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Interview: Director Roger Spottiswoode Captures Spirit of China’s Past in ‘The Children of Huang Shi’

Guang Li, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Children of Huang Shi (1)

CHICAGO – The second Chinese/Japanese war, which was a 1937 prelude to the great conflict of World War II, is notable today mostly because modern China rose from its ashes. Largely forgotten except for the survivors, it is a backdrop for “The Children of Huang Shi,” which is a new film from veteran director Roger Spottiswoode.

Interview: Director Steve Conrad Elevates Chicago Setting, Sean William Scott in New Comedy ‘The Promotion’

Seann William Scott, John C. Reilly, The Promotion (1)

CHICAGO – Barring extreme wealth or hermetics, everyone uses the grocery store. It is the great equalizer – the marketplace where all socioeconomic groups can co-exist side by side – in pursuit of daily bread. Inspired by this reality, writer and director Steve Conrad turned it into his feature directorial debut.

Interview: Directors Mark Osborne, John Stevenson Create Balance Between Action, Zen in ‘Kung Fu Panda’

Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Kung Fu Panda (4)

CHICAGO – In this summer movie season of old men with whips, gals in stilettos and superheroes a go-go, you may ask: “Where’s the cartoon?” (“Speed Racer” doesn’t count.) Indeed, the most highly anticipated animation event of the summer is “Kung Fu Panda”.

Interview: Joachim Trier’s Debut Explores Young Angst With Exceptional Feeling in ‘Reprise’

CHICAGO – When combined with the responsibilities of making the rent or making your way in the relationship landscape, early adulthood is often more challenging (and in different ways) than adolescence.

Interview: Chiwetel Ejiofor on American Samurai Journey ‘Redbelt’ From Mind of David Mamet

CHICAGO – Chiwetel Ejiofor (pronounced choo-ih-tell edge-o-for) has been a stalwart film actor ever since his dramatic debut in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad”. Since then, he has been a go-to character actor for directors as diverse as Spike Lee, Woody Allen and Stephen Frears.

Interview: ‘Son of Rambow’ Director Garth Jennings Unleashes Power of Childhood Imagination

CHICAGO – A preacher delivering a sidewalk sermon followed by a boy’s inventive doodles and drawings are the opening images that launch “Son of Rambow”. This sets the tone for the unyielding power of childhood imagination that the filmmakers unleash upon moviegoers.

Interview: ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ Director Errol Morris Discusses Evil From Iraqi Prison

CHICAGO – Here is the legendary documentarian Errol Morris on the infamous 2003 photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, which are the subject of his new film entitled “Standard Operating Procedure”:

Full Audio Interview: ‘Young@Heart’ Director Stephen Walker on Documentary’s Essence

Stephen Walker, Young@Heart

CHICAGO – Following up on our “Young@Heart” interviews in text form, we now publish our full audio interview with “Young@Heart” director Stephen Walker.

Interview: John, Brad Hennegan Project Passion For Ponies in ‘The First Saturday in May’

The First Saturday in May (1)

CHICAGO – What are you doing the first Saturday in May? Whether the answer is you’re watching the Kentucky Derby on its traditional date or if it’s anything else, the new film “The First Saturday in May” will satisfy both responses.

Interview: If You Should Survive to a Hundred and Five, You Can End Up ‘Young@Heart’

Bob Cilman, Young@Heart (7)

CHICAGO – At the base of its premise as a documentary, “Young@Heart” seems like a can’t-miss proposition. Take a senior-citizen choral group and have them sing rock ‘n’ roll. But what really emerges is an essence and poignancy that goes beyond the black and white of just singing the rock songs. As the “Grateful Dead” once sang: “In every silver lining there is a touch of grey.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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).

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