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Film Review: Exploring an Inverse Superman Makes ‘Brightburn’ Shine

Brightburn

CHICAGO – The opening to the 1950s “Adventures of Superman” TV series includes the words “strange visitor from another planet.” But because Supes had used his subsequent powers for good, he eventually was found not so strange. What if, however, he had been evil, and used his powers destructively? The new film “Brightburn” speculates on such a phenomenon.

Film Review: ‘Aladdin’ Remake Doesn’t Live Up to Animated Source

CHICAGO – The Walt Disney Studio (cash) obsession with turning their animated film hits to live action movies continues this Memorial Day weekend with “Aladdin,” which adapts the 1992 classic. What worked in 2018 with “Beauty and the Beast” falls flat with this title, because the animated version plays better.

Podtalk: Aisling Franciosi at 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – The discovery of rising stars is among the many things the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) does best, and that continued on May 19th, 2019, at the 7th annual fest. Aisling Franciosi is the lead actress of “The Nightingale,” a new film from Jennifer Kent (“The Babadook”), and she appeared on behalf of the film.

Film News: Closing Night of 7th Chicago Critics Film Fest is ‘Light From Light,’ May 23, 2019

Light from Light

CHICAGO – It has been a week of spectacular cinema treats at the 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival, and tonight it wraps up with “Light from Light,” a 2019 multi-festival recognized film. Write/director Paul Harrill and lead actor (and comedian) Jim Gaffigan will appear on behalf of the film, at 8:30pm on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre. For more details and tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Kaitlyn Dever & Beanie Feldstein Open Up on ‘Booksmart’

CHICAGO – It’s time for the gals to party down. The new film “Booksmart” is the story of two best friends who are outside their popular group in high school, and decide to blow it out on the last day of Senior Year. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are the dynamic duo, and the film is a funny expansion on breaking down barriers.

Podtalk: Actor Tom Skerritt at 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the great movie character actors is hale and hearty at age 85. Tom Skerritt has over 50 years of roles, and has appeared in such film classics as “M*A*S*H,” “Harold and Maude,” “Up in Smoke,” “Top Gun” and “Steel Magnolias.” Skerritt was at the 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival for the 40th Anniversary of “Alien.”

Film News: Preview of 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – Tonight what heights we’ll hit. The 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) begins on Friday, May 17th, 2019, and offers a week of 2019 film greatness, selected by Chicago Film Critics from the major festivals so far. This will be a whole week at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, Click here for the schedule.

Film Review: ‘John Wick 3 Parabellum’ is More Bang For Your Buck

John Wick 3 Parabellum

CHICAGO – I must admit that upon initial viewing, I didn’t care much for the original “John Wick” film. Coming as it did in the post “Taken” wave of old guy revenge thrillers, I found it to be stylish but supremely silly nonsense, since it was the death of puppy as the spark that lit the fuse. However as time has gone by, John Wick has grown on me.

Podtalk: Opening Night of Chicago Critics Film Fest is ‘Saint Frances’ on May 17, 2019

CHICAGO – Tomorrow, May 17th, 2019, is the night! The 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) will kick off with the Opening Night film, “Saint Frances.” This begins a whole week of critic selected films at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, Click here for the schedule.

Podtalk: Raul Benitez of Full Spectrum Features on Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5, May 16, 2019

Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5

CHICAGO – For the past five years, the film house of Full Spectrum Features have been presenting and then distributing a program of short films, which are based in Chicago and features the rising filmmaking talent in the Windy City. On Thursday, May 16th, 2019 (7pm), Full Spectrum Features presents Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).The event is free, and advanced tickets have been claimed, but there will be walk up opportunities that night. Click here for details.

Theater Review: Classic ‘West Side Story’ at Chicago's Lyric Opera

West Side Story

CHICAGO – “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way … “ And there is no more appropriate way to lyrically pay tribute to a classic staging of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim musical, “West Side Story.” There is a new staging currently at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which runs through June 2nd, 2019. Click here for more details and tickets.

Film Review: ‘Poms’ Stumbles and Fumbles Through a Stale Routine

CHICAGO – There is an undeniable amount of skill and talent that goes into cheerleading. I happen to be rhythmically challenged so I am in awe of anyone, regardless of age, who can keep a beat while doing any sort of choreography. “Poms” promised to keep in step with a fresh premise, an all-star cast, and a new perspective on this tried-and-true genre but it tumbles along the way.

Podtalk: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Co-Presents ‘Still Human’ on May 13, 2019

Still Human

CHICAGO – One of the most honored recent films of Hong Kong, “Still Human,” will have its Chicago Premiere in a co-presentation by Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema and the Hong Long Economic & Trade Office. The emotional drama, about a disabled Hong Kong man (Anthony Wong) and his Filipino caregiver (Crisel Consunji), recently won accolades from the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Udine Far East Film Festival. First-time feature director Oliver Chan – she is a female filmmaker, despite the moniker – and lead actress Crisel Consunji will appear on behalf of the film at the Gene Siskel Film Center, on May 13th, 2019 (8pm). Click here for tickets and details.

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