City of Ghosts” looks at Raqqa, a Syrian city with the iron boot of ISIS on their necks, and the citizens who risk their lives to tell that story to the world.

‘City of Ghosts’ Puts Citizen Faces on Syrian Crisis

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

CHICAGO – Syria has become a distant place, disconnected from the wider world through civil war and extreme sociopolitical instability, including the takeover of some regions by ISIS (the Islamic State). “City of Ghosts” looks at Raqqa, a Syrian city with the iron boot of ISIS on their necks, and the citizens who risk their lives to tell that story to the world.

Film Review: Strong Performance Makes ‘Lady Macbeth’ a Cogent Character Study

ladymmain

CHICAGO - Separating a performance from the rest of the film is usually an easy task. One may be stronger than the other, or vice versa, but either way, they can be judged individually and as a whole. “Lady Macbeth” proves to be that rare character study where a single performance (from breakout actress Florence Pugh) not only makes the film but essentially is the film.

Strong Performance Makes ‘Lady Macbeth’ a Cogent Character Study

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

CHICAGO – Separating a performance from the rest of the film is usually an easy task. One may be stronger than the other, or vice versa, but either way, they can be judged individually and as a whole. “Lady Macbeth” proves to be that rare character study where a single performance (from breakout actress Florence Pugh) not only makes the film but essentially is the film.

Film News: Hollywood Icon Jane Fonda to be Honored by Cinema/Chicago on July 29, 2017

Jane Fonda

CHICAGO – Two time Oscar winner Jane Fonda will grace the Windy City, as she accepts a Career Achievement Award from Cinema/Chicago, and will participate in a tribute night on Saturday, July 29th, 2017. The event will take place at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, and will feature an on-stage conversation with Fonda, moderated by Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times. The evening is sponsored by SAGE Private Wealth Group, and includes partners American Airlines, Sound Investment AV, Chloe Wine Collection and Wansas Tequila.

Interview, Audio: Cindy Caponera, TV Writer for ‘I’m Dying Up Here’

CHICAGO – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

Photo Gallery: 2017 Vans Warped Tour With Beartooth, Hatebreed, More

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Fans at 2017 Vans Warped Tour

CHICAGOVans Warped Tour rocked Chicago’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on July 22, 2017. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles brings you front-row photos of Hatebreed, Knocked Loose, Hawthorne Heights and Beartooth! Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the Photo Gallery or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos © Jeff Doles of 238 Studios for HollywoodChicago.com

Film Review: Heroics of ‘Dunkirk’ Portrayed Ardently & Humanely

CHICAGO – War is hell, even in “The Good War.” The early days of World War II were a desperate time for the British, and the events of “Dunkirk” were largely about loss, yet mostly about inspiration. Director Christopher Nolan gives his film a grand cinematic treatment, evoking an era that has mostly faded away.

Heroics of ‘Dunkirk’ Portrayed Ardently & Humanely

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

CHICAGO – War is hell, even in “The Good War.” The early days of World War II were a desperate time for the British, and the events of “Dunkirk” were largely about loss, yet mostly about inspiration. Director Christopher Nolan gives his film a grand cinematic treatment, evoking an era that has mostly faded away.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers George A. Romero

CHICAGO – The man that practically invented the modern Zombie film genre had met his own demise. Director George A. Romero passed away on July 16th, 2017, in Los Angeles. He was 77. Romero launched a whole new wave of horror with “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968, and put Pittsburgh (PA) on the film location map.

Film News: Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89

LOS ANGELES – His acting career spanned from working with Alfred Hitchcock to Tim Burton. Along the way, he had significant TV and film roles including a Best Supporting Oscar win for portraying Bela Lugosi in Burton’s “Ed Wood”. Martin Landau died in Los Angeles on July 15, 2017. He was 89.

Music Review: 2017 Chicago Open Air Festival With Anthrax, Megadeth, Rob Zombie, KISS

Gene Simmons of Kiss at Chicago Open Air Festival. Photo by Jeff Doles

CHICAGO – Watching a heavy metal band perform during daylight can be a little like watching a horror film with the lights on. The overall performance can sometimes lose a bit of its edge and intensity.

Film Review: Despite One Premise, Laughs Are Plenty in ‘The Little Hours’

Little Hours, The

CHICAGO – It occurred to me in assessing “The Little Hours” that the basic premise is somewhat like “The Beguiled” – a man is taken in, rooster-like, into a henhouse where there are women with “needs.” Except this time, instead of a girl’s boarding school, it is a 14th Century nunnery. Get thee to it, if thou wants to laugheth.

