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Film News: Freaky Oscar Ending Eclipses ‘Moonlight’ Win

CHICAGO – And the winner was… a wild and bizarre ending to the 89th Academy Awards, as Best Picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given a wrong envelope, resulting in a call of “La La Land” as top movie, but after an on-stage melee, it was further revealed that the Best Picture was actually “Moonlight.”

Film News: Comcast & ABC-TV Announce ‘The Oscars’ Immersive Experience on Xfinity X1

X1 Oscar

CHICAGO – For the second year in a row, Comcast, ABC-TV and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are partnering up for an “immersive” TV experience on The Oscars telecast. This year’s The Oscars experience will include more than 1500 hours of extra content, as well as live streams of backstage activity and the red carpet, interactive voice commands and enhanced extras – all on TV with Xfinity X1.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Association Names ‘Moonlight’ as 2016 Best Picture

Moonlight

CHICAGO – The poignant identity film “Moonlight” was named the 2016 Best Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), in an announcement on December 15th. The film also took home the Best Director (Barry Jenkins) and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) honors. “Manchester by the Sea” got the most honors, with four, from a voting survey of the CFCA.

Film News: ‘Moonlight’ Tops Chicago Film Critics Association 2016 Best Film Nominees

Moonlight

CHICAGO – The poignant journey of “Moonlight” topped the 2016 Chicago Film Critics Association nominations list with 11, as announced on Monday, December 12th. Other notable multi-category nominees included the biopic “Jackie,” the drama “Manchester by the Sea” and the musical “La La Land.” Janelle Monae (“Hidden Figures”), Lily Gladstone (“Certain Women”) and Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) scored double nominations in the Best Supporting Actress and Actor categories, as well as Most Promising Performer.

Film Review: Casey Affleck Anchors ‘Manchester by the Sea’

CHICAGO – Tis the season for earnest character studies, and Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” has a doozy. Portraying a Boston guy with a mountain of sadness within, Affleck harbors the range of emotions like a coiled snake ready to strike, but manages to keep it all undercover.

Blu-ray Review: Christopher Nolan’s Wondrous Space Odyssey ‘Interstellar’

Interstellar

CHICAGO – Far more marvelous than imperfect, “Interstellar” is the answer for moviegoers who have lost the zeal for massive films, citing a lack of ideas, heart, or general passion for filmmaking. Director Christopher Nolan’s 2014 space odyssey is an event of beauty, with the rare experience of showing viewers something they haven’t seen before.

Film Review: ‘Interstellar’ is Supposed to Mean Something, But What?

Interstellar 2

CHICAGO – It is most likely that movie goers were asking the same question of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968, but Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” belongs to its own category of what-is-the-meaning, because it tries to combine pseudo-science with psycho-babble, which clashes into meaninglessness. But the visuals are stunning, and there are moments of fulfillment, especially in a big screen IMAX format.

Film Review: Miscast Crew Spoils Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ 

CHICAGO – “Interstellar” is easily director Christopher Nolan’s worst film. It contains much of the ambition and striking visuals that have endeared him to audiences, but for large chunks of the movie his own worst tendencies towards bombast, self-importance, and hippy dippy dialogue threaten to overwhelm his dandy space sequences entirely.

Film Review: Great Cast Can’t Find Truth in False Plotting of ‘Out of the Furnace’

One overriding thought dominated my time with Scott Cooper’s stunningly disappointing “Out of the Furnace” – I just don’t care. When I wasn’t picking apart the gigantic plot holes in the narrative, I was marveling at the overheated characters who have been crafted from cliché instead of the real world.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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