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August 2018

Film Review: ‘Kin’ Overcomes Early Portrayal Issues to Score Big

CHICAGO – The concept of “family” has been romanticized to death in the movies in the last generation, coinciding with the increasing decline of actual togetherness. The new film “Kin” is essentially about family, but it also is about otherworldly weaponry, gritty crime lords and the old on-the-road story.

‘Kin’ Overcomes Early Portrayal Issues to Score Big

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

CHICAGO – The concept of “family” has been romanticized to death in the movies in the last generation, coinciding with the increasing decline of actual togetherness. The new film “Kin” is essentially about family, but it also is about otherworldly weaponry, gritty crime lords and the old on-the-road story.

Podtalk: Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian Start ‘Searching’

CHICAGO – Face it, fellow modernists, we live on our screens. It was inevitable that entire films would soon be set there, and the latest is “Searching.” Combining the nightmare of a missing teenager with the abilities of social media, cameras and devices, filmmakers Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian “screen it” to the max.

Film News: Chicago’s 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival Closes with ‘Fear of a Black Hat’

2018 Black Harvest Film Festival

CHICAGO – The month long celebration that is the 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival is coming to a close on August 30th with a special revival screening of 1993’s “Fear of a Black Hat.” The ahead-of-its-time hip hop “mockumentary” chronicles the misadventures of the group NWH. Director Rusty Cundieff will make an appearance of behalf of the film’s 25th Anniversary. Over its run, the Black Harvest Film Festival featured a cornucopia of African American themed features and shorts celebrating stories, dreams, history and legacy.

Podtalk: Filmmaker Bing Liu is Essential in ‘Minding the Gap’

CHICAGO – Sometimes, if a filmmaker is aligned, all of their experience, accessibility and life force combine to create a signature production. This is what happened to Bing Liu, who took his life as a skateboarder and explored beyond it to find what was essential. The result is the multiple award winning documentary, “Minding the Gap.”

Feature: Warren Beatty, Robert Klein and ‘Medium Cool’ Remember Aug. 28, 1968, in Chicago

Medium Cool

CHICAGO – It was 50 years ago today – August 28th, 1968 – that Chicago Police and Viet Nam War protestors clashed in front of the Hilton Chicago Hotel on Michigan Avenue, while the Democratic National Convention was in town nominating Hubert Humphrey as their presidential candidate. As the police used excessive force on the protestors, the “whole world was watching.” This included witnesses actor/director Warren Beatty, comedian Robert Klein, and the production crew – including future director Andrew Davis – of the Haskell Wexler film “Medium Cool.”

Podtalk: Josh & Jonathan Baker on the Passion of ‘Kin’

CHICAGO – The tagline for the new film “Kin” is “No force is stronger than family,” and who would know that better than a couple of twin brother filmmakers. Josh and Jonathan Baker make their feature film debut with this gritty sci-fi action picture, and create a new direction and style for the genre.

Film News: Oriana Oppice Awarded Best Director for ‘Leia’s Army’ at Global Impact Film Fest

Oriana Oppice

WASHINGTON, DC – Chicago took home a bit of gold on August 26th, 2018, as local filmmaker Oriana Oppice was awarded Best Director for her short film “Leia’s Army” at the Global Impact Film Festival in Washington, D.C. The film, which is a fictional overview of the Woman’s March Movement through multiple generations, is a contemporary and multi-dimensional look at families in the age of Trump.

Podtalk: Sophia Wong Boccio on Season Seven for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

CHICAGO – With three years and six seasons behind her, Sophia Wong Boccio has established the Asian Pop-Up Cinema as a Chicago film happening. Season Seven begins on September 12th, 2018. For more information, click here.

Film Review: A Bit of Pop/Rock Magic Spins in ‘Juliet, Naked’

CHICAGO – The story of a drop-out rock and roll star… usually disappearing at the height of their fame… has fascinated the movies in both fiction (“Eddie and the Cruisers”) and documentary (“Waiting for Sugarman”). “Juliet, Naked” takes the premise and creates a charming, romantic story about fandom and redemptive decisions.

