November 2018

Photo Gallery: Ministry Performs in Chicagoland at The Forge

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Ministry performing at The Forge 1 of 8

JOLIET, Ill. – The Heavy Metal legends Ministry performed at The Forge venue in Joliet on November 29th, 2018. The current lineup of Al Jourgensen, John Bechdel, Sin Quirin, Cesar Soto, Tony Campos and Derek Abrams rocked the house, and HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles was there, taking the following Exclusive Photos.

Film Review: A Hilarious Combination of Crass and Class in ‘The Favourite’

CHICAGO – Looking through auteur Yorgos Lanthimos’ filmography, you’ll recognize a style that combines both visual beauty and narrative absurdism. The Lanthimos effect, or Lanthimo-nium as I like to call it, elevates any piece of work to such a high degree that often times the meanings go over our heads. In his most mainstream effort to date, “The Favourite” will likely become your favorite of his works.

A Hilarious Combination of Crass and Class in ‘The Favourite’

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

CHICAGO – Looking through auteur Yorgos Lanthimos’ filmography, you’ll recognize a style that combines both visual beauty and narrative absurdism. The Lanthimos effect, or Lanthimo-nium as I like to call it, elevates any piece of work to such a high degree that often times the meanings go over our heads. In his most mainstream effort to date, “The Favourite” will likely become your favorite of his works.

Interview: Thrash Metal Band ‘Alien Weaponry’ to Appear in Chicagoland on Nov. 29, 2018

Alien Weaponry

CHICAGO – This old Headbanger would like to personally thank “Alien Weaponry” for providing a much-needed shot of adrenal into the future of Thrash Metal. While I consider myself an optimist, if you had told me that the resurgence of the genre would come from three teenagers that hail from New Zealand, I would have told you that you were crazy.

Podtalk: Creator and Lead Actor of Web Series ‘Deadbeat 2’

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.

Film Review: 'Ralph Breaks the Internet' is a Bittersweet Heart-breaker

CHICAGO – The internet we know today is a fairly young invention full of some of the greatest conveniences known to man, but also some of the greatest distractions and nuisances currently in our lives. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” embodies just that, and while it doesn’t quite reach the high score of its predecessor, the maturity and wisdom displayed in it more than makes up for it.

'Ralph Breaks the Internet' is a Mature, Bittersweet Heart-breaker

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

CHICAGO – The internet we know today is a fairly young invention full of some of the greatest conveniences known to man, but also some of the greatest distractions and nuisances currently in our lives. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” embodies just that, and while it doesn’t quite reach the high score of its predecessor, the maturity and wisdom displayed in it more than makes up for it.

Film Review: ‘Robin Hood’ is a By-the-Book Waste of Cinema Energy

Robin Hood

CHICAGO – No one in the movie-going universe was pining for another Robin Hood remake. No. One. Yet, with the story in public domain and some overseas cash to spend, here we are. Taron Egerton (“Kingsman” series) takes on the title role, with support from Jamie Foxx.

‘Robin Hood’ is a By-the-Book Waste of Cinema Energy

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

CHICAGO – No one in the movie-going universe was pining for another Robin Hood remake. No. One. Yet, with the story in public domain and some overseas cash to spend, here we are. Taron Egerton (“Kingsman” series) takes on the title role, with support from Jamie Foxx.

Film Review: Fight for Redemption in the Rocky Universe of ‘Creed II’

CHICAGO – In the EIGHTH exploration (wow) for the story of boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) – that began way back in 1976 – the son of his first opponent, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), must settle an old score and seek redemption for himself and those around him in “Creed II.”

Fight for Redemption in the Rocky Universe of ‘Creed II’

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

CHICAGO – In the EIGHTH exploration (wow) for the story of boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) – that began way back in 1976 – the son of his first opponent, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), must settle an old score and seek redemption for himself and those around him in “Creed II.”

On-Set Photo: Dale Robinette Clicks a Pic for ‘The Front Runner’

Front Runner, The, photo by Dale Robinette

CHICAGO – When we first met photographer Dale Robinette (click here) he had just taken one of the most iconic movie photos of the last ten years. Well, his work as “Unit Still Photographer” goes on, and he recently contacted HollywoodChicago.com to share one of his on-set photos from “The Front Runner,” which opened in Chicago last week.

Podtalk: Co-Directors Explain How ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

CHICAGO – The visual density of today’s animation reaches a new height in a rare Walt Disney Studio sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” This is a follow-up to “Wreck-It Ralph,” a huge animated hit film. Returning to guide the sequel, which has Wreck-It Ralph “inside” the internet, are co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.

Film Review: The Friendship Page of Black & White in ‘Green Book’

Green Book

CHICAGO – In the original sin of racism in America, structured in the societal relationship between whites and African Americans, there had to be small steps before there were larger ones. In 1962, a black piano virtuoso and his white Italian New Yorker driver toured through the Deep South and developed a friendship, in the new film “Green Book.”

The Friendship Page of Black & White in ‘Green Book’

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

CHICAGO – In the original sin of racism in America, structured in the societal relationship between whites and African Americans, there had to be small steps before there were larger ones. In 1962, a black piano virtuoso and his white Italian New Yorker driver toured through the Deep South and developed a friendship, in the new film “Green Book.”

