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Film Review: ‘Novitiate’ Goes Inside the 1960s Catholic Church

Novitiate

CHICAGO – In a “mystery of faith” narrative disguised as a feminist statement, the new film “Novitiate” goes inside a nunnery in 1964 America, just as the Catholic Church was about to make some radical changes to their procedures. How it affected the church is how it affected the nuns, and the intriguing insider story is full of back room shocks.

Film Review: ‘LBJ’ is Important American History Brought to Light

CHICAGO – The circumstances surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination on November 22nd, 1963, put a man into the presidential spotlight who never thought he would get there… Lyndon Baines Johnson. The story of that strange time and the man who “would be king” is told in ‘LBJ.’

Exclusive Photo: Happy Birthday to Actress Stefanie Powers of ‘Hart to Hart’

Stephanie Powers, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – For years, her signature TV series – and subsequent TV movie run – was the iconic “Hart to Hart,” co-starring Robert Wagner. Stefanie Powers began her career in the Swingin’ 1960s, and her career includes one of the signature TV shows from that era. HollywoodChicago.com wishes Stefanie Powers a Happy Birthday on November 2nd, 2017, with this Exclusive Portrait from photographer Joe Arce at “The Hollywood Show” from the Chicago gathering in March of this year.

Interview, Audio: Actor Frank Grillo is ‘Wheelman’ on Netflix

Wheelman

CHICAGO – Actor Frank Grillo is on the rise, as evidenced from his high profile supporting role in Marvel Studios “Captain America: Civil War” and portraying Sgt. Barnes in “The Purge” series of horror films. He recently has partnered in a production company (WarParty Films) and is the title character in their debut movie “Wheelman,” which is distributed and available now on Netflix, as part of their film group.

Film Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Shatters the Hammer, But Maintains the Mold

CHICAGO – Any blacksmith will tell you that their job is much more than the brute action of slamming a hammer onto steel. There is some finessing and an attention to detail that needs to take place in order to make something truly notable. With Taika Waititi manning the hammer, he takes the “Thor” franchise out from the Dark Ages and into the technicolor light.

Film News: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents Midwest Premiere of ‘Split’ on Nov. 1, 2017

Split

CHICAGO – The Fall Season Five continues for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series in Chicago as they roll down the alley for “Split,” Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, at the AMC River East 21 Theatre. This South Korean bowling comedy is directed by Choi Kook-hee. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will make an appearance as “the bowler,” with Ron Falzone of Columbia College moderating. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film Review: Energy of Visual Cinema is the Power of ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – In one of the coolest visual films of the Fall Season thus far, “Wonderstruck” is another winner from director Todd Haynes (“Carol”), who adapts a Young Adult graphic novel by Brian Selznick (who also wrote the screenplay). The wonder of it all, baby.

Exclusive Photo, Audio: Patrick Stewart at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Make it so, and the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival accomplished “it,” honoring Patrick Stewart at a tribute event on October 25th, 2017. The versatile actor gained fame as Star Trek’s Jean Luc-Picard and X-Men’s Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X.

Film Review: ‘Suburbicon’ is the Cinematic Equivalent of a Soccer Mom

CHICAGO – Having lived in both the suburbs and in major cities throughout my lifetime, I can say without hesitation that the suburbs tend to be dull, boring and bereft of creativity. To be fair, it’s not their fault since they’re built for efficiency and with placidity in mind. “Surburbicon” is made in much the same way, becoming the one thing a film shouldn’t be: boring.

Exclusive Photo: Unit Still Photographer Dale Robinette Provides a Sneak Peek at ‘Wonder’

Wonder, photo by Dale Robinette

CHICAGO – When we last caught up with “Uncle Dale” Robinette – Unit Still Photographer in Los Angeles – it was Oscar time in February of this year, and he talked to HollywoodChicago.com about his iconic “dancing” photo from “La La Land.” Well, Uncle Dale is back to provide an Exclusive Photo as a preview to the new film “Wonder,” opening nationwide on November 17th, 2017.

Interview, Audio: Director Todd Haynes Becomes ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – Todd Haynes is an American auteur, as every one of his films bear the distinct mark of his creativity. From his beginnings with the indie masterpiece “Safe” (1995) through unforgettable films like “Far From Heaven” (2002), “I’m Not There” (2007) and “Carol,” Haynes has made cinematic art. His latest film is “Wonderstruck.”

Film News: Closing-Night Film ‘The Shape of Water’ at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Shape of Water, The

CHICAGO – Two weeks of tributes, perspectives and events have flown by, including the amazing line-up of over 150 films from 50 countries. The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival concludes Thursday, October 26th, 2017, with “The Shape of Water” (United States), directed by Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”).

Interview, Audio: Miles Teller on ‘Thank You for Your Service’

CHICAGO – When Johnny comes marching home again, as the old song goes, we’ll give him a hearty welcome then. Most Americans truncate that to the phrase, “Thank You for Your Service,” which is the title of a new film featuring Miles Teller, who portrays Iraq War veteran Adam Schumann, and is the directorial debut of Jason Hall.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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).

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