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Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2017, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – It’s time to choose the TEN SCARIEST Donald Trump Tweets, excuse me, The 10 Best films of 2017 (got a lot on my mind). Selected by HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald, the “Über Critic,” it is a list that celebrates redemptive spirit, love of the love and just all-out fun at the flickers.

Interview, Audio: Illeana Douglas on Directors & Female Spirit

Illeana Douglas of TCM

CHICAGO – The acting career of Illeana Douglas began with director Martin Scorsese and flourished in her first lead role for “Grace of My Heart” (1996). She is best known today for hosting the “Trailblazing Women” series on Turner Classic Movies, and in Part Three of a three part interview with HollywoodChicago.com, she talks about feminism, the essence of directors she has worked for, plus her grandmother Helen Gahagan, the third female Congress representative in U.S. history.

Film Review: ‘Hostiles’ with Christian Bale is a Big Bad Bore

CHICAGO – “Hostiles” is an exercise in prestige western boredom. It’s competently made, but its as lifeless as a scalped corpse on the prairie. It’s long on pretty western locales and impressive facial hair, but short on story, characters, or much of anything else to help keep your eyelids from closing.

Interview, Audio: Illeana Douglas on Acting & the Film ‘Grace of My Heart’

Illeana Douglas photo 2 by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The acting career of Illeana Douglas began with director Martin Scorsese and flourished in her first lead role for “Grace of My Heart” (1996). She is best known today for hosting the “Trailblazing Women” series on Turner Classic Movies, and in Part Two of a three part interview with HollywoodChicago.com, she talks about her approach as an actor and how early influences defined that style.

Film Review: ‘The Post’ Illuminates the Skills of Meryl Streep

CHICAGO – For all the films Meryl Streep is privileged to make – which is remarkable considering the industry’s attitude toward older actresses – she has even admitted that the audience may be tired of seeing her. But as publisher Katherine Graham in ‘The Post’, she nails yet another great performance.

Film News: Newly Renovated Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago Reopens on Jan 5, 2018

2018 Gene Siskel Film Center

CHICAGO – The lights of State Street will be a bit brighter on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 as the Gene Siskel Film Center reopens after five weeks of renovations. New seating, carpeting and wiring was put into place, capping the first major upgrade since the legendary theater opened 17 years ago.

Interview, Audio: Trailblazing Actress & Film Historian Illeana Douglas

CHICAGO – Long before 2017, the year of notable recognition for women filmmakers, the actress, producer and author Illeana Douglas launched the film series “Trailblazing Women” on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in 2015. Her goal was to achieve recognition for the pioneering efforts of women in early film history and beyond.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Insidious: The Last Key’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new horror film “Insidious: The Last Key” from the creative minds behind the hit “Insidious” trilogy!

Film Review: Aaron Sorkin’s Directorial Debut in ‘Molly’s Game’

CHICAGO – High stakes poker are for folks who prefer to get their rush of adrenalin from the turn of a card rather than other life risks. The positives, the negatives and everything in between are in “Molly’s Game,” the feature directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” creator). Let’s walk and talk.

Film Review: Margot Robbie in ‘I, Tonya’ Can’t Stick the Landing

CHICAGO – We have arrived at point where yesterday’s trash TV has become today’s critical darling of the film festival circuit. As the trailers proclaim, “I, Tonya” desperately wants to be the “‘Goodfellas’ of Figure Skating,” but one of the biggest problems I had is that it’s just trying too hard.

Film Review: Matt Damon in ‘Downsizing’ Offers Few Small Pleasures

CHICAGO – “Downsizing” is an interesting premise that doesn’t ultimately go anywhere interesting. Part of the problem is that writer/director Alexander Payne doesn’t seem to know what kind of a movie he wants it to be… it’s part cerebral Woody Allen futuristic comedy, part sci-fi social satire about Midwestern malaise, and winds up failing at both.

Film Review: ‘All the Money in the World’ Has a Soft Landing

CHICAGO – A bitter and old rich man won’t take responsibility for the co-opting of something he is directly connected to. Is this the Trump administration or “All the Money in the World”? Christopher Plummer portrays mogul J. Paul Getty, trying to steer clear of his grandson’s kidnapping.

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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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