A Bit of Pop/Rock Magic Spins in ‘Juliet, Naked’

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

CHICAGO – The story of a drop-out rock and roll star… usually disappearing at the height of their fame… has fascinated the movies in both fiction (“Eddie and the Cruisers”) and documentary (“Waiting for Sugarman”). “Juliet, Naked” takes the premise and creates a charming, romantic story about fandom and redemptive decisions.

Film Review: ‘Papillon” Still Packs a Classic & Compelling Story

Papillon 2018

CHICAGO – The remarkable true-ish story of “Papillon” is difficult to mess up. Henrí Charriére published the “autobiographical novel” in 1969, and the first film version dropped in 1973, with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman as the two leads no less. The latest film has Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek in those leads, as two French prisoners constantly trying to escape.

‘Papillon” Still Packs a Classic & Compelling Story

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

CHICAGO – The remarkable true-ish story of “Papillon” is difficult to mess up. Henrí Charriére published the “autobiographical novel” in 1969, and the first film version dropped in 1973, with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman as the two leads no less. The latest film has Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek in those leads, as two French prisoners constantly trying to escape.

Film Review: ‘The Happytime Murders’ Shoots Its Wad Too Early

CHICAGO – The most noteworthy feature of the puppet-noir comedy “The Happytime Murders” is its use of felt and fluff for nefarious ends, and while that’s not exactly new, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work. But the movie shoots its wad early, and doesn’t have much imagination after that beyond turning silly string into a bodily fluid.

‘The Happytime Murders’ Shoots Its Wad Too Early

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The most noteworthy feature of the puppet-noir comedy “The Happytime Murders” is its use of felt and fluff for nefarious ends, and while that’s not exactly new, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work. But the movie shoots its wad early, and doesn’t have much imagination after that beyond turning silly string into a bodily fluid.

Film Review: ‘The Wife’ is Classic Drama & Relevant Social History

CHICAGO – One of the more fascinating questions about civilization is ‘how much talent went unrealized because of time and place of birth?’ The patriarchy – which denied people of color and women for so long – often reduced fellow travelers into subservient roles. For example, there were women who were just known as “The Wife.”

‘The Wife’ is Classic Drama & Relevant Social History

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

CHICAGO – One of the more fascinating questions about civilization is ‘how much talent went unrealized because of time and place of birth?’ The patriarchy – which denied people of color and women for so long – often reduced fellow travelers into subservient roles. For example, there were women who were just known as “The Wife.”

Film Review: Rising Above Cancer in the Teen Dream ‘Hope Springs Eternal’

Hope Springs Eternal

CHICAGO – The topic of cancer is rarely heroic, and as we know mostly concludes tragically. But the new teen comedy “Hope Springs Eternal” turns the Big C on its ear, and features up-and-coming young actor Mia Rose Frampton to take it on. The film is light and breezy, with nods to John Hughes, absurdist teen indoctrinations and the celebration of music in life.

Rising Above Cancer in the Teen Dream ‘Hope Springs Eternal’

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

CHICAGO – The topic of cancer is rarely heroic, and as we know mostly concludes tragically. But the new teen comedy “Hope Springs Eternal” turns the Big C on its ear, and features up-and-coming young actor Mia Rose Frampton to take it on. The film is light and breezy, with nods to John Hughes, absurdist teen indoctrinations and the celebration of music in life.

