HollywoodChicago.com Arts & Entertainment News

Film Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Goes Deeper into Harry Potter World

CHICAGO – “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is like the “Joey” of film franchises, a spinoff which only exists because of its tangential connections to a better (and more beloved) property. But since this is our only current filmed connection to the “wizarding world of Harry Potter,” it’ll have to do.

Podtalk: Director Jason Reitman Votes for ‘The Front Runner’

CHICAGO – The year 1988 marked a border crossing in the way that the media covered national candidates. Senator Gary Hart seemed destined for president, until a extramarital relationship with Donna Rice became the focus of media attention. Director Jason Reitman tells the story in a new film, “The Front Runner.”

Entertainment News: Chance the Rapper to Host Mayoral Fundraiser for Amara Enyia, Nov. 14, 2018

Amara and Chance

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago has its campaigns for Mayor heating up, and one of the frontrunners is Amara Enyia, who recently made news by getting endorsements from both Chance the Rapper and Kanye West. Chance will put that endorsement to use by hosting Enyia at a campaign fundraiser on November 14th, 2018, at Chicago’s legendary Chop House. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Film News: ‘One Cut of the Dead' is Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema CLOSING NIGHT, Nov. 14, 2018

One Cut of the Dead

CHICAGO – Season Seven of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) is coming to a close on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, with the Midwest Premiere of “One Cut of the Dead,” the Japanese horror sensation that is breaking box office records and cleaning up in award acclaim. The special night includes an appearance by lead actor Takayuki Hamatsu.

Film Review: ‘Boy Erased’ Thrives On Empathy, Lacks Overall Conviction

CHICAGO – America is facing a confusing time of crisis, again. There are giant groups of people who are ready to hate other people for biological traits that can’t—and don’t need to—be changed, like skin color, sexual orientation, and race. “Boy Erased” adds to the national dialogue by showing the devastating effects this type of mentality can have inside our own families, and how to prevent it.

Entertainment News: Stan Lee, of Marvel Comic Fame, Dies at 95

LOS ANGELES – The last of the great comic book creators has flown to the beyond. Stan Lee, who led the resurgence of comic book culture – especially in the movies – created legendary superheroes for Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Black Panther and X-Men. Lee passed away at age 95 in Los Angeles on November 12th, 2018.

Film Review: Story Spins Out of Reach for ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’

Girl in the Spider's Web, The

CHICAGO – There is nothing wrong with revisiting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That tattoo has made beaucoup bucks in book and film forms (both foreign language and Americanized versions), and Claire Foy taking over for Rooney Mara in the title role is seamless. So why the totally lackluster story? Is this a narrative source problem?

Film Review: He’s a Not-So-Mean-One in Remake of ‘The Grinch’

CHICAGO – They should have left well enough alone, didn’t anybody learn anything from the trainwreck of the Jim Carrey live-action-as-The-Grinch? Apparently not. A more kid friendly and modern animated version of “The Grinch” opens six weeks before Christmas, and already I want to return it.

Podtalk: Filmmaker Amy Scott Revitalizes Director Hal Ashby in Her New Documentary ‘Hal’

Hal

CHICAGO – The name Hal Ashby might not be as familiar to today’s film watchers, but the movies he made in the 1970s are considered classics… like “Harold and Maude,” “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo,” “Coming Home” and “Being There.” The short spark of his creative energy is profiled in a documentary by Amy Scott simply called “Hal.” The film opens at the Gene Siskel Film Center on November 9th, 2018. For details and ticket info, click here.

Podtalk: Joel Edgerton & Garrard Conley for ‘Boy Erased’

CHICAGO – In “Boy Erased,” the story is based on a memoir by Garrard Conley, about his experiences going through “gay conversion” therapy… that exists to change a gay person to a straight person. Director/actor Joel Edgerton adapted Conley’s book, and created a heart-breaking film of real American institutions that try to deny nature.

Podtalk: Exec Director Brent Kado of the 8th Chicago Comedy Film Festival, Nov. 9-11, 2018

2018 Chicago Comedy Film Festival

CHICAGO – It is time once again for Chicago to get its funny on, in the category of contemporary comedy films. The 8th Chicago Comedy Film Festival (CCFF) is from November 9th to 11th, 2018, and this year the Fest will be doing their primary screenings at Columbia College on South Wabash Avenue. For direct ticket information, click here.

Film News: Next Screening for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema is ‘Dear Ex’ on Nov. 8th, 2018

Dear Ex

CHICAGO – Season Seven of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) continues on Thursday, November 8th, 2018, with “Dear Ex,” a story of duplicity and acceptance. The Taiwanese film will make its North American premiere at APUC, and includes an appearance by co-director Hsu Chih-yen.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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