October 2015

Interview: Director Sarah Gavron Revives the History in ‘Suffragette’

Suffragette

CHICAGO – One decade before the United States gave women the right to vote, it was Britain leading the way before World War One. Their techniques for convincing the staid patriarchy was a series of anarchistic actions, as depicted in the new film “Suffragette,” featuring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep, and directed by Sarah Gavron.

Interview: Director Sebastián Silva Delivers a ‘Nasty Baby’

Nasty Baby

CHICAGO – “Nasty Baby” is a family film, with a family that consists of a gay/mixed race couple, and their best girlfriend who wants to have a baby with them. This unconventionality is made less remarkable simply because the characters are all motivated by their own fragile egos – which sometimes is good, and sometimes not so much.

Film Review: Sandra Bullock Bombs in Bad ‘Our Brand is Crisis’

CHICAGO – This misbegotten political satire shows almost as much contempt for its audience as its characters do for the politicians they’re supposed to be helping. This movie thinks it is smartly cynical, but it’s about as smart as a Larry the Cable Guy routine at a Donald Trump rally.

Sandra Bullock Bombs in Bad ‘Our Brand is Crisis’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 0.5/5.0
Rating: 0.5/5.0

CHICAGO – This misbegotten political satire shows almost as much contempt for its audience as its characters do for the politicians they’re supposed to be helping. This movie thinks it is smartly cynical, but it’s about as smart as a Larry the Cable Guy routine at a Donald Trump rally. Hate is not a big enough word for how I felt about this movie. I loathed, detested, scorned, despised, and abhorred this Hollywood abomination, that is so full of its own smug satisfaction it can’t see how dumb it really is.

Interviews: City & State Short Film Directors at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – The future of filmmaking was on display at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival at the City & State Short Film program. Subtitled “Feel the Illinoise,” the collection included works by directors Bradley Bischoff, Joel Benjamin, Ed Flynn, Andy Berlin, Jake Zalutsky and Weija Ma.

Film News: 51st Chicago International Film Festival Closes with Best of Fest, ‘Carol’ & ‘Spotlight’

Spotlight

CHICAGO – All great things come to an end, and the 51st Chicago International Film Festival is no exception, concluding on October 28th and 29th, 2015, with the Best of the Fest, in addition to a special presentation of the new Todd Haynes’ film “Carol’ and their Closing Night film event, the tense journalism thriller “Spotlight.”

Theater Review: Uplifting Celebration in Black Ensemble Theater’s ‘The Black White Love Play’

Black White Love Play

CHICAGO – The love story of a prominent Chicago celebrity couple becomes the basis for a metaphoric and tuneful celebration about courage and coming together. “The Black White Love Play: The Story of Chaz & Roger Ebert” – written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater’s Jackie Taylor – portrays the film critic and the civil rights lawyer in their time, but also creates an atmosphere of emotion through song, sorrow and jubilation.

Film News: Top Film at 51st Chicago International Film Festival is ‘A Childhood’ From France

CHICAGO – The 2015 awards ceremony at the 51st Chicago International Festival took place on Friday, October 23rd, and Andrew Davis – International Competition Jury President – announced that the French film “A Childhood” was the recipient of the prestigious Gold Hugo Award for the festival’s top film.

Film Review: Bill Murray Rolls Downhill in ‘Rock the Kasbah’

Rock the Kasbah

CHICAGO – What’s up with this movie? Everything in it is so wrong headed, despite movie star casting and a attempt toward “current events.” Setting itself in a modern and complex country – Afghanistan – but creating a perspective on that country that is straight ugly American, “Rock the Kasbah” is a total downer.

Bill Murray Rolls Downhill in ‘Rock the Kasbah’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – What’s up with this movie? Everything in it is so wrong headed, despite movie star casting and a attempt toward “current events.” Setting itself in a modern and complex country – Afghanistan – but creating a perspective on that country that is straight ugly American, “Rock the Kasbah” is a total downer.

Film Review: ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ at Least is Hilariously Awful

CHICAGO – You will see many many better movies this year, but you’re unlikely to see one quite this batshit crazy. I’ll give Vin Diesel this much credit, at least he’s created a memorably awful blockbuster instead of one that simply fades off into the moonlight.

‘The Last Witch Hunter’ at Least is Hilariously Awful

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – You will see many many better movies this year, but you’re unlikely to see one quite this batshit crazy. I’ll give Vin Diesel this much credit, at least he’s created a memorably awful blockbuster instead of one that simply fades off into the moonlight.