Podtalk: Writer/Director Sean Anders Fosters Genuine Emotions and Comedy in 'Instant Family'

CHICAGO - We have all seen and heard second-hand stories about adoption and the foster care system, but its hard to know exactly what to believe. In writer/director Sean Anders latest film, “Instant Family”, he takes a look but through a more personal lens as his basis the film off of his experiences.

Film Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Goes Deeper into Harry Potter World

CHICAGO – “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is like the “Joey” of film franchises, a spinoff which only exists because of its tangential connections to a better (and more beloved) property. But since this is our only current filmed connection to the “wizarding world of Harry Potter,” it’ll have to do.

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Goes Deeper into Harry Potter World

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

CHICAGO – “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is like the “Joey” of film franchises, a spinoff which only exists because of its tangential connections to a better (and more beloved) property. But since this is our only current filmed connection to the “wizarding world of Harry Potter,” it’ll have to do.

Slideshow: Preview of ‘Days of the Dead’ Chicago, Nov. 16-18, 2018

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Sean Astin of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.

CHICAGO – The “Days of the Dead” convention is an annual event in Chicagoland and elsewhere, that brings together admirers of the horror film genre, cult movies enthusiasts, vendors and panel discussions related to it all. Several celebrities also attend the event, including Linda Blair (“The Exorcist”), Sherilynn Fenn/James Marshall/Dana Ashbrook (“Twin Peaks”), director Clive Barker (“Hellraiser,” “Candyman”) and rocker Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys). The 2018 convention will be held Friday, November 16th through Sunday the 18th at the Chicago Schaumburg Marriott in Schaumburg, Ill. (click link below).

Podtalk: Director Jason Reitman Votes for ‘The Front Runner’

CHICAGO – The year 1988 marked a border crossing in the way that the media covered national candidates. Senator Gary Hart seemed destined for president, until a extramarital relationship with Donna Rice became the focus of media attention. Director Jason Reitman tells the story in a new film, “The Front Runner.”

Entertainment News: Chance the Rapper to Host Mayoral Fundraiser for Amara Enyia, Nov. 14, 2018

Amara and Chance

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago has its campaigns for Mayor heating up, and one of the frontrunners is Amara Enyia, who recently made news by getting endorsements from both Chance the Rapper and Kanye West. Chance will put that endorsement to use by hosting Enyia at a campaign fundraiser on November 14th, 2018, at Chicago’s legendary Chop House. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: ‘One Cut of the Dead' is Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema CLOSING NIGHT, Nov. 14, 2018

One Cut of the Dead

CHICAGO – Season Seven of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) is coming to a close on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, with the Midwest Premiere of “One Cut of the Dead,” the Japanese horror sensation that is breaking box office records and cleaning up in award acclaim. The special night includes an appearance by lead actor Takayuki Hamatsu.

Film Review: ‘Boy Erased’ Thrives On Empathy, Lacks Overall Conviction

CHICAGO – America is facing a confusing time of crisis, again. There are giant groups of people who are ready to hate other people for biological traits that can’t—and don’t need to—be changed, like skin color, sexual orientation, and race. “Boy Erased” adds to the national dialogue by showing the devastating effects this type of mentality can have inside our own families, and how to prevent it.

‘Boy Erased’ Thrives On Empathy, Lacks Overall Conviction

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

CHICAGO – America is facing a confusing time of crisis, again. There are giant groups of people who are ready to hate other people for biological traits that can’t—and don’t need to—be changed, like skin color, sexual orientation, and race. “Boy Erased” adds to the national dialogue by showing the devastating effects this type of mentality can have inside our own families, and how to prevent it.

Entertainment News: Stan Lee, of Marvel Comic Fame, Dies at 95

LOS ANGELES – The last of the great comic book creators has flown to the beyond. Stan Lee, who led the resurgence of comic book culture – especially in the movies – created legendary superheroes for Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Black Panther and X-Men. Lee passed away at age 95 in Los Angeles on November 12th, 2018.

Slideshow: Eric Idle & Bob Odenkirk for Idle’s New Book, ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’

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Eric Idle of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’

CHICAGO – When the “Say No More Squire” Guy meets “Better Call Saul,” you know a memorable night is ahead. Monty Python’s Flying Circus member Eric Idle has written a new memoir, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and Bob Odenkirk (who portrays the title character in “Better Call Saul”) was the moderator for an event at North Central College in Naperville (Ill.), sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Film Review: Story Spins Out of Reach for ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’

Girl in the Spider's Web, The

CHICAGO – There is nothing wrong with revisiting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That tattoo has made beaucoup bucks in book and film forms (both foreign language and Americanized versions), and Claire Foy taking over for Rooney Mara in the title role is seamless. So why the totally lackluster story? Is this a narrative source problem?

Story Spins Out of Reach for ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’

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

CHICAGO – There is nothing wrong with revisiting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That tattoo has made beaucoup bucks in book and film forms (both foreign language and Americanized versions), and Claire Foy taking over for Rooney Mara in the title role is seamless. So why the totally lackluster story? Is this a narrative source problem?

Film Review: He’s a Not-So-Mean-One in Remake of ‘The Grinch’

CHICAGO – They should have left well enough alone, didn’t anybody learn anything from the trainwreck of the Jim Carrey live-action-as-The-Grinch? Apparently not. A more kid friendly and modern animated version of “The Grinch” opens six weeks before Christmas, and already I want to return it.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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