September 2015

Film News: Third-Annual Shortcut 100 Film Festival in Chicago on Oct. 3, 2015

Short 100 Film Fest 2015

CHICAGO – The Shortcut 100 Film Festival, presented by Nebula Creatives, is now in its third year, and gaining momentum as one of the premiere short film festivals in Chicago. The one day international film fest is Saturday, October 3rd, 2015, and is split up into several different events. The opening Red Carpet (3pm) and screenings (4pm) will be above Strings Ramen Shop, 1629 North Halsted in Chicago, and the post-screen reception (7pm) will be at Lure Izakaya Pub, 2925 North Halsted.

Film Review: Not Too Many Good Reasons to Experience ‘The Walk’

CHICAGO – I am not opposed to dramatic retellings of true events from history, but I think the drama should at least be as entertaining as a PBS documentary on the same subject. “The Walk” tells the true story of a French wire walker and the twin tower World Trade Center in the mid-1970s.

Not Too Many Good Reasons to Experience ‘The Walk’

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

CHICAGO – I am not opposed to dramatic retellings of true events from history, but I think the drama should at least be as entertaining as a PBS documentary on the same subject. “The Walk” tells the true story of a French wire walker and the twin tower World Trade Center in the mid-1970s…when he strung a wire between them, and then proceeded to walk from one tower to the other without a net more than a thousand feet in the air.

Exclusive Portrait: Chelsea Clinton on Her Book ‘It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going’

Chelsea Clinton, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The former First Daughter of the USA was in Chicagoland recently. Chelsea Clinton was at Anderson’s Book Shop in Naperville, Ill., to promote her new book “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going.” While mother Hillary Clinton is on the presidential campaign trail, and father former President Bill Clinton runs his foundation, Chelsea is targeting 10 to 14-year-old readers for her book to make positive impacts locally and around the globe.

Theater Review: Nothing Without a Company’s ‘Punk Punk’ Rocks

Punk Punk

CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”

Film Review: Benicio Del Toro is Never Better in Standout 2015 Thriller ‘Sicario’

CHICAGO – Seeing the man behind the curtains in “The Wizard of Oz” really was when so many of us truly understood what “behind the scenes” means. Today, we’re fascinated by FBI and CIA stories because they grant us top-secret security clearance we’ll otherwise never have.

Benicio Del Toro is Never Better in Standout 2015 Thriller ‘Sicario’

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

CHICAGO – Seeing the man behind the curtains in “The Wizard of Oz” really was when so many of us truly understood what “behind the scenes” means. Today, we’re fascinated by FBI and CIA stories because they grant us top-secret security clearance we’ll otherwise never have.

Film Review: Important History in ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution’

Black Panthers, The: Vanguard

CHICAGO – If you want to experience the old cliché of “everything old is new again,” look no further than the excellent documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution.” The formation of the famous 1960s political group is rooted in the same issues that came out of Ferguson and Baltimore – the marginalization and harassment of African Americans by law enforcement authority. Yes, the group’s techniques were questionable, but so was the use of tax payer money – through the FBI – to destroy the organization.

Important History in ‘The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – If you want to experience the old cliché of “everything old is new again,” look no further than the excellent documentary, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution.” The formation of the famous 1960s political group is rooted in the same issues that came out of Ferguson and Baltimore – the marginalization and harassment of African Americans by law enforcement authority.

Film Review: Drac Pack Still a Drag in ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’

CHICAGO – For the younger set unable to experience the mystique of Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein in their original creations, “Hotel Transylvania 2” may prove to be an introduction to the legendary bloodsucker and his band of movie monsters – and for that Adam Sandler deserves a stake through his heart.

Drac Pack Still a Drag in ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’

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

CHICAGO – For the younger set unable to experience the mystique of Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein in their original creations, “Hotel Transylvania 2” may prove to be an introduction to the legendary bloodsucker and his band of movie monsters – and for that Adam Sandler deserves a stake through his heart.

Film News: Closing Night Film for Reeling33 Festival is ‘Death in Buenos Aires’ on Sept. 24, 2015

2015 Reeling33 Logo

CHICAGO – It’s been an amazing week for “Reeling33,” the Chicago International LBGTQ Film Festival, and on Thursday, September 24th, 2015, it concludes with the Closing Night film, “Death in Buenos Aires.” The taut thriller – directed by Natalia Meta – is set in 1980s Buenos Aires, Argentina, and involves the corruption, paranoia and secret gay lives of the wealthy elite in the city.