Preview: Second Week of 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – As the 2015 edition of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival winds down into its second week, it continues wtih international and U.S. film offerings, plus additional festival favorites. All screenings are taking place at the AMC River North 21, 322 Illinois Street, Chicago, and the festival runs through October 29th.

Interview: Producer Gigi Pritzker to be Honored at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Chicago-born Gigi Pritzker is a prominent and successful film producer – through OddLot Entertainment – and a perfect headliner to be honored during “Industry Days” at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival. An Industry Days Tribute to Gigi Pritzker will take place October 22, 2015, at the festival site.

Exclusive Portrait: Sarah Silverman Receives Honor at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

Sarah Silverman, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Sarah Silverman is a one-of-a-kind anarchistic comedian, but she is also making her mark as an actor. She was featured in her new indie film, “I Smile Back,” at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, where she received the “Breakthrough Performer Award” and walked the Red Carpet on Friday, October 16th.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell Has ‘Open Tables’ at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – Jack C. Newell will ride his bike when he meets you for an interview in Chicago, naturally. The locally based director is a welcome original, with credits in both documentary and narrative films. His latest feature, “Open Tables,” will screen at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival on October 20th, 2015.

Interview: Director Douglas Tirola on ‘Drunk Brilliant Stoned Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon’

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon

CHICAGO – Before the days of 24/7 internet access to every form of entertainment that exists, there were eras of radical performance expression that changed the landscape of attitudes toward everything – think of The Beatles evolving music and also changing social culture. The roots of another evolution, especially in comedy, began with a modest humor magazine that brought together the right mix of anarchists and misfits. What they did would influence comedy for years afterward, and their story is told in “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon,” directed by Douglas Tirola.

Preview: First Week of 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – As the 2015 edition of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival kicks into gear, the first week highlights include many award winning and international film offerings. All screenings are taking place at the AMC River North 21, 322 Illinois Street, Chicago, and the festival runs through October 29th.

Film Review: Expansive ‘Steve Jobs’ is a Marvel of a Movie

CHICAGO – You don’t need CGI, entire cities being turned to rubble, or an army of assembling Avengers to make a great movie. All you need is a good story to tell and a team of people talented enough to tell it. Writer Aaron Sorkin, and Director Danny Boyle are just the right people to make “Steve Jobs” because their finished project positively springs to life on the screen.

Expansive ‘Steve Jobs’ is a Marvel of a Movie

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

CHICAGO – You don’t need CGI, entire cities being turned to rubble, or an army of assembling Avengers to make a great movie. All you need is a good story to tell and a team of people talented enough to tell it. Writer Aaron Sorkin, and Director Danny Boyle are just the right people to make “Steve Jobs” because their finished project positively springs to life on the screen.

Film News: 51st Chicago International Film Festival Kicks Off with ‘Mia Madre’

Mia Madre

CHICAGO – The 2015 edition, the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, kicks off tonight on October 15th with a Red Carpet at 5:30pm, and film at 7pm. The premiere will be “Mia Madre” a Italian/French collaboration and a “movie about the movies” directed by Nanni Moretti. The festival will continue through October 29th, with a variety of cinematic treats and international offerings.

Exclusive Portrait: Jewel’s New Book ‘Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story’

Jewel, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Jewel Kilcher has a long resume of accomplishments in her 20 year career as a singer/songwriter, producer, actress and poet/author. She has just released a new memoir entitled “Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story,” right next to her new album, “Picking Up the Pieces.” She appeared on behalf of the book at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., presented by Anderson’s Book Shop.

Film News: 10 Anticipated Films of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the most exciting times of the Fall Season for Chicago film buffs is the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2015, the 51st edition takes place beginning this Thursday, October 15th through October 29th. With over 130 films, which ten are the contributors of HollywoodChicago.com anticipating? Read on…

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Crimson Peak’ From Guillermo del Toro

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated gothic romanceCrimson Peak” from “Pan’s Labyrinth” director Guillermo del Toro!

Interview: Kevin Pollack on His Portrayal of Roger Ebert in ‘The Black/White Love Play’

CHICAGO – Roger Ebert is an icon, in both film criticism lore and his inspirational life. Two years after his passing, the Black Ensemble Theater of Chicago is honoring his legacy by focusing on a love story, the passionate relationship with his wife Chaz Ebert. Actor Kevin Pollack portrays Roger in “The Black/White Love Play.”

Film Review: Entertaining ‘The Martian’ is a Hollywood Space Opera

CHICAGO – It’s all based on science, they told us! “The Martian” is an old fashion feel-good movie about the hard working astronauts and scientists of the good old American space program, trying to rescue a stranded spaceman from Mars, aided by a brave cast of astro-colleagues.

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