August 2015

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Pairs of Guaranteed ‘Unsullied’ Passes From NFL Star Simeon Rice

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 15 pairs of guaranteed anytime movie tickets up for grabs to the new horror/thrillerUnsullied” from NFL superstar, Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer Simeon Rice! Pick your own theatre and time throughout Chicago/land!

Film Review: Lily Tomlin Fuels the Journey Depicted in ‘Grandma’

CHICAGO – There is a circumstantial and frank presentation of abortion in the new Paul Weitz film “Grandma,” and it probably could not have resulted the way it did if the story wasn’t anchored by the great Lily Tomlin. She portrays the title character, helping her granddaughter get to the procedure.

Lily Tomlin Fuels the Journey Depicted in ‘Grandma’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – There is a circumstantial and frank presentation of abortion in the new Paul Weitz film “Grandma,” and it probably could not have resulted the way it did if the story wasn’t anchored by the great Lily Tomlin. She portrays the title character, helping her granddaughter get to the procedure.

Film Review: Probable Events is the Situation in Tense ‘No Escape’

No Escape front

CHICAGO – In a very unstable world, and in a sense that these problems are international, we all can be stuck in war at any time – there is no way to get away from it. “No Escape” takes this notion to the extreme, with an American family – led by Owen Wilson – caught in a war zone.

Probable Events is the Situation in Tense ‘No Escape’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – In a very unstable world, and in a sense that these problems are international, we all can be stuck in war at any time – there is no way to get away from it. “No Escape” takes this notion to the extreme, with an American family – led by Owen Wilson – caught in a war zone.

Film News: 48 Hour Film Project Chicago Screenings, Awards on Aug. 27, 2015

48 Hour Film Project

CHICAGO – Imagine having only a two-day period to shoot, edit and score a short film. That’s the challenge behind the 48 Hour Film Project. This year’s Chicago edition of this competition concludes on Aug. 27, 2015 at the Logan Theatre when it will screen the best of the competition and present awards.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Pairs of Weekend Festival Passes to 2015 CineFest Backlot Block Party

CHICAGO – In this special HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we’ve partnered with the first-annual CineFest Backlot Block Party from Cinespace Chicago Film Studios! The music and food festival features more than 30 bands (including Bret Michaels, Blue Oyster Cult and Quiet Riot) as well as Chicago’s most popular sweet and savory food trucks!

Interview: Actor Sam Elliott, Director Paul Weitz Visit ‘Grandma’

CHICAGO – Actor Sam Eliott will make you smile. The distinctive voice, his famous mustache and his character presence in a film or TV show increases any potential in the production. He recently was in Chicago with director Paul Weitz, as they teamed up in the film “Grandma,” starring the incomparable Lily Tomlin.

Film Review: ‘Mistress America’ Ultimately Wears Out Her Welcome

CHICAGO – “Mistress America” is a movie that works best in small doses. The film is chock-full of special moments, lines, and fragments of scenes, but it never really comes together as a cohesive film. I could see it easily taking on a second life once it hits streaming and YouTube.

‘Mistress America’ Ultimately Wears Out Her Welcome

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Mistress America is a movie that works best in small doses. The film is chock full of special moments, lines, and fragments of scenes, but it never really comes together as a cohesive film. I could see it easily taking on a second life once it hits streaming and YouTube.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘No Escape’ With Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new action/thrillerNo Escape” starring Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan!

Exclusive Portraits: Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski on the ‘We Are Your Friends’ Red Carpet

Emily Ratajkowski in We Are Your Friends

CHICAGO – Credited for the birthplace of house music, Chicago on Aug. 19, 2015 was one of the first cities to premiere the new film “We Are Your Friends” about a rising DJ (Zac Efron) seeking to find his sound. HollywoodChicago.com covered the red-carpet premiere and presents these exclusive portraits of stars Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski.

Red-Carpet Video Interviews: Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski for ‘We Are Your Friends’

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com presents our red-carpet video coverage of the “We Are Your Friends” premiere in Chicago on Aug. 19, 2015. We interview stars Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski along with writer and director Max Joseph (“Catfish: The TV Show”).

Interview: Actor Jake Johnson on Evolving in ‘Digging for Fire’

CHICAGO – Actor Jake Johnson is expanding his presence in movies, and much of that has to do with his collaboration with director – and Chicago native – Joe Swanberg. Johnson and Swanberg have teamed up for their second film, after the success of 2013’s “Drinking Buddies, and are listed as co-writers in “Digging for Fire.”

Preview: 2015 Wizard World Comic Con Chicago Runs August 20 to 23

| Image 1 of 12 |
Drea de Matteo, Emmy Award winner for ‘The Sopranos.’

CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s most popular pop culture gatherings is the Wizard World Comic Con, and the 2015 edition is building anticipation for the weekend of Thursday, August 20th through Sunday the 23rd. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV and movie celebrities, highlighted by Burt Reynolds (“Deliverance,” “Smokey and the Bandit”) and Jeremy Renner (The Avengers film series).

Interview: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke Discover ‘Mistress America’

CHICAGO – Greta Gerwig’s persona as a character actress has blossomed in the last three years, as she has taken on three women in their twenties at the crossroads of life, in that life decade of consequence. In addition to her title roles in “Lola Versus” and “Francis Ha,” her latest is “Mistress America,” which she also co-wrote.

