George W. Bush

Oscar Week: Podtalks with Nominated Best Director Adam McKay on His Filmmaker Philosophy

Vice, Adam McKay

CHICAGO – Director Adam McKay has come to the meatiest part of his long and successful career. He began with comedy in TV and film, and was first known for hilarious movies like “Anchorman,” “Talledega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.” Recently, he has moved into more complex filmmaking, like the highly touted (and Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Director) “The Big Short” in 2015, and this year’s “Vice,” nominated again for Best Picture, Best Director and for his Best Original Screenplay.

Film Review: ‘Vice’ Proves It’s Okay to Laugh at Dick Cheney

CHICAGO – “Vice” is an occasionally very funny attempt to demystify the life and legacy of former Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Using some of the same gimmicks and narrative trickery he employed to great effect in “The Big Short,” writer/director Adam McKay goes deep into the weeds to try to explain how Cheney made it to the second highest office in the land.

Interview, Audio: Directors Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk of ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

CHICAGO – The beauty of ex-Vice President Al Gore is that whenever his name is mentioned we think about his central passion… how Planet Earth is changing due to greenhouse gases and pollution. His groundbreaking “An Inconvenient Truth” documentary is a cultural icon, and now he is back with the aptly titled “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” co-directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk.

Exclusive Portrait: Former First Lady Laura Bush Visits Chicagoland for New Book ‘Our Great Big Backyard’

Laura Bush, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, former First Lady Laura Bush has written a children’s book – co-authored by her daughter Jenna Bush Hager – called “Our Great Big Backyard.” Anderson’s Bookshop of Naperville, Ill., sponsored an appearance by Ms. Bush, at the North Central College there, which benefitted the Naperville Education Foundation.

Film Feature: The Top 10 Celebrity Photos of 2014, By Joe Arce

CHICAGO – In a year where shoots with perpetual photo fashionistas like Cindy Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker still failed to crack the Top Ten list of biggest celebrity photo-ops, you know 2014 was a very good year for HollywoodChicago.com and myself, Joe Arce, as Senior Staff Photographer.

Exclusive Portrait: Former President George W. Bush in Chicagoland

George W. Bush, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Former president George W. Bush appeared in Naperville, Ill., at Anderson’s Bookshop to promote his book, “41: A Portrait of My Father.” The tome is a memoir of the Bush patriarch, George H.W. Bush, who was the 41st president.

Film Review: Errol Morris’ ‘The Unknown Known’ Seeks Donald Rumsfeld

CHICAGO – The reason some people fit into government service is fairly well defined in the latest film of iconic documentary maker Errol Morris. His profile of ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in “The Unknown Known” is a tale of history – affected by war, death, torture and justification.

Film Review: ‘Inequality for All’ Becomes a Cry for Democracy

Inequality for All

CHICAGO – One of the more underreported stories of the past year is that income inequality – the gap between the wealthiest one percent in the U.S. versus the rest of the population – is at historic highs. When that balance of power is tilted, the result is documented in the new film, “Inequality for All.”

Film Review: Kevin Spacey Comes Up Aces in ‘Casino Jack’

CHICAGO – The halls of the Capitol Building are paved with money. It takes a long time beyond civics class and history to realize that. Kevin Spacey illustrates that concept precisely playing “super lobbyist” and convicted larcenist Jack Abramoff in “Casino Jack”.

Film Review: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts Revive Valerie Plame in ‘Fair Game’

Fair Game, Naomi Watts

CHICAGO – The key line in “Fair Game,” a distillation of Valerie Plame’s outing as a CIA operative in 2003, is intoned by character actor Bruce McGill, in a scene reminiscent of the “Mr. X” moment in the “JFK” movie. Pointing to the White House and the Bush Administration, he simply says, “there are the most powerful men in the history of the world.”

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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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