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April 2018

Film Review: Amy Schumer is Empowering in 'I Feel Pretty'

CHICAGO – It is a neutered Amy Schumer who is portraying her latest character… a schlumpy woman who lacks the confidence to break out of her shell. It takes the most sitcomish of all actions, the whack on the head, to motivate her that she is one of the most beautiful woman in the world. This empowers the story of “I Feel Pretty.”

Film Review: Amy Schumer is Empowering in 'I Feel Pretty'

CHICAGO – It is a neutered Amy Schumer who is portraying her latest character… a schlumpy woman who lacks the confidence to break out of her shell. It takes the most sitcomish of all actions, the whack on the head, to motivate her that she is one of the most beautiful woman in the world. This empowers the story of “I Feel Pretty.”

Amy Schumer is Empowering in 'I Feel Pretty'

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

CHICAGO – It is a neutered Amy Schumer who is portraying her latest character… a schlumpy woman who lacks the confidence to break out of her shell. It takes the most sitcomish of all actions, the whack on the head, to motivate her that she is one of the most beautiful woman in the world. This empowers the story of “I Feel Pretty.”

Slideshow: Chicago Premiere of Broken Lizard's 'Super Troopers 2'

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The Broken Lizard comedy troupe presents SUPER TROOPERS 2.

CHICAGO – They’re back! The gang from the 2002 film “Super Troopers,” also known as the comedy team “Broken Lizards,” are finally releasing a sequel, “Super Troopers 2.” Jay Chandrasekhar (also director), Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske co-wrote and perform in the wacky adventures of their State Trooper characters mediating a Canadian/USA border dispute.

2018 Tribeca: Joy Reid for 'Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story'

Joy Reid Tribeca 2018

CHICAGO – Trayvon Martin, the African-American teenager who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Florida, has become a human symbol for the overreach of “protection” in society and justice itself. Paramount Network premiered the new documentary “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th, 2018. Joy Reid, moderator of “AM Joy” on MSNBC, moderated the post-film discussion.

Tribeca 2018 Slideshow: Opening Night Red Carpet for 'Love Gilda'

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The Premiere LOVE GILDA at the Beacon Theatre.

NEW YORK CITY – The 17th Tribeca Film Festival opened on April 18, 2018, opened with New York City centered film, the documentary “Love, Gilda.” Directed by Lisa Dapolito, the film tells the story of Gilda Radner, an original cast member in 1975 on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). The doc featured past and present members of SNL, relating their stories on the meteoric rise and later battles of Gilda, who almost by accident became famous.

Interview: Deon Taylor and Laz Alonso Talk ‘Traffik’, Modern Slavery, Trump

CHICAGO - Many people think that human trafficking is a problem in other countries, but not the US. They would be wrong. This modern form of slavery is alive and well in the US, but it is well-hidden, especially since most people don’t pay attention to the signs. Writer/Director Deon Taylor and actor Laz Alonso talk to us about this dark topic and much more!

Film News: 'The Summit' on Closing Night of 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival, April 19, 2018

2018 CLFF Closing Night 'The Summit'

CHICAGO – It’s coming up on Closing Night for the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival, and the two weeks of the fest was a celebration and gift to film in Chicago. The Closing Night Gala on April 19th, 2018, will feature the film “The Summit” (“La Cordillera”) from Argentina, Spain and France. Actor Ricardo Darín will also receive the Gloria Career Achievement Award as part of the festivities. The event is sold out, but click here for more information.

Film News: Cinema/Chicago Presents the 14th CineYouth Festival, April 20-22, 2018

2018 CineYouth logo

CHICAGO – The 14th annual CineYouth Festival – presented by Cinema/Chicago – starts on Friday, April 20th, 2017, at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, kicking off a three day festival run. The opening night film is Director Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap,’ a critically acclaimed documentary by Chicago’s Kartemquin films. Tickets to all events are FREE and open to the public. For more information and a full weekend schedule, click here.