Interviews: Red-Carpet Opening Night at Chicago International LGBTQ Film Fest Reeling33

CHICAGO – The Red Carpet was rolled out at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on September 17th, 2015, as the 33rd “Reeling” Film Festival – the second oldest LGBTQ celebration in cinema history – had its Opening Night. The film that kicked off the fest was “Fourth Man Out,” beginning a week long showcase of LGBTQ films.

Film Review: ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ is Dystopian Rambling

CHICAGO – Movie pundits are falling all over themselves to point out there is no maze running in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” so buyer beware! What began in the first film as a new take in the dystopian Young Adult movie genre, has become a scattered, uninteresting mess.

‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ is Dystopian Rambling

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

CHICAGO – Movie pundits are falling all over themselves to point out there is no maze running in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” so buyer beware! What began in the first film as a new take in the dystopian Young Adult movie genre, has become a scattered, uninteresting mess.

Exclusive Photos: NASCAR Star, GoDaddy Girl Danica Patrick at STUDIO XFINITY in Chicago

| Image 1 of 2 |
Danica Patrick in Chicago

CHICAGONASCAR star and GoDaddy girl Danica Patrick treated Chicago fans to an autograph signing on Sept. 17, 2015 at STUDIO XFINITY in Chicago.

Film Review: Johnny Depp is Ghoulish in Mob Saga ‘Black Mass’

CHICAGO – “Black Mass” is a well crafted, if somewhat conventional crime tale. It won’t win any awards, but it’s entertaining enough. The story of real life Boston crime boss “Whitey” Bulger has no shortage of juicy details, and while the saga of this mob boss slash FBI turncoat falls short of greatness, Johnny Depp turns him into an otherworldly presence.

Johnny Depp is Ghoulish in Mob Saga ‘Black Mass’

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

CHICAGO – “Black Mass” is a well crafted, if somewhat conventional crime tale. It won’t win any awards, but it’s entertaining enough. The story of real life Boston crime boss “Whitey” Bulger has no shortage of juicy details, and while the saga of this mob boss slash FBI turncoat falls short of greatness, Johnny Depp turns him into an otherworldly presence.

Film News: Chicago’s LGBTQ International Film Festival Reeling33 Opens on Sept. 17, 2015 With ‘Fourth Man Out’

2015 Reeling33 Logo

CHICAGO – The second oldest LGBTQ Film Festival is right here is Chicago, as “Reeling33” is setting up its celebratory mode again in September. Opening Night is Thursday the 17th, 2015, and the fest begins at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago, with the heartfelt coming-out comedy “Fourth Man Out” directed by Andrew Nackman and featuring Evan Todd, Parker Young, Chord Overstreet, Jon Gabrus, Jennifer Damiano and Jordan Lane Price.

Theater Review: ‘Assassination Theater’ Digs Too Many Rabbit Holes

Assassination Theater

CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.

Interview: Director Leslye Headland Tries ‘Sleeping with Other People’

CHICAGO – Leslye Headland is facing the new era head on, by putting a post modern Harry-met-Sally spin on her new film, “Sleeping with Other People.” Her question is how do people connect in the new age of hook-ups and online options? Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie portray the couple trying to answer that question.

Interviews: Director, Cast of ‘Mind Over Mindy’ Has Chicago Gala Screening on Sept. 19, 2015

Mind Over Mindy

CHICAGO – Director Robert Alaniz is a throwback to the maverick film director that completes his projects through hell or low budget. His latest film is his seventh as writer/director, called “Mind Over Mindy.” Larry Thomas – who portrayed the “Soup Nazi” on “Seinfeld” – is part of the cast that will join Alaniz at a Chicago Gala Screening of the film at the northwest side’s historic Patio Theater on September 19th, 2015.

Riot Fest 2015 in Chicago: HollywoodChicago.com’s 3-Day Montage in 3 Minutes

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com spent 30 hours on our feet over 3 days to capture the soul of Riot Fest 2015 in Chicago. Then we edited it down to the best 3 minutes for your viewing pleasure.

Film Review: M. Night Shyamalan Offers Chills, Laughs in ‘The Visit’

CHICAGO – Director and auteur M. Night Shyamalan has been very spotty in the last nine years. “The Sixth Sense” filmmaker has had less of an impact with “After Earth” and “The Last Airbender,” but scores again with the super weird, creepy and funny “The Visit.”

M. Night Shyamalan Offers Chills, Laughs in ‘The Visit’

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

CHICAGO – Director and auteur M. Night Shyamalan has been very spotty in the last nine years. “The Sixth Sense” filmmaker has had less of an impact with “After Earth” and “The Last Airbender,” but scores again with the super weird, creepy and funny “The Visit.”

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