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July 2017

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).

Interview, Audio: Haroula Rose, Creator of ‘Tribeca: TV’ Finalist ‘Lost & Found’

Haroula Rose

CHICAGO – The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival was not all about film. Besides showcasing Immersive and Virtual Reality programming, this edition of the festival opened up submissions from independent television pilot creators for the first time. One of the four finalists that were accepted to the “Tribeca: TV” portion of the festival was “Lost & Found,” created and directed by Haroula Rose, who is from the nearby Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood, Ill.

Entertainment News: Howard Fagenholz, Entertainer at Chicago’s Marigold Bowl, Dies at 88

Howard Fagenholz

CHICAGO – He was all Chicago, from his birth on the West Side to his passing on the North Side, blocks from Wrigley Field and his beloved Chicago Cubs. Howard Fagenholz’s family owned the Marigold Bowl near the corner of Grace and Broadway from 1941 through 2004. He was a lifelong entertainer at the bowling alley, combining his bellicose and sentimental virtues as a bartender and counter worker there, which earned him the nickname “Uncle Howard.” Fagenholz died in his sleep of natural causes on June 30th, 2017. He was 88.

Film Review: Sofia Coppola Creates a Masterwork with ‘The Beguiled’

CHICAGO – The human-ness of being human never changes, fundamentally. The mating season arrives, and the effect makes for both great connections and bad decisions. Director Sofia Coppola emphasizes this in a reverent film production of the story called “The Beguiled.”

Sofia Coppola Creates a Masterwork with ‘The Beguiled’

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

CHICAGO – The human-ness of being human never changes, fundamentally. The mating season arrives, and the effect makes for both great connections and bad decisions. Director Sofia Coppola emphasizes this in a reverent film production of the story called “The Beguiled.”

Photo Gallery: The Chainsmokers Perform at Summerfest on July 4, 2017

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The Chainsmokers at Summerfest on July 4, 2017

MILWAUKEEThe Chainsmokers perform at Summerfest on July 4, 2017. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles brings you the photos!

Slideshow: Laura Harrier of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ at Film Preview in Chicago

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Laura Harrier portrays Liz in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’

CHICAGO – Chicago welcomed one of its own back home when Laura Harrier, who portrays the key role of Liz in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” appeared at a Chicago preview for the film on June 21st, 2017. Harrier lived in nearby Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2008. The actress/model first gained notoriety in 2013, when she portrayed Destiny Evans in the reboot of the soap opera “One Life to Live.” Her appearance in “Spider-Man: Homecoming marks her major film debut.

Film Review: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Spins a Web of Fun

CHICAGO – Summer movies should be fun, and the superhero craze has Marvel Studios combining their adventures with a little joy. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” mostly contains that big high spirit, with Tom Holland portraying the title character with youthful zeal and energy.

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Spins a Web of Fun

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

CHICAGO – Summer movies should be fun, and the superhero craze has Marvel Studios combining their adventures with a little joy. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” mostly contains that big high spirit, with Tom Holland portraying the title character with youthful zeal and energy.

Interview, Audio: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon of ‘The Big Sick’

CHICAGO – One the hottest films to come out of the Sundance Film Festival in January was “The Big Sick,” which was written by Kumail Nanjiani (Dinesh in “Silicon Valley”) and his wife Emily V. Gordon. It is the based-on-truth story of the couple’s initial meeting, and the circumstances surrounding their early dating life.

Photo Gallery: Grammy-Nominated EDM Star Steve Aoki at Summerfest on June 29, 2017

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Steve Aoki at Summerfest on June 29, 2017

Milwaukee – Steve Aoki performed at Summerfest on June 29, 2017. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles brings you the photos!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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