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Patrick McDonald

Film Review: Ben Stiller in Character For Thoughtful ‘Brad’s Status’

CHICAGO – Everyone comes to the point when they question their choices, their life and their truth. This concept is filtered through Ben Stiller in Brad’s Status, portraying a Dad taking his son for college visits, analyzing his life through the boy, his friends, plus his own angst and fears.

Slideshow: ‘Hello Again’ Opening Night at REELING 2017, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Film Fest

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Tyler Blackburn portrays Jack in ‘Hello Again.’

CHICAGO – Opening Night was a “reel” party as the 35th edition of “Reeling2017,” Chicago’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, kicked off at the historic Music Box Theatre on September 21st, 2017. The opening film was ‘Hello Again,” directed by Tom Gustafson, and featured Tyler Blackburn (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Jenna Ushkowitz (“Glee”). All three walked the Red Carpet before the screening, joined by screenwriter Cory Krueckeberg, and HollywoodChicago.com was there for Exclusive Photos and interviews.

Film Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Turns Up His Power in ‘Stronger’

CHICAGO – The second major film about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing (after last year’s “Patriots Day”) is “Stronger,” and it wisely focuses on one individual rather than the bigger event. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Jeff Bauman, a spectator near the explosion that lost both his legs.

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Harry Dean Stanton

CHICAGO – Harry Dean Stanton didn’t just act. He created a screen personality all of his own. The actor died last week at the age of 91, but with a 60-year career, there are a slew of highlights and shades of the man. Spike Walters, Patrick McDonald and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com spotlight three films in his career.

Film News: REELING, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Film Fest, Opens With ‘Hello Again’ on Sep. 21, 2017

Reeling17 Logo

CHICAGO – The second-oldest LGBTQ+ international film festival in America, REELING (Reeling17), launches its 35th edition in Chicago at the historic Music Box Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The opening-night film will be the musical “Hello Again” with appearances by featured cast members Tyler Blackburn (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Jenna Ushkowitz (“Glee”) along with director Tom Gustafson and screenwriter Cory Krueckeberg.

Interview, Audio: Director Mei-Juin Chen of ‘The Gangster’s Daughter’

Mei-Juin Chen

CHICAGO – Opening Night of the fifth season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema is Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, and the first film is a doozy. “The Gangster’s Daughter” is a different take on the popular Taiwanese mobster movie, a relationship film as much as the pure crime. At the helm is director Mei-Juin Chen, with her first narrative film.

Film News: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Announces 2017 Fall Season & Opening Night

Asian Pop Up Cinema Season Five

CHICAGO – On September 20th, 2017, Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema will kickoff their Fall 2017 film series, their Season Five. “The Gangster’s Daughter,” a Taiwanese drama about a rebellious teen reunited with her gangster father, will begin the series on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago, with director Chen Mei-Juin will be in attendance. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Exclusive Photo: Remembering Frank Vincent of ‘The Sopranos’ & ‘Goodfellas,’ Dead at 80

Frank Vincent, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Frank Vincent always looked good, no matter what role he was playing, but he mostly portrayed mafia types, and was styling as those guys as well… he even wrote a book on dress, “A Guy’s Guide to Being a Better Man.” He was best known as Phil Leotardo on the legendary HBO series, “The Sopranos,” and he passed away at age 80 in New Jersey on September 13th, 2017.

Film News: Character Actor Harry Dean Stanton Dies at 91

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LOS ANGELES – He was often categorized as the ultimate male character actor, but Harry Dean Stanton stood out on his own, with a persona that added immediate recognition in any supporting performance, and was unforgettable when he stepped into a lead role. Stanton died on September 15, 2017, at age 91.

Film Review: Gunplay & Violence Fuel Heroics in ‘American Assassin’

American Assassin

CHICAGO – There was another mass shooting (eight dead) in Texas this week, but it was underreported because it didn’t involve “undesirables” and just seemed like another week in America. This blithe attitude towards guns, gunplay and violence continues in the movies, this week with the overindulgent release “American Assassin.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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