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Film Review: ‘Monster Trucks’ May Be One of the Weirdest Films Ever

Monster Trucks

CHICAGO – A four year old walks into a room with a great idea for a movie, and unfortunately his father is president of a “motion picture group.” Millions of dollars and four years later, this child’s idea became “Monster Trucks,” one of the strangest movies ever conceived.

Interview: Omar Epps & D.C. Young Fly of ‘Almost Christmas’

CHICAGO – Every year, the “season” gets earlier and earlier, and the first out of the gate for the holidays is the new film, “Almost Christmas.” This warm-hearted comedy involves a large African American family gathering at the Yuletide, and features Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, and introducing D.C. Young Fly.

Slideshow: Red-Carpet Portraits from the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

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OPENING NIGHT: Rosemarie DeWitt of ‘La La Land.’

CHICAGO – The glamor and the action always takes place on the Red Carpet, and the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival had one virtually every night of their two week 2016 run. New and veteran celebrities walked the carpet, representing their films or being honored at the fest, and HollywoodChicago.com was there.

Film Review: ‘Beyond the Lights’ Has a Respect for Storytelling

Beyond the Lights with Gugu Mbatha-Raw

CHICAGO – Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, the creator of the cult favorite “Love & Basketball,” is back with another original story that she created, an intimate and romantic perspective on a singer on the path to nowhere, despite superstar-level fame. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as that singer in “Beyond the Lights.”

Interview: Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw is Directed ‘Beyond the Lights’

CHICAGO – The show business life is ripe for drama, and the new film “Beyond the Lights” explores the difficulties of the the superstar reaches of the music business, through a Beyoncé-type singer. Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Noni, and the film’s director is Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”).

Film Review: Common Delivers Best Work to Date in Problematic ‘LUV’

LUV Film Review

CHICAGO – Assigned the role of World’s Worst Father Figure, Common delivers a performance so compelling that it nearly makes Sheldon Candis’ blood-soaked odyssey worth the trip. Nearly, however, is the key word. For all of it merits, this picture derails into a ditch of heavy-handed implausibility at the precise moment when it should be soaring.

Blu-ray Review: Long Overdue ‘Lethal Weapon Collection’ is Spectacular Package

Lethal Weapon

CHICAGO – With surprisingly little fanfare, the “Lethal Weapon Collection” has finally been released stateside (after being available for some time overseas) and it’s a fantastic package with at least two films that have held up more spectacularly than you probably remember and some great special features.

TV Review: FOX’s ‘Touch’ With Kiefer Sutherland Comes With Heavy Hand

CHICAGO – With elements of “Pay It Forward,” “The Number 23,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” classic inspirational TV fare like “Touched by an Angel,” and the later seasons of “Heroes,” FOX’s new drama, “Touch,” is an absolute mess.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • 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.

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