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Exclusive Photo: Lecy Goranson is Back on Rebooted ‘Roseanne’

CHICAGO – It’s reboot fever on the networks, and ABC-TV has jumped on the bandwagon in producing new episodes of “Roseanne.” The series, which originally ran from 1988 to 1997, features Roseanne Barr and John Goodman as a working class married couple. Portraying their daughter Becky, on and off, was Lecy Goranson.

Podtalk: Japan Film Star Yuki Furukawa on ‘Colors of Wind’ at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Yuki Furukawa, 2018 Asian Pop-Up Cinema

CHICAGO – Opening Night at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) Season Six was extra exciting on March 13th, 2018, as popular Japanese film star Yuki Furukawa came to the Windy City to represent his starring role in the magical romance “Colors of Wind.” The film, a co-production of South Korea and Japan, was directed by Kwak Jae-yong and co-starred Takemi Fujii.

Entertainment News: 54th Chicago International Television Festival Award Honorees

2018 CIFF TV Awards

CHICAGO – The ballots were counted at the recent 54th Chicago International Television Festival – which has become a separate Spring event presented by Cinema/Chicago, the agency of the Chicago International Film Festival – and there were numerous honorees in the categories of Commercials and Television Production, given on Thursday, March 22th, 2018, at the AMC River East Theatre in Chicago. The highest award is the Gold Hugo, but also conferred were the Silver Hugo, Gold Plaque, Silver Plaque and Certificate of Merit.

Film Review: More Action, Less Enjoyment in ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’

CHICAGO – The giant robot film genre is in trouble. It wasn’t enough that “Transformers” has ground it to dust, but now the “Pacific Rim” sequel is going the same direction. There is action-a-plenty in the followup to Guillermo Del Toro’s fun and light first film, that lightness is missing in “Pacific Rim Uprising.”

Film Review: Chaos of Power in Hilarious ‘The Death of Stalin’

CHICAGO – If you want a film to take your mind off the current American power structure, that at the same time provides some truth to the situation, you won’t do better than “The Death of Stalin.” A monster comedic cast – including Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor – is assembled for this hilarious farce.

Podtalk: Arthur Swidzinki of Film ‘Shred America,’ Premiering in Chicago on March 24, 2018

Shred America

CHICAGO – It was the age of innocence, way back in 2008. Social media was a fledging duck, GPS was in its spare infancy and ride service didn’t exist… what better time for four dudes to skateboard from Chicago to New York City. “Shred America” is the film documentary story of Arthur Swidzinki, Michael Kosciesza, James Lagen and Anthony Michal in 2008, as they did what many twenty-year-olds have done throughout time – just say “what the f**k” and go for it, then film the results. “Shred America” premieres at the Patio Theatre in Chicago on March 24th, 2018 (details below).

Entertainment News: 54th Chicago International Television Festival on March 20-22, 2018

2018 CIFF TV

CHICAGO – The rise of innovative and inclusive television programming, along with the expansion of the broadcast spectrum that includes digital and online options, has been the most important entertainment story of the last five years. The 54th Chicago Television Festival – an offshoot of the Chicago International Film Festival, and presented by their agency Cinema/Chicago – has grown in prestige and importance along with that evolution in TV, and will take place from Tuesday, March 20th through Thursday, March 22nd, 2018, at the AMC River East 21 Theater at 322 East Illinois, Chicago.

Film Review: ‘Love, Simon’ is a Palatable Queer Film Entry That Leaves Us Wanting

CHICAGO – Anyone who has ever held a big secret knows that the weight of it is usually worse than the secret itself. The only thing worse than that is when the secret you’re holding back is your true self. “Love, Simon” explores the all-too-familiar, high school coming of age story, but with the added complication of coming to terms with your sexuality and identity.

Film Review: ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ is Surprisingly Effective

7 Days in Entebbe

CHICAGO – What would you expect from an event subject that has been already rendered four times on film, and deals with terrorism, hijacking and government negotiation? “7 Days in Entebbe” contained all of this, and yet still maintained a separate energy and cinematic artistry. In many ways, it’s one of the most surprising films of the young year.

Film Review: Alicia Vikander Has a Case of the Runs in ‘Tomb Raider’

CHICAGO – Movies based on video games are almost never good… even the best ones only ascend to the level of “barely watchable.” By that measure, “Tomb Raider” can be considered a modest success since it didn’t make me want to claw my eyes out. I have to confess I never saw either of the first two films with Angelina Jolie, but after watching this I’m not actually clamoring at the bit to catch up.

Podtalk: Joe Minoso for ‘Alonso, The Dream and the Call’

CHICAGO – He has portrayed the reliable firefighter Joe Cruz for six seasons on NBC-TV’s “Chicago Fire”… Joe Minoso both plays that role and actually lives in Chicago now. Before his stint on “Fire,” he had completed a short film for local filmmaker Ben-Hur Uribe, “Alonso, The Dream and the Call,” which has just been released for Amazon Prime download.

Podtalk: Christian Taylor on Origins for her Documentary ‘The Girl Who Wore Freedom’

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

CHICAGO – The era of World War II, now close to 80 years in the past, seems ever so farther in the rear view mirror of history. Movies have done their part to keep the memories and the spirit alive, so joining such works as “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan” is a new documentary in development, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom,” now in pre-production by filmmakers Christian Taylor and Terry Jun of Reverse Negative Studios in Skokie, Ill.

Film Review: Helen Mirren Takes Another Ride in ‘The Leisure Seeker’

Leisure Seeker, The

CHICAGO – Helen Mirren keeps establishing herself as an international treasure with each new role. She is the prime motivator in the new film “The Leisure Seeker,” about a retired couple taking one last spin in their RV, which takes its nickname from the title of the film. Along the way secrets are revealed and the devastation of dementia is exposed, but the story never gets too serious or heavy handed.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

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