Michigan

Film Review: Fate of a Nation is Contemplated in ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’

CHICAGO – You might think that “Fahrenheit 11/9,” the latest advocate documentary from provocateur Michael Moore, is all about Donald Trump and his diffident administration. But that’s not the whole thing, which is the strength of the film. Moore goes back to hometown Flint, Michigan, and other places in the USA, which exposes the symptoms rather than the Trump disease.

Interview: Ginger Zee on Her New Book ‘Chasing Helicity’

CHICAGO – Ginger Zee is more than a popular meteorologist who comes into homes during the A.M. on “Good Morning America.” She is also an advocate in her pursuit of weather reporting and a newly minted writer of fiction. She combined both for middle school readers, in her new book “Chasing Helicity.”

Slideshow: Meteorologist Ginger Zee Promotes Her Book ‘Chasing Helicity’ in Chicagoland

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Meteorologist Ginger Zee up close for her book ‘Chasing Helicity.’

CHICAGO – Meteorologist Ginger Zee is an admired personality on ABC-TV, handling the weather reporting from “Good Morning America” to “World News Tonight.” Those in Chicago fondly remember Ms. Zee, when she did weather on NBC5 here. She made a triumphant return to promote her new book, “Chasing Helicity,” at a signing event sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

Podtalk: Verne Troyer in Memoriam, in Interview From 2012

Verne Troyer, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Verne Troyer will always be one of the more intriguing breakout celebrities of the last 20 years. Always and forever known as “Mini Me” in the Austin Powers series of films, he also endured stereotyping and the health difficulties associated with his diminutive size. Troyer died on April 21st, 2018, at the age of 49. The cause of his death remains unknown.

Interview: Director Layne Marie Williams, Actor Hannah Kopen on ‘Dollface’ Premiere on June 10, 2016

Dollface

CHICAGO – The premiere of a director’s film is a major evolutionary moment for the cinema artist, and Layne Marie Williams will debut “Dollface” this Friday, June 10th, 2016, at the Canvas event space in Wicker Park in Chicago. The short film features Hannah Kopen in one of the lead roles, and the premiere will be part of a gallery/cinema fusion called SINtegrate. For complete details, click here.

Interview: ‘Weekend Workbench’ Host Ryan Salzwedel’s Do-it-Yourself Fix

Ryan Salzwedel, 'Weekend Workbench"

CHICAGO – Locally produced TV shows are old school, but WGN-TV in Chicago has had a long tradition of that type of show and hosts. Tapping into the legacy of Ray Rayner and Bozo the Clown, local programming is making a comeback, and one of the newest WGN-TV hosts is Ryan Salzwedel of “Weekend Workbench.”

Interview: Verne Troyer – Mini-Me in ‘Austin Powers’ – in Chicagoland

CHICAGO – The small but mighty Verne Troyer is a lucky and humble star. He grew in Michigan, and maintains his Midwestern roots in his approach to show business. Troyer makes an appearance at the Hollywood Palms (Naperville, Ill.) and the Hollywood Blvd. Cinema (Woodridge) to introduce “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Goldmember.”

Film Review: Whole Truth Becomes a Modern-Era Reality in ‘Catfish’

Catfish Nev on the Road

CHICAGO – “Catfish” is a real oddball of a film, set in the Twilight Zone of our own virtual cyberspace. Three twentysomething men navigate through the mysterious rigors of a journey they never expected to take. Nev Schulman is the main subject and directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost provide the video exposition in this true story.

Interviews: Nev Schulman, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost of ‘Catfish’

Catfish

CHICAGO – One of the most provocative new films of 2010 is the strange and beautiful “Catfish.” As a testament to the current age of on-camera exploration, the true story focuses on New York photographer Nev Schulman, as he receives a package in the mail, which begins a journey that takes him to a relationship he thought he’d never have. Brother Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost are the “directors.”

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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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