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Patrick McDonald

‘Good Hair’ Has Chris Rock Getting to the Roots of Follicle Follies

Chris Rock of "Good Hair"

CHICAGO – Positioning himself as a informational bridge-builder, comedian Chris Rock explores the often complex social economics of African American hair, specifically the intense styling that is a borderline obsession for women of color.

Opening Night: Star Power at the Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – The big hitters were out on the red carpet, kicking off the 45th Chicago International Film Festival. Opening with Uma Thurman’s “Motherhood,” prominent artists, politicians and Uma herself graced the proceedings.

Interview: Corbin Bleu of ‘High School Musical’ on His Motocross Film ‘Free Style’

CHICAGO – The challenge of instant fame caught up with Corbin Bleu, when he portrayed Chad Danforth in the “High School Musical” series. He is now producing and starring in “Free Style,” an underdog story centered around motocross racing.

Interview: Michael Stuhlbarg’s Passion in Joel, Ethan Coen’s ‘A Serious Man’

CHICAGO – In “A Serious Man,” the remarkable new film by Joel and Ethan Coen, Michael Stuhlbarg carries the narrative weight through his amazing performance as Larry Gopnik, the put-upon victim of a series of odd and desperate circumstances.

Theater Review: New Play ‘SunChoke’ is a Dereliction of Beauty

SunchokeFront.jpg

CHICAGO – “Beautiful,” I said to Josh Arteaga, the playwright of “SunChoke,” after experiencing his post-apocalyptic narrative at the Raven Theater. Why that particular word would come out of such dread is emblematic of the entirety.

Interview: Karen Allen and the Kingdom of Her Crystal Life

CHICAGO – Actress Karen Allen, who made a debut smash in the 1978 film ‘Animal House,’ is most likely to be remembered as Marion in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and 2008’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.’

‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,’ Then Serve Up the Filmmakers

Tucker Max

CHICAGO – The main problem with “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” based on Tucker Max’s memoir about a hard partying, devil-may-care womanizer, is that the screenwriter (Max himself) didn’t have the cojones to go all the way.

John Malkovich and the Morality of South Africa in ‘Disgrace’

CHICAGO – In a stark and compelling tale of naked vulnerability, John Malkovich becomes the centerpiece of the continuing battle for territory and humanity within the country of South Africa, in the newly released “Disgrace.”

Interview: An Ice Cream Social With Oscar Winner Richard Dreyfuss

CHICAGO – Actor Richard Dreyfuss is comfortable. This was on display as he was eating ice cream while talking about his career and life, just before an appearance at the brand new Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville, Ill.

‘Juno,’ ‘Jennifer’s Body’ Writer Diablo Cody Set to Adapt ‘Sweet Valley High’

LOS ANGELES – “Sweet Valley High” filtered through Diablo Cody? That is exactly what Universal is doubling down on, in negotiations to pick up the rights to the long-running book series, with Cody (“Juno,” “Jennifer’s Body”) attached to adapt.

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