Despite One Premise, Laughs Are Plenty in ‘The Little Hours’

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

CHICAGO – It occurred to me in assessing “The Little Hours” that the basic premise is somewhat like “The Beguiled” – a man is taken in, rooster-like, into a henhouse where there are women with “needs.” Except this time, instead of a girl’s boarding school, it is a 14th Century nunnery. Get thee to it, if thou wants to laugheth.

Film Review: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Delivers Old Hollywood Glory

CHICAGO – Since the Golden Age of cinema, theaters have tried countlessly to deliver up big budget films. Summer is here and the public is showing that they are cooling off these blockbusters, no longer fooled by the thought that cost equates to quality. “War for the Planet of the Apes” shows us that blockbusters may still be redeemed by channeling some Old Hollywood magic.

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Delivers Old Hollywood Glory

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

CHICAGO – Since the Golden Age of cinema, theaters have tried countlessly to deliver up big budget films. Summer is here and the public is showing that they are cooling off these blockbusters, no longer fooled by the thought that cost equates to quality. “War for the Planet of the Apes” shows us that blockbusters may still be redeemed by channeling some Old Hollywood magic.

Interview, Audio: David Lowery, Writer & Director of ‘A Ghost Story’

CHICAGO – Not all supernatural tales are meant to scare, and writer/director David Lowery haunts in a different way with his new film, “A Ghost Story.” Using the classic “white sheet” costume, with actor Casey Affleck underneath it for most of the film, Lowery creates a spirit with both emotion and a contemplation of its fate.

Slideshow: 2017 Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago Runs From August 24-27

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Lou Ferrigno of TV’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’ will also appear in 2017.

CHICAGO – It’s coming back! One of the best annual pop culture entertainment and comic book gatherings returns to Chicagoland once again, as the Wizard World Comic Con will make its yearly visit to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., the weekend of August 24th through the 27th, 2017. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV, music and movie celebrities, highlighted by Elizabeth Olsen (“Captain America: Civil War”), John Cusack (“Love & Mercy”), Gene Simmons (KISS) and Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk” TV series).

Film Feature: Best & Worst of 2017 So Far by HollywoodChicago.com

CHICAGO – The 4th of July holiday is over and the second half of the year looms before us, so what better time than to assess 2017 so far, with the best and worst films of the first half of the year. The film critic contributors of HollywoodChicago.com – Patrick McDonald, Jon Espino and Spike Walters – offer up their choices for BEST and WORST.

Live Music Performance Video: Ben Rector at Summerfest 2017

Ben Rector at Summerfest on July 7, 2017

CHICAGO – Singer/songwriter/pianist Ben Rector performs his hit song “When a Heart Breaks” live in Milwaukee on July 7, 2017 at Summerfest, the world’s largest musical festival.

Photo Gallery: Summerfest, July 8, 2017: DNCE, Chevelle, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

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DNCE at Summerfest on July 8, 2017. Photo by: Adam Fendelman

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com’s coverage of Summerfest in Milwaukee forges on with photos from July 8, 2017 by photographers Adam Fendelman and Ellie Henderson.

Here we bring you front-row shots of DNCE (with Joe Jonas), Chevelle, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, LOCASH and Trapper Schoepp. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Summerfest, July 7, 2017: Ben Rector, Huey Lewis & The News, Michelle Branch

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Ben Rector at Summerfest on July 7, 2017

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com’s coverage of Summerfest in Milwaukee continues with photos from July 7, 2017 by photographer Adam Fendelman. Here we bring you front-row shots of Ben Rector, Huey Lewis & The News and Michelle Branch. Enjoy!

Film News: Chicago Media Project Kicks Off ‘Dinner & Docs @ The Davis’ on July 13, 2017

City of Ghosts

CHICAGO – The Chicago Media Project is starting a new and exciting quarterly program called “Dinner & Docs at The Davis.” The “dinner” is offered by Chef Gil Langlois of the new Carbon Arc Restaurant at The Davis Theatre in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood (link to details below). The “doc” is the new documentary feature “City of Ghosts,” directed by Matthew Heineman, to be screened after the dinner at in The Davis Theatre. The screening will be followed by a Skype appearance by director Heineman, discussing the film with panelists Kerry Peterson (Committee to Protect Journalists) and Lina Sergie Attar (The Syrian Campaign).

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  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box. Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

  • I'm Dying Up Here

    CHICAGO – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

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