March 2016

Slideshow: New Book for Rocker Lita Ford is ‘Living Like a Runaway’

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Lita Ford, lead guitarist of The Runaways.

CHICAGO – There are rock stars, and then there are the women of “The Runaways.” The girl group that spawned Joan Jett was also notable for proving that punk rock was not just reserved for dudes. Lita Ford, the lead guitarist, has just written a memoir of those heady days – “Living Like a Runaway” – and appeared recently at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., at an event sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Entertainment News: Film, TV Star & Oscar Winner Patty Duke Dies at 69

Patty Duke, Photo by Joe Arce

COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – She was a lesson in duality. One of her most famous roles was as “identical cousins” on “The Patty Duke Show,” and Anna Marie “Patty” Duke also made public her fight with bipolar disorder. She was also a talented actress, winning an Oscar as teenager for “The Miracle Worker.” Ms. Duke passed away on March 29th, 2016, at the age of 69, at her home in Idaho.

Interview: ‘Mud’ Director Jeff Nichols Drives the ‘Midnight Special’

CHICAGO – Writer/Director Jeff Nichols is a pure American voice, understanding the dreams of the U.S. culture, and how those dreams interact with the morality they create. After breaking out with the films “Take Shelter” and “Mud,” he is back with his latest cinema vision, “Midnight Special.”

Interviews: Young Cast Emphasizes That ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’

CHICAGO – There are two exclamation points behind the new Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”) film, “Everybody Wants Some!!,” and that could also express the exclamation energy of the cast. Will Brittain, Tyler Hoechlin and Blake Jenner portray college students before the new fall semester in 1980.

Interview: In Appreciation of Phife Dawg, Member of ‘A Tribe Called Quest’

Phife Dawg

CHICAGO – It was announced last week on March 22nd, 2016, that a hip-hop pioneer, Phife Dawg of the group “A Tribe Called Quest,” passed away at the age of 45. It was Phife, along with Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White, that created a new voice in the evolution from rap to hip hop.

Film Review: Passion of Young French Love Fuels ