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Joel Murray

Slideshow, Audio: Red-Carpet Portraits from The Second City Roast of George Wendt

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Honoree George Wendt gets ‘roasted.’ Norm!

CHICAGO – On September 9th, 2017, it seemed like the whole of The Second City theater on Wells Street in Chicago let out a collective cry of “NORM!” The favorite barfly of TV’s “Cheers,” George Wendt, came back to his old comedy stomping ground at The Second City to participate in “I Can’t Believe They Wendt There: The Roast of George Wendt.”

Interview: ‘Joel Murray & Friends’ at the New iO Chicago Venue

CHICAGO – iO Chicago continues the Grand Opening at its new venue with one of its most famous alumni – the illustrious Joel Murray. Besides opening the seventh season of “Mad Men” with a brilliant monologue as Freddy Rumsen, Murray brings his “Joel Murray & Friends” show to the new iO Chicago on August 30th.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell on the Chicago Set for ‘Open Tables’

Jack Newell

CHICAGO – You know you’re on a Jack C. Newell film set when his producer, Steve Tobiasz, offers you the best empanada you’ve ever eaten, from the Gourmet Food Truck that is crucial to the upcoming scene. “Open Tables” is director Jack C. Newell’s second feature film, coming in right after 2012’s “Close Quarters.”

Film Review: Pixar Scores Again With Delightful ‘Monsters University’

CHICAGO – Let’s everybody say it together, “the key to great animation is a great story.” This has to be the motto for Pixar Animation – now part of Disney. Their latest, “Monsters University,” is a prequel with a heart, soul and attention to what makes this type of entertainment work.

Blu-ray Review: Flawed Satire ‘God Bless America’ Has Moments of Brilliance

God Bless America Blu-ray

CHICAGO – How does one attempt to review a picture that has a 5-star opening act, a 2-star finale and several flashes of brilliance amidst a middling midsection? Are the good parts worth savoring despite the overarching flaws? In the case of Bobcat Goldthwait’s scathing yet softhearted satire on American idiocy, the answer is a resounding yes..

Film Review: Bobcat Goldthwait’s ‘God Bless America’ Takes Aim at Stupidity

God Bless America
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – While I’m writing this, a commercial for “My American Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” is playing on TV. It seems appropriate to kick off writing about a film that takes satirical aim at the bottom-feeding world of reality TV and the cult of personality that has devolved the 15-minute fame cycle into a 15-second one. I wish I could say that Bobcat Goldthwait’s “God Bless America” is a complete success because there’s a lot to like here but there are a few disappointing elements and the final act is a near-disaster dramatically. Still, star Joel Murray is SO good and Bobcat finds the sharp edge of his satirical gift often enough to warrant a look.

Interview: Joel Murray Takes No Prisoners in ‘God Bless America’

CHICAGO – Joel Murray, as most people know, comes from the Murray clan of Wilmette, Illinois, which includes his fellow actor brothers Brian Doyle and Bill. He has established himself as a memorable TV and movie character actor, and portrays a man gone wild in the Bobcat Goldthwait-directed “God Bless America.”

Interview: Bobcat Goldthwait Shoots Idiocy in the Face in ‘God Bless America’

CHICAGO – Embarrassments both mortifying and tragic are viewed through a cathartically hilarious and disarmingly humanistic lens in the cinema of Bobcat Goldthwait.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘God Bless America’ With Chicago’s Joel Murray

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “God Bless America” hosted by star and Chicago native Joel Murray!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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