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Film Review: ‘Aquaman’ is a Watery Sleep with the Fishes

CHICAGO – The dripping sound of water you will hear this upcoming weekend will be the tears of DC Comics fans, as they cry from frustration over the latest cinema hit job on one of the Super-Friends. The tepid and overlong “Aquaman” is another hero movie that tries to combine origin story and “first case” adventure, and fails at both.

Film Review: You’ll Be Wild About Magical ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

CHICAGO – They did it. Walt Disney Studios took one of their most beloved live action/animated films and rebooted it for a new millennium. “Mary Poppins Returns” is a song-filled, emotional and magical celebration of all things Mary P, combining the elements that made it great the first time with the modern movie strengths of today.

Podtalk: Jerry Vasilatos Presents ‘Solstice’ at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Dec. 18, 2018

Solstice

CHICAGO – In a bit of a Christmas miracle, a film that was shot in Chicago in the early 1990s will see the light of screen again in the same theater – the historic Music Box Theatre – where a key scene was filmed. Writer/Director Jerry Vasilatos presents the 25th Anniversary restoration of his holiday film “Solstice” on December 18th, 2018, with a post screening Q&A moderated by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com. For details and ticket info, click here.

Film Review: Multi-Dimensional ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

CHICAGO – This animated take on Spider-Man gets a little stuck in a web entirely of its own making. Digging deeper into the weeds of the extended mythology of the comics, “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” presents not one but at least seven different versions of the character.

Film Review: ‘Vox Lux’ is a Visually Stark Metaphor for a Lost Cause

CHICAGO – In the frozen emotional landscape of America, where mass shootings have become as regular as the sunrise, what better symbol for this madness is there than a pop star? Natalie Portman is that singer in “Vox Lux,” a victim and a perpetrator in the sin of mass death, and the soundtrack of gunfire.

Film News: HollywoodChicago.com to Host Q&A for ‘Wild Honey’ on Dec. 12, 2018

Wild Honey

CHICAGO – “Wild Honey” is a film of transition and redemption, and features a stellar cast anchored by veteran character actress Rusty Schwimmer.

Podtalk: Producer Stephanie Buxbaum on Her Adventures in Reality & Doc Series Television

Stephanie Buxbaum 3

CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Best Film of 2018 is ‘Roma’

CHICAGO – The personal, emotional essence of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” – a memory film set in the Mexico City neighborhood in the early 1970s – took home the Best Picture honor at the 2018 Chicago Film Critics Association annual dinner. “Roma” also was honored as Best Foreign Film, Director, Cinematography and Editing.

Film Review: ‘Anna and The Apocalypse’ is UnDead on Arrival

CHICAGO – Arriving a few years too late after the great movie mashup craze, “Anna and The Apocalypse” is a zombie Christmas musical. The signature (and only) joke is that teens are dancing and singing amid the blood, guts, and gore spurting in gushers around them. But it’s less a feature film and more akin to a late run episode of “Glee,” when its creators had clearly run out of any ideas.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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