Harry Potter

Film Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Goes Deeper into Harry Potter World

CHICAGO – “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is like the “Joey” of film franchises, a spinoff which only exists because of its tangential connections to a better (and more beloved) property. But since this is our only current filmed connection to the “wizarding world of Harry Potter,” it’ll have to do.

Film News: Alan Rickman, Snape in Harry Potter, Dies at 69

LONDON – He lived in a show age when a classically trained British actor could also portray a German villain, an indecisive husband and one of the most memorable characters in the Harry Potter series. Alan Rickman was all of these, and he did it with a signature style. Rickman died in London at age 69 on January 14, 2016.

Interview: John Michael Performs the One-Man ‘Order of the Penix’

John Michael & the Order of the Penix

CHICAGO – Occasionally we can be surprised through true wonder and serendipity. In August of 2015, John Michael – a Texas native and one-man-show artist – crushed out the funny at the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins theater festival, by making his Chicago debut with “John Michael & the Order of the Penix.” For two consecutive upcoming Saturdays – Dec. 5th and 12th – he returns to the scene of his debut, the Mary-Arrchie Theater at Angel Island in Chicago, to perform the show once again.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 20 Family 4-Packs to ‘Paddington’ Based on Beloved Novels

CHICAGOFamily 4-packs! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 family 4-packs (80 seats in total) up for grabs to the family comedy “Paddington” from “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman based on the beloved novels by Michael Bond!

Film Review: An Unnatural Approach to Romance in ‘What If’

CHICAGO – “What If” is a really bad title, but that is the least of the film’s concerns, apparently, as the old can-man-and-women-be-friends canard rears its indecisive but predictable head (snicker). This time it’s interpreted through Harry Potter and Elia Kazan’s granddaughter, if this is to be believed.

Blu-ray Review: Amazing Gift Set For ‘Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection’

Harry Potter Wizard's Collection

CHICAGO – Do you have a diehard “Harry Potter” fan in your family? No, I don’t mean someone who likes Harry Potter. I’m talking someone who is DEVOTED to the world created by J.K. Rowling. Because it takes some serious devotion to commit to the “Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection,” a new Blu-ray box set from Warner Bros. that includes a stunning THIRTY-ONE DISCS along with numerous physical collectibles, new special features, and a marvelous case. It’s incredibly expensive but also incredibly cool.

Film News: ‘The Hunger Games’ Grosses $19.7 Million at Midnight

The Hunger Games Katniss

CHICAGO – If you weren’t sure “The Hunger Games” was going to be as big as predicted, the news this morning may change your mind. Midnight showing totals for the new film are estimated to be $19.7 million. This record breaking number lands just above “The Dark Knight” at number seven in all-time midnight showing totals, and sits behind six other films with the words “Harry Potter” or “Twilight” in their titles.

Blu-ray Review: Stellar Release For ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2’

Harry Potter 7b

CHICAGO – The Blu-ray release for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” is one of those wonderful circumstances in which this critic finds the home release more remarkable than the theatrical. I had some issues with the final film, although would still certainly recommend it, especially if you’ve made it this far, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize that the Blu-ray is among the best of the year.

Film News: ‘Harry Potter’ Actor Charged With Possession of Homemade Bomb

Jamie Waylett

CHICAGO – “Harry Potter” actor Jamie Waylett, who played Draco Malfoy’s good friend Vincent Crabbe for six of the Potter films, is facing a number of charges for his involvement in this past summer’s London riots; charges that include possession of a homemade bomb.

Film Feature: 10 Most Controversial Moments in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

Deathly Hollows Feature

CHICAGO – Taken as one complete film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is easily the best installment of the series. By splitting J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding final book into two parts, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves had much more time to pace each sequence and develop each character to the best of their ability. The added minutes have enabled them to deliver a rousing finale to one of the greatest franchises in history.

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  • 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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