Patrick McDonald

Film News: Chicago’s DOC 10 Fest Opens with ‘Knock Down the House’ on April 11, 2019

Knock Down the House

CHICAGO – One of the great predictors of Oscar worthy films is Chicago’s DOC 10 festival. The Chicago Media Project presents its fourth annual documentary fest, a weekend of 10 prominent documentaries that end up either making a national statement or nominated for awards (last year’s fest included Oscar nominees “Minding the Gap” and “RBG”). It all takes place at the Davis Theatre in the Lincoln Square neighborhood from April 11th-14th, 2019, and opens with “Knock Down the House.” For more information and tickets, click here.

Film Review: ‘Hellboy’ Maintains Energy Just by Being Hellboy

CHICAGO – The latest film reboot is “Hellboy,” and it cruises based on the viability and popularity of its title character. David Harbour takes the reins from Ron Perlman in portraying the demon, and although it’s bogged down by the story, the latest iteration works because the character is so weirdly appealing.

Film News: 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival Closing Night with ‘El Reality’ on April 11, 2019

El Reality

CHICAGO – The 35th edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) is coming to a close, and their final night film is “El Reality” on April 11th, 2019, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. This Closing Night event and its gala after party (at Chez, 247 East Ontario) celebrates the whole festival, concluding after a two week run. For more information and tickets, click here.

Entertainment News: Annual ‘Watchathon Week’ from Comcast Xfinity TV, April 8 - 14, 2019

Watchathon

CHICAGO – Get the couches ready and the soft pants on … it’s time to binge watch with Xfinity TV. In the week of April 8th through the 14th, 2019, Xfinity offers their seventh annual “Watchathon Week” to their customers, giving them an opportunity to catch up with thousands of movies and shows, including the entire series of “Game of Thrones,” in anticipation of its final season.

Film Review: An Obsessive Couple’s Journey in ‘Ash is Purest White’

CHICAGO – Obsessive love is a movie story staple, and “Ash is Purest White” puts a Chinese point-of-view on this strange phenomenon. This is a coupling in the background of organized crime and a changing China, and their success and failure is based on the events surrounding them as much as their devotion to each other.

Podtalk: Alison Klayman on ‘The Brink,’ Her New Documentary Profiling Steve Bannon

Brink, The

CHICAGO – What does the title of Alison Klayman’s new documentary, “The Brink,” mean? On the surface, it is a fly-on-the-wall profile of right wing operative Steve Bannon, who worked for Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 and was on his executive staff at the White House, until he unceremoniously resigned.

Interview: Dillon Schneider of ‘Best Video’ Nominee at American Country Music Awards

Dillon Schneider

CHICAGO – Dillon Schneider is the quintessential local man made good. A graduate of Chicagoland’s Barrington High School and the city’s Columbia College, Schneider was the cinematographer for the music video “Burn Out” by Midland, which is nominated for Best Video at the 54th American Country Music (ACM) Awards, coming up on April 7th, 2019.

Podtalk: Wendy Mateo of ‘Good Mothers’ at 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival, April 7, 2019

Good Mothers

CHICAGO – The 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) continues this week through April 11th, 2019, with a ghostly double feature. The short film “Good Mothers” (USA) is about two sisters building an altar to their mother, which conjures her spirit for 24 hours. Writer/director/Lead Actor Wendy Mateo will represent the film at the screening on April 7th, paired with “My Girlfriend’s Ghost” (Dominican Republic). For more details and tickets, click here.

Photo Gallery: The Darbies Perform at the RocHaus on April 5, 2019

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The Darbies at the RocHaus, 1 of 6

WEST DUNDEE, Ill. – The Darbies are a rock n roll quartet forged in the majestic and azure city-tide of the west end of Los Angeles. Like many bands before them, The Darbies are tinged with that peculiar, mythic brilliance that characterizes the musical portraiture of the teeming Los Angeles soundscape. Young, ambitious, persistent and forged with an undeniable devil-may-care-vintage-rock swagger, The Darbies are climbing to the top with a rapidity matched only by the sweltering charisma of their captivating musical presence, and breathtakingly cathartic live performances.

Film Review: ‘Shazam!’ is a Paint by Numbers Superhero Movie

CHICAGO – The former Captain Marvel (story below) is now “Shazam!,” and has his own film in the DC Comics universe. Zachary Levi portrays the title character, now with a new origin to go along with his new name. Speaking of that, no new ground is broken in this pretty standard foster-kid-makes-good hero epic.

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  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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