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Film Review: American Legal System is Put on Trial in ‘Crown Heights’

CHICAGO – There is no justice for the poor. That should be carved in stone on courthouses beside all the platitudes of American “equality” and “law.” In an eye-opening narrative film based on a true story, “Crown Heights” explores just how an impoverished individual can be found guilty and imprisoned unjustly for years.

Film Review: Individualism in ‘Menashe’ Challenges the Tribe

CHICAGO – We all belong to something, be it a family, workplace, congregation or (expansively) a tribe. But within all that belonging is a sometimes nagging feeling of being an outsider. There is not a human being in existence that hasn’t felt that way, and a new film expresses that feeling in “Menashe.”

Interview: Benjamin May on ‘The Legend of Swee’ Pea’ at the Midwest Independent Film Festival

Legend of Swee' Pea, The

CHICAGO – The road to athletic success is littered with the clichés of “might have been” and “never was,” but rarely does it contain a success story that is despite the person who achieved that success. In the early 1990s, a journeyman broke into the National Basketball Association, the first time in its history that a player that never graduated from high school made it to the big show. That man is Lloyd Daniels, and his story is in the documentary “The Legend of Swee’ Pea,” by filmmaker Benjamin May. The director will appear – with his cinematographer Daniel Levin – on behalf of his film at its Chicago premiere, presented by the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 (details below).

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s 2016 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Okay kids, time to jump into the 2016 Oscar Pool. There are “predictors,” and then there is HollywoodChicago.com! That’s right, critic contributors Spike Walters and Patrick McDonald have the inside scoop to who will win on Oscar night, because they have a DeLorean time machine – in their dreams!

Film News: ‘The Revenant’ Gets 12 Oscar Nominations for 2016

The Revenant - 12 Oscar nominations

CHICAGO – “The Revenant,” director Alejandro Iñárritu’s epic drama, got 12 nominations – including Best Picture – as all the categories for the 88th Academy Awards were announced on January 14th, 2016. Rounding out the Best Picture class is “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “Room” and “Spotlight.”

Film News: 10 Anticipated Films of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the most exciting times of the Fall Season for Chicago film buffs is the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2015, the 51st edition takes place beginning this Thursday, October 15th through October 29th. With over 130 films, which ten are the contributors of HollywoodChicago.com anticipating? Read on…

Film Review: Warm ‘Fading Gigolo’ Has Odd Romance, Woody Allen

Fading Gigolo

CHICAGO – How do you make a Woody Allen style film? You hire Woody Allen to act in it. Writer, director and lead actor John Turturro channels the soul of Allen’s films by creating a strange and romantic scenario with different types of relationships, including one with Woody himself in “Fading Gigolo.”

Interview: John Turturro Vibrantly Directs ‘Fading Gigolo’

CHICAGO – “You’re a sick f**k, Fink” is the movie quote I was tempted to throw at John Turturro, the actor who played the title role as “Barton Fink,” and dozens of other memorable movie characters. Turturro is breaking out again as a writer/director, producing a new film co-starring Woody Allen, delicately entitled “Fading Gigolo.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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