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Film Review: There Are Just Enough Reasons to Go Ape Over ‘Rampage’

CHICAGO - As a whole, we have a fascination with watching destruction in front of us. It provides a catharsis from our heavily stressed lives, especially in the Trump era. It provides a necessary release of aggression, the same way video games do for people. “Rampage” scratches that itch, but only if you aren’t also looking to be intellectually stimulated or care about plot coherence.

Podtalk: Malin Akerman of ‘Rampage’ on Michigan Avenue Cover

CHICAGO – The restaurant Katana, in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, was the setting for the unveiling of Michigan Avenue Magazine’s latest cover on April 3rd… their 2018 Spring Style issue. Actress Malin Akerman (“Billions,” “The Heartbreak Kid”), whose latest film is “Rampage,” graced the front of the issue.

Interview: ‘Silvia’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 11, 2018

Silvia

CHICAGO – Discovering new filmmaking talent often starts with the short film, and the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival is showcasing shorts before many of their feature films during the fest. Local Chicago director Diego Bolivar has submitted “Silvia,” a dreamy thesis on the decisions that many immigrants have to make while residing in America. The film will be shown with the feature film Translucid/Translúcudo on April 11th, 2018. Click here for more details.

Film Review: ‘Beirut’ is a Superbly Tense Geopolitical Thriller

CHICAGO – The psychological desperation of life-or-death decisions are in play within “Beirut,” the new geopolitical thriller featuring Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”). The various mazes within the story, set during the Lebanon civil war of the 1980s, is comparative to “Casablanca,” especially through the world-weary expression of Hamm’s character.

Interview: ‘Perfect Revolution' at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema on April 11, 2018

Perfect Revolution

CHICAGO – Japan is up for this week’s feature in Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) series… and what a great film it is. “Perfect Revolution,’ directed by Junpei Matsumoto, is about handicaps… both physical and mental. The film features Japanese actors Lily Franky and Nana Seino, in a odd coupling that’s a relationship experience. The film will be presented on Wednesday, April 11th, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, with director Matumoto San appearing at the screening. For more details, click here.

Film News: Chicago’s DOC 10 Closing Night with Elvis in ‘THE KING’ on April 8, 2018

The King

CHICAGO – Elvis is everywhere and the new documentary “THE KING” proves it. There can’t be a better Closing Night film at Chicago’s DOC 10 Film Festival – April 8th, 2018, at the Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood – then this amazing document of Elvis and the American Dream, which was directed by Eugene Jarecki (“Why We Fight”). It’s a must see. For more information, ticket info, click here.

Interview: Daphne Maxwell Reid from MLK Jr. to the Fresh Prince

CHICAGO – This week marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and funeral, but locally it was one month later – May 3rd, 1968 – that a “sit-in” took place at Northwestern University near Chicago, as protesting African American students sought change. Future actor Daphne Maxwell Reid was a participant.

Podtalk: J. Wilder Konschak & Stirling McLaughlin on Digital Release of ‘Cold War’

Cold War

CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

Podtalk: ‘Murder in the Woods,’ at the 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 9, 2018

Murder in the Woods

CHICAGO – The 34th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is underway, after a successful Opening Night on April 5th, 2018. One of the showcase films will have its Midwest Premiere on Saturday, April 7th, the horror tale “Murder in the Woods.” Directed by Luis Iga and written by Yelyna De Leon, the film features “Machete” star Danny Trejo and young Latino actors portraying teens that are being killed in mysterious circumstances during a cabin getaway. For information about the Red Carpet and premiere, click here.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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