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Patrick McDonald

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Jerry Lewis

CHICAGO – Jerry Lewis had a long and winding life, dying last week at the age of 91. Through that life he had many show business lives – including the inevitable addictions – surviving all of the them with his signature comic style. He also was featured in over 70 films, and HollywoodChicago.com remembers three of them.

Interview, Audio: Director Geremy Jasper Rocks ‘Patti Cake$’

CHICAGO – How does a filmmaker create a movie about a white girl in New Jersey dreaming of being a hip-hop star? He takes the beats from his own life admiration of the music genre and fleshes out a working class story about pushing back against the odds. Geremy Jasper wrote and directed the electrically poignant “Patti Cake$.”

Film News: Kickoff for 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – On August 22nd, 2017, the first slate of films were announced, and the official poster was revealed, for the upcoming 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Festival Founder & CEO Michael Kutza unveiled the poster design, by artist Edwin Smeege, and Artistic Director Mimi Plauché gave the first sneak peek of films at the fest.

Interview, Audio: ‘An Atramentous Mind’ at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Fest on Aug. 27, 2017

An Atramentous Mind

CHICAGO – What happens when one of the more prominent filmmakers in Chicago of the last five years meets a up-and-coming female director? They get together to make a statement in a short film. “An Atramentous Mind” will have its Midwest Premiere at the Black Harvest Film Festival on August 27th, 2017, as part of their “Chicago Shorts” series. The 23rd edition of this vital Chicago festival runs through August 31st at the downtown Gene Siskel Film Center.

Film Review: Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet in ‘Leap!’

CHICAGO – One of the rites of passage for most girls in the U.S.(and elsewhere, I presume) is ballet lessons. Usually it lasts for a very short time, but some girls-to-women keep pursuing it, and may even become prima ballerinas. A new animated film named “Leap!” is dedicated to that spirit.

Interview, Audio: Rebecca Fons & Jack C. Newell on ‘Destroy Your Art’ in Chicago on Aug. 25, 2017

Destroy Your Art

CHICAGO – In one of the more intriguing “happenings” in the Chicago scene, the husband and wife team of Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell are hosting “Destroy Your Art” in Chicago, on August 25th, 2017, at Lost Arts in the Goose Island neighborhood (details below). The evening promises a one-of-a-kind event.

Film Review: Aubrey Plaza Steers the Unsettling ‘Ingrid Goes West’

CHICAGO – Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) is an actor who always seems to do something memorable in her performances. In “Ingrid Goes West,” she carries an entire movie on her quirky and sometimes disturbing character… that of a bipolar stalker who can’t find balance.

Film News: Jerry Lewis, The King of Comedy, Dies at 91

LAS VEGAS – For Jerry Lewis, the “King of Comedy” wasn’t just a mere nickname, but an apt description for his long career and influence. He went from being the most popular entertainer of an era, to notable and studied filmmaker, to charity spokesperson and finally to comic legend. Jerry Lewis died in Las Vegas on August 20th, 2017. He was 91.

Podcast Talk: Frank Carr on Yippie Fest at Prop Thtr in Chicago Aug. 18-20, 2017

2017 Yippie Fest

CHICAGO – With the closing of the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company in Chicago, came the end of their annual theater happening after 28 years, the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival. But that wasn’t the end of the SPIRIT of Abbie Fest. A group of Abbie veterans got together and founded Yippie Fest, and the first annual Yippie Fest will take place at the Prop Thtr on Chicago’s Northwest Side from August 18th through the 20th, 2017 (more details below).

Film Review: Magic & Creativity is Formula for ‘Dave Made a Maze’

Dave Made a Maze

CHICAGO – When the magnificently creative film “Dave Made a Maze” begins, it seems like another Millennial generation stab at micro budget filmmaking, with a claustrophobic set and extreme archetypes instead of characters. But then the “exploration” of the title maze starts, and suddenly “Dave” becomes a marvel of invention, tribute, hilarity and even truth.

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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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