Interview: ‘Life is a Bitch,’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 18, 2018

Life is a Bitch

CHICAGO – The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) has been nearly two weeks of the best in Latin American, Mexican and Hispanic cinema. As the festival wraps up on April 19th, one of its best comedies – “Life is a Bitch” from Brazil – will screen on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018. For more information, click here.

Film News: 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Opens with ‘Love, Gilda’

NEW YORK CITY – The 17th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will open with a truly New York-centric celebration. Live from the Beacon Theatre on April 18th, 2018, will be “Love, Gilda.” This documentary on the life of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) superstar Gilda Radner kicks off the two week festival, April 18th through April 29th.

Theater Review: Nothing Without a Company Builds a ‘Cornerstone’ in Downtown Chicago

Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through April 29th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Photo Gallery: Echosmith at Metro Chicago on April 15, 2018

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1 of 5. Echosmith at Metro Chicago, April 15, 2018.

CHICAGOEchosmith performing at Metro Chicago on April 15th, 2018. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles brings you the photos! Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos © Jeff Doles for HollywoodChicago.com.

Interview: Larry Ziegelman's Chicago Web Series ‘Geek Lounge,’ Screening April 17, 2018

Geek Lounge

CHICAGO – Getting to the next step of any new creative project is the goal, and creator/director Larry Ziegelman has done it. One year after premiering his new web series, “Geek Lounge,” he has completed an entire season, and is ready for the festivals. The idea behind Geek Lounge was to combine the nerd culture of “Silicon Valley” with the back-and-forth bar banter of “Cheers.” He will screen the entire series on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018, at the Den Theatre in Chicago, FREE and open to the public. Click here for details and ticket information.

Film Review: Stylish, Well Performed ‘You Were Never Really Here’

CHICAGO – Actor Joaquin Phoenix almost solely specializes in portraying broken souls, but he also does it with such intensity that he adds necessary depth to those characters, to allow for their redemption. As a hit man for hire in the new film “You Were Never Really Here,” he again reaches beyond the darkness.

Stylish, Well Performed ‘You Were Never Really Here’

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

CHICAGO – Actor Joaquin Phoenix almost solely specializes in portraying broken souls, but he also does it with such intensity that he adds necessary depth to those characters, to allow for their redemption. As a hit man for hire in the new film “You Were Never Really Here,” he again reaches beyond the darkness.

Interview: Director Huaug Hsin-yao on ‘The Great Buddha +’ at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Great Buddha +, The

CHICAGO – Season Six is one of the most successful for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC), as they present gems from the Asian film world that provide mind and cultural expansion. Recently, as part of their Taiwan Cinema Days, APUC brought in director Huang Hsin-yao of “The Great Buddha +,” a meditation on class, religion and the ever present eye-in-the-sky video of the current era.

Podtalk: Brian Zahm on ‘Tea Party’ at Chicago’s Sound of Silent Film Fest on April 14, 2018

2018 Sound of Silent Film Festival

CHICAGO – Chicago has a wealth of film festivals this spring, and one of the coolest ones will take place on Saturday, April 14th, 2018, at the historic Davis Theater. The 13th Sound of Silent Film Festival combines cutting edge filmmakers – like Brian Zahm of “Tea Party” – and pairs their short works with Chicago-area musicians in all styles, who will provide live in-theater accompaniment. There are two shows, 7pm and 9:30pm, and to purchase tickets to one or both click here.

Film Review: There Are Just Enough Reasons to Go Ape Over ‘Rampage’

CHICAGO - As a whole, we have a fascination with watching destruction in front of us. It provides a catharsis from our heavily stressed lives, especially in the Trump era. It provides a necessary release of aggression, the same way video games do for people. “Rampage” scratches that itch, but only if you aren’t also looking to be intellectually stimulated or care about plot coherence.

