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Film Review: ‘Despicable Me 3’ Reemerges as Despicably Dull

CHICAGO – This is it. The point where Gru and his Minions went from mildly irritating to excruciating. The series will undoubtedly entertain the children it’s intended for, my twins probably would have liked it if they had been able to come. But pity the poor parents who have to sit through another film full of Minion fart noises… which seems to last for roughly three whole days.

Interview, Audio: Matthew Strauss, Video Services EVP at Comcast

Matt Strauss, Exec VP at Comcast

CHICAGO – It’s difficult to keep up with the choices for television these days, and what if it was your job? Matthew “Matt” Strauss of Comcast is Executive Vice President and General Manager of their Video Services, and oversees a division where innovation and technology has reinvented TV watching, and how it is delivered.

Film Review: ‘Baby Driver’ Runs on the Fast Track of Movieland

CHICAGO – While it may seem that we’ve seen this type of tough-guy robbery gang film before, “Baby Driver” lives in its own universe, that of the movieland of movies. It is rich in squealing tires, bang-bang guns synched to the soundtrack, and a mystery cool boy creating his own star-crossed romance.

Slideshow: Chicago Premiere for the Fourth Season of Starz Network’s ‘Power’

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J.R. Ramirez is Julio in ‘Power.’

CHICAGO – On Sunday (June 25th, 2017), the fourth season began for the popular Starz Network crime drama “Power,” which was created by Courtney A. Kemp and produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The Sunday night broadcast was right on the heels of a special appearance of the cast at the Chicago premiere showcase on June 13th, which was co-presented by Starz and Xfinity. Cast members J.R. Ramirez, Rotimi Akinosho and Chicago’s own Joseph Siroka were at the event.

Slideshow: Chicago Red-Carpet Premiere of ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

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Mark Wahlberg is Cade in ‘Transformers: The Last Knight.’

CHICAGO – The Windy City became the “transforming” city on June 20th, 2017, as the major cast members and director Michael Bay walked the Red Carpet for the premiere of their new film “Transformers: The Last Knight.” The special Red Carpet event was on a barge on the Chicago River, behind the legendary Civic Opera House. Mark Wahlberg, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel and Laura Haddock were among the cast members that were there.

Film Review: Glaring Lack of Originality Handicaps ‘The Bad Batch’

Bad Batch, The

CHICAGO – Dystopia has been dissed out. Mining the negative vibe future world can’t seem to touch the rich creative vein any more and the reserves seem dry. Writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour may have an element within her interpretation that is hard core, but it’s not enough to understand the overall vision of her tomorrow world, except that we’re all part of “The Bad Batch.”

2017 Chicago Open Air Festival to Run From July 14-16, 2017

Chicago Open Air Festival

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – One of the biggest rock festivals in the country will soon take place in the Chicagoland area. The second-annual Chicago Open Air Festival will feature a full arsenal of rock artists and will take place at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. from July 14 to 16, 2017.

Red-Carpet Video Interview: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Star Josh Duhamel

Josh Duhamel in Transformers: The Last Knight

CHICAGOJosh Duhamel walked the Chicago red carpet for the premiere of “Transformers: The Last Knight” on June 20, 2017. He talked to Adam Fendelman of HollywoodChicago.com about working with director Michael Bay and this film appealing to a younger demographic (including Josh’s son).

Red-Carpet Video Interview: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Star Laura Haddock

Laura Haddock in Transformers: The Last Knight

CHICAGOLaura Haddock, the new leading lady in “Transformers: The Last Knight,” walked the Chicago red carpet for the premiere of the film on June 20, 2017. She talked to Adam Fendelman of HollywoodChicago.com about working with director Michael Bay and how her real-life OCD tendencies played into her controlling Vivian Wembley character.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers the Films of Director John G. Avildsen

John G. Avildsen

CHICAGO – His films were more popular than his name, but director John G. Avildsen did put his mark on the last 30 years of 20th Century movies. Avildsen died last week at the age of 81. He is known best for the Oscar Best Picture-winning “Rocky” (1976), but also did the controversial “Joe” (1970), “Save the Tiger” (1973, Best Actor Oscar for Jack Lemmon), John Belushi’s last film “Neighbors” (1981), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Lean on Me” (1989) and “8 Seconds” (1994). Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com offer three essays on their Avildsen favorites.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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