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Patrick McDonald

Film News: Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89

LOS ANGELES – His acting career spanned from working with Alfred Hitchcock to Tim Burton. Along the way, he had significant TV and film roles including a Best Supporting Oscar win for portraying Bela Lugosi in Burton’s “Ed Wood”. Martin Landau died in Los Angeles on July 15, 2017. He was 89.

Film Review: Despite One Premise, Laughs Are Plenty in ‘The Little Hours’

Little Hours, The

CHICAGO – It occurred to me in assessing “The Little Hours” that the basic premise is somewhat like “The Beguiled” – a man is taken in, rooster-like, into a henhouse where there are women with “needs.” Except this time, instead of a girl’s boarding school, it is a 14th Century nunnery. Get thee to it, if thou wants to laugheth.

Interview, Audio: David Lowery, Writer & Director of ‘A Ghost Story’

CHICAGO – Not all supernatural tales are meant to scare, and writer/director David Lowery haunts in a different way with his new film, “A Ghost Story.” Using the classic “white sheet” costume, with actor Casey Affleck underneath it for most of the film, Lowery creates a spirit with both emotion and a contemplation of its fate.

Slideshow: 2017 Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago Runs From August 24-27

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Lou Ferrigno of TV’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’ will also appear in 2017.

CHICAGO – It’s coming back! One of the best annual pop culture entertainment and comic book gatherings returns to Chicagoland once again, as the Wizard World Comic Con will make its yearly visit to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., the weekend of August 24th through the 27th, 2017. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV, music and movie celebrities, highlighted by Elizabeth Olsen (“Captain America: Civil War”), John Cusack (“Love & Mercy”), Gene Simmons (KISS) and Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk” TV series).

Film Feature: Best & Worst of 2017 So Far by HollywoodChicago.com

CHICAGO – The 4th of July holiday is over and the second half of the year looms before us, so what better time than to assess 2017 so far, with the best and worst films of the first half of the year. The film critic contributors of HollywoodChicago.com – Patrick McDonald, Jon Espino and Spike Walters – offer up their choices for BEST and WORST.

Film News: Chicago Media Project Kicks Off ‘Dinner & Docs @ The Davis’ on July 13, 2017

City of Ghosts

CHICAGO – The Chicago Media Project is starting a new and exciting quarterly program called “Dinner & Docs at The Davis.” The “dinner” is offered by Chef Gil Langlois of the new Carbon Arc Restaurant at The Davis Theatre in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood (link to details below). The “doc” is the new documentary feature “City of Ghosts,” directed by Matthew Heineman, to be screened after the dinner at in The Davis Theatre. The screening will be followed by a Skype appearance by director Heineman, discussing the film with panelists Kerry Peterson (Committee to Protect Journalists) and Lina Sergie Attar (The Syrian Campaign).

Interview, Audio: Haroula Rose, Creator of ‘Tribeca: TV’ Finalist ‘Lost & Found’

Haroula Rose

CHICAGO – The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival was not all about film. Besides showcasing Immersive and Virtual Reality programming, this edition of the festival opened up submissions from independent television pilot creators for the first time. One of the four finalists that were accepted to the “Tribeca: TV” portion of the festival was “Lost & Found,” created and directed by Haroula Rose, who is from the nearby Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood, Ill.

Entertainment News: Howard Fagenholz, Entertainer at Chicago’s Marigold Bowl, Dies at 88

Howard Fagenholz

CHICAGO – He was all Chicago, from his birth on the West Side to his passing on the North Side, blocks from Wrigley Field and his beloved Chicago Cubs. Howard Fagenholz’s family owned the Marigold Bowl near the corner of Grace and Broadway from 1941 through 2004. He was a lifelong entertainer at the bowling alley, combining his bellicose and sentimental virtues as a bartender and counter worker there, which earned him the nickname “Uncle Howard.” Fagenholz died in his sleep of natural causes on June 30th, 2017. He was 88.

Film Review: Sofia Coppola Creates a Masterwork with ‘The Beguiled’

CHICAGO – The human-ness of being human never changes, fundamentally. The mating season arrives, and the effect makes for both great connections and bad decisions. Director Sofia Coppola emphasizes this in a reverent film production of the story called “The Beguiled.”

Slideshow: Laura Harrier of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ at Film Preview in Chicago

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Laura Harrier portrays Liz in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’

CHICAGO – Chicago welcomed one of its own back home when Laura Harrier, who portrays the key role of Liz in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” appeared at a Chicago preview for the film on June 21st, 2017. Harrier lived in nearby Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2008. The actress/model first gained notoriety in 2013, when she portrayed Destiny Evans in the reboot of the soap opera “One Life to Live.” Her appearance in “Spider-Man: Homecoming marks her major film debut.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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