Podtalk: Desiree Burcum of ‘Yippie Fest,’ at the Prop Theatre in Chicago, Aug. 17-19, 2018

2018 Yippie Fest

CHICAGO – It’s the 2nd annual Yippie Fest in Chicago at the Prop Thtr (Theatre), and the three days of Theater, Performance, Music, Film, Comedy and more kicks off with the 2018 Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 17th, and runs through Sunday, August 19th. The Fest evolved from the spirit of Mary-Arrchie Theater’s Abbie Hoffman Fest, which ran from 1989 to 2016. The Fest also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Yippies (Youth International Party) in Chicago, during the Vietnam protests in August of 1968. The whole world was watching. For more information on Yippie Fest, including tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Eddie Muller of ‘Noir City,’ at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre from Aug. 17-23, 2018

Eddie Muller, Noir City

CHICAGO – It’s always darkest before the dawn, and an entire genre of film is available to remind us of that chilling thought. The historic Music Box Theatre presents “Noir City” – August 17th-23rd, 2018 – an annual celebration of “film noir,” the dark category of film drama that usually takes place at night, and features a rogues gallery of dames, gumshoes, coppers and crooks. Hosting for the 10th straight year is Eddie Muller, a recognized world expert on noir and also the host of Turner Classic Movie’s (TCM) “Noir Alley.” For more information, including tickets, click here.

Film Review: Stylish ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a Bit Too Soap Opera

CHICAGO – “Crazy Rich Asians” is not meant to be anything but glitzy fun, but in the midst of the glamour, excessive wealth and beautiful people, there is a plot that ventures into Soap Opera land, and eventually becomes a distraction for the reason an audience goes to this show… to fantasize about living large.

Stylish ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a Bit Too Soap Opera

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

CHICAGO – “Crazy Rich Asians” is not meant to be anything but glitzy fun, but in the midst of the glamour, excessive wealth and beautiful people, there is a plot that ventures into Soap Opera land, and eventually becomes a distraction for the reason an audience goes to this show… to fantasize about living large.

Revealing ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’

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

CHICAGO – Any “secret history” inevitably reveals some totally human trait that somehow counters a delicately constructed facade. Show business is no stranger to those histories, and the new documentary “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” is a doozy. Ex-Pimp to the Stars Scotty Bowers reveals all.

Film Review: Revealing ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’

CHICAGO – Any “secret history” inevitably reveals some totally human trait that somehow counters a delicately constructed facade. Show business is no stranger to those histories, and the new documentary “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” is a doozy. Ex-Pimp to the Stars Scotty Bowers reveals all.

Film Review: ‘The Meg’ is a Proud $150 Million Dollar ‘B’ Movie

CHICAGO – From their golden age from the 1950s to the 1970s, the infamous “B” movies – usually the third feature at the drive-in, or playing in the crumbling old theaters – were targeted to teens. In the modern era, these films are now given $150 million dollar budgets and wide releases. Case in point, the shark movie called “The Meg.”

‘The Meg’ is a Proud $150 Million Dollar ‘B’ Movie

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

CHICAGO – From their golden age from the 1950s to the 1970s, the infamous “B” movies – usually the third feature at the drive-in, or playing in the crumbling old theaters – were targeted to teens. In the modern era, these films are now given $150 million dollar budgets and wide releases. Case in point, the shark movie called “The Meg.”

Podtalk: Seth Boustead, Producer of ‘Thirsty Ears’ Classical Music Fest on Aug. 11-12, 2018

2018 Thirsty Ears Festival

CHICAGO – Seth Boustead is a rock star in a different class of music. The energetic and passionate musician is also the producer of the 3rd annual “Thirsty Ears” Classical Music Street Festival in Chicago, bringing the art and “classical gas” to the Ravenswood neighborhood. For more information and performer schedules, click here.

Photo Gallery: Anthrax and Lamb of God at Rave Eagles Club on Aug. 8, 2018

| Image 1 of 7 |
Anthrax performing at Rave Eagles Club in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE, WIS. – The speed metal stylings of Anthrax and Lamb of God performed at the popular Rave Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 8th, 2018. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles was there, and shot this Exclusive Photo Gallery. 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.

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  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

  • Bill Daily, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – He was America’s sidekick in TV’s golden decades of the 1960s and ‘70s, and was a proud Chicago-born-and-bred performer. Bill Daily, better known as Major Roger Healey (“I Dream of Jeannie”) and the wacky neighbor Howard Borden (“The Bob Newhart Show”) died at his New Mexico home at the age of 91 on September 4th, 2018.

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