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Octavia Spencer

Film Review: ‘The Shack’ is About Spirituality, Not Filmmaking

CHICAGO – To create spirituality from tragedy is like shooting the proverbial fish – a prominent symbol for Christianity – in a barrel. “The Shack” is based on a popular novel, and doesn’t try to do anything different or cinematic with a man encountering the Holy Trinity after a horrific incident.

Film Review: Brainiac Fulfillment is the Key to ‘Hidden Figures’

CHICAGO – In America, there is the history we have, and the history that we want to have happened. “Hidden Figures” falls into the second category, but it’s presented in such a way that it fulfills the goal – tell an amazing story about a group of African American women who helped launch men into space.

Exclusive Red-Carpet Portraits: Taraji P. Henson at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Popular actress Taraji P. Henson (“Hustle & Flow,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) was showcased at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival on October 23rd, 2016, as she walked the Red Carpet and presented highlights from her upcoming film, “Hidden Figures.”

Film Review: ‘Zootopia’ is an Odd But Endearing Disney Animated Film

CHICAGO – Walt Disney Studio’s latest animated extravaganza is best viewed as a child’s introduction to the buddy cop movie, since you can’t exactly start a toddler on “Midnight Run” or “Lethal Weapon 2.” But in this case it’s a bunny cop movie.

Film Review: Shortage of Spark Makes ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ a Second-String Effort

CHICAGO – “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” does nothing to change the “Divergent” series status as an off-brand Young Adult epic. As we’ve seen with “The Hunger Games,” these Young Adult franchises can be lots of fun and be faithful to their source material. But “Insurgent” has the same problem as the first two “Harry Potter” films – it’s too faithful, coupled with a dearth of inspiration behind the camera.

Film Review: Story Choices Aside, Heart Matters in ‘Black or White’

CHICAGO – As race issues continue in the news, in the wake of Ferguson and “I Can’t Breathe,” the movies exhibit an extraordinary piece of timing with the new film “Black or White.” Oscar winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer participate in a story of family and healing.

Interview: Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie & Director Mike Binder Ponder ‘Black or White’

CHICAGO – Kevin Costner has come to represent a particular brand of Americana, for his roles in films like “Field of Dreams,” “Dances with Wolves” “JFK” and recently as Pa Kent in “Man of Steel.” His latest film is “Black or White.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘Black or White’ With Kevin Costner

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new film “Black or White” starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Anthony Mackie and introducing Jillian Estell!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Adam West, LIFE Magazine

    CHICAGO – As they say about Adam West’s interpretation of Batman, “he hit so hard, that words describing the impact appeared out of thin air.” But there was more to him than just the superhero tights, as Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com remember the three main characters in the career of Adam West, who passed away last week.

  • Jeff Awards, 2017

    CHICAGO – The 44th edition of the Non-Equity Jeff Awards were given out on June 5th, 2017, at what insiders call “the theater prom.” The event honors the non-union smaller or “storefront” theater companies, and their efforts to produce quality stage work. Hosted in grand style by Alexis Roston and Lillian Castillo, the recipients of the top play was “At the Table” by the Broken Nose Theatre and top musical was “High Fidelity” by the Refuge Theatre Project.

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