Video Game Review: ‘Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut’ Puzzles & Pleases

CHICAGO – “Q.U.B.E.” Director’s Cut is the definitive extension of 2011’s “Q.U.B.E.” (Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion), and it is an utterly compelling game with an elegant mix of gameplay, storytelling, and aesthetic. Those elements, for the most part, combine to make an extraordinarily intriguing and mind-bending puzzle adventure.

Film Review: Adolescence Boldly Drawn in ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’

Diary of a Teenage Girl

CHICAGO – Real boldness, real truth, is hard to fine in teenage stories. The confusing and hormonal time is often trivialized, or used as a prop for unlikely situations. “Diary of a Teenage Girl” pulls no such punches, in a tale of a 15 year old girl having her first love affair – with a 35 year old man.

Adolescence Boldly Drawn in ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Real boldness, real truth, is hard to fine in teenage stories. The confusing and hormonal time is often trivialized, or used as a prop for unlikely situations. “Diary of a Teenage Girl” pulls no such punches, in a tale of a 15 year old girl having her first love affair – with a 35 year old man.

Film Review: N.W.A. Influences an Era in ‘Straight Outta Compton’

CHICAGO – Gangsta rap, like all the revolutionary and society bending genres before it, was formulated from dire frustration and a need to shake up the surroundings that encased their creators. The prime movers of gangsta was the group N.W.A., and their story is told in ‘Straight Outta Compton.’

N.W.A. Influences an Era in ‘Straight Outta Compton’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Gangsta rap, like all the revolutionary and society bending genres before it, was formulated from dire frustration and a need to shake up the surroundings that encased their creators. The prime movers of gangsta was the group N.W.A., and their story is told in “Straight Outta Compton.”

Film Review: ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ Just a Big Screen Bore

CHICAGO – Director Guy Ritchie’s big screen version of the 1960’s spy show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” is a colossal waste of time for all involved. The original show was never all that good to begin with, but this film is never able to clear that admittedly low bar, or even replicate any of the TV show’s small pleasures.

‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ Just a Big Screen Bore

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Director Guy Ritchie’s big screen version of the 1960’s spy show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” is a colossal waste of time for all involved. The original show was never all that good to begin with, but this film is never able to clear that admittedly low bar, or even replicate any of the TV show’s small pleasures.

Film Review: Joel Edgerton’s Directorial Debut ‘The Gift’ Shows Psychological Thriller Promise

CHICAGO – Of the various genres of films, the psychological thriller is one of my holy grails. A story that highlights the psychology of its characters and their wobbly emotional states, few modern filmmakers dare to compete with the masterminds – Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and more recently David Fincher and Darren Aronofsky – or fail when trying to.

Joel Edgerton’s Directorial Debut ‘The Gift’ Shows Psychological Thriller Promise

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Of the various genres of films, the psychological thriller is one of my holy grails. A story that highlights the psychology of its characters and their wobbly emotional states, few modern filmmakers dare to compete with the masterminds – Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and more recently David Fincher and Darren Aronofsky – or fail when trying to.

Interviews: Filmmakers Lonnie Edwards, Robert Carnilius at the 2015 Chicago Black Harvest Film Festival

Black Harvest Film Festival 2015

CHICAGO – The 21st edition of the Black Harvest Film Festival will open on August 8th, 2015, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Through film and video, the festival explores the stories, images, heritage and history of the black experience in the United States and around the world. Two passionate short film examples of the festival mission are found in a couple of Chicago filmmakers, Lonnie Edwards (“A Ferguson Story”) and Robert Carnilius (“How to Catch a Criminal”).

Film Review: Uninspired Musical Story Isn’t Worth Telling in the Inspired-By ‘Ricki and the Flash’

CHICAGO – When I screened “Inside Llewyn Davis” from the Coen Bros. before it was nominated for two Oscars and praised by critics everywhere, I beefed to myself: Who is this musician? Why does his story matter as compared to so many other real musicians who you never hear about but deserve that kind of spotlight?

Uninspired Musical Story Isn’t Worth Telling in the Inspired-By ‘Ricki and the Flash’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – When I screened “Inside Llewyn Davis” from the Coen Bros. before it was nominated for two Oscars and praised by critics everywhere, I beefed to myself: Who is this musician? Why does his story matter as compared to so many other real musicians who you never hear about but deserve that kind of spotlight?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ With Henry Cavill

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new action/adventure/comedyThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (the adaptation of the hit 1960s TV series) starring Henry Cavill from Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Snatch”)!

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  • Space Force

    CHICAGO – Seemingly ripped from the headlines, by way of “Dr. Strangelove,” the new Netflix TV series “Space Force” debuted on May 29th, 2020. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com reviewed the series during the Eddie Volkman Show (Star 96.7 FM in Joliet, Illinois) on June 5th, 2020.

  • Adriana Leonard & Carley Marcelle

    CHICAGO – When two passionate content creators got together, they sought not only to produce a work of entertainment, but a higher philosophy within it. Co-Writers/Directors and Executive Producers Adriana Leonard and Carley Marcelle have created “Beta” A Digital Series, and they are about to launch it.

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