There Are Just Enough Reasons to Go Ape Over ‘Rampage’

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

CHICAGO - As a whole, we have a fascination with watching destruction in front of us. It provides a catharsis from our heavily stressed lives, especially in the Trump era. It provides a necessary release of aggression, the same way video games do for people. “Rampage” scratches that itch, but only if you aren’t also looking to be intellectually stimulated or care about plot coherence.

Podtalk: Malin Akerman of ‘Rampage’ on Michigan Avenue Cover

CHICAGO – The restaurant Katana, in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, was the setting for the unveiling of Michigan Avenue Magazine’s latest cover on April 3rd… their 2018 Spring Style issue. Actress Malin Akerman (“Billions,” “The Heartbreak Kid”), whose latest film is “Rampage,” graced the front of the issue.

Interview: ‘Silvia’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 11, 2018

Silvia

CHICAGO – Discovering new filmmaking talent often starts with the short film, and the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival is showcasing shorts before many of their feature films during the fest. Local Chicago director Diego Bolivar has submitted “Silvia,” a dreamy thesis on the decisions that many immigrants have to make while residing in America. The film will be shown with the feature film Translucid/Translúcudo on April 11th, 2018. Click here for more details.

Film Review: ‘Beirut’ is a Superbly Tense Geopolitical Thriller

CHICAGO – The psychological desperation of life-or-death decisions are in play within “Beirut,” the new geopolitical thriller featuring Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”). The various mazes within the story, set during the Lebanon civil war of the 1980s, is comparative to “Casablanca,” especially through the world-weary expression of Hamm’s character.

‘Beirut’ is a Superbly Tense Geopolitical Thriller

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

CHICAGO – The psychological desperation of life-or-death decisions are in play within “Beirut,” the new geopolitical thriller featuring Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”). The various mazes within the story, set during the Lebanon civil war of the 1980s, is comparative to “Casablanca,” especially through the world-weary expression of Hamm’s character.

Interview: ‘Perfect Revolution' at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema on April 11, 2018

Perfect Revolution

CHICAGO – Japan is up for this week’s feature in Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) series… and what a great film it is. “Perfect Revolution,’ directed by Junpei Matsumoto, is about handicaps… both physical and mental. The film features Japanese actors Lily Franky and Nana Seino, in a odd coupling that’s a relationship experience. The film will be presented on Wednesday, April 11th, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, with director Matumoto San appearing at the screening. For more details, click here.

Film News: Chicago’s DOC 10 Closing Night with Elvis in ‘THE KING’ on April 8, 2018

The King

CHICAGO – Elvis is everywhere and the new documentary “THE KING” proves it. There can’t be a better Closing Night film at Chicago’s DOC 10 Film Festival – April 8th, 2018, at the Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood – then this amazing document of Elvis and the American Dream, which was directed by Eugene Jarecki (“Why We Fight”). It’s a must see. For more information, ticket info, click here.

Interview: Daphne Maxwell Reid from MLK Jr. to the Fresh Prince

CHICAGO – This week marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and funeral, but locally it was one month later – May 3rd, 1968 – that a “sit-in” took place at Northwestern University near Chicago, as protesting African American students sought change. Future actor Daphne Maxwell Reid was a participant.

Podtalk: J. Wilder Konschak & Stirling McLaughlin on Digital Release of ‘Cold War’

Cold War

CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

Podtalk: ‘Murder in the Woods,’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 9, 2018

Murder in the Woods

CHICAGO – The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is underway, after a successful Opening Night on April 5th, 2018. One of the showcase films will have its Midwest Premiere on Saturday, April 7th, the horror tale “Murder in the Woods.” Directed by Luis Iga and written by Yelyna De Leon, the film features “Machete” star Danny Trejo and young Latino actors portraying teens that are being killed in mysterious circumstances during a cabin getaway. For information about the Red Carpet and premiere, click here.

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  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through April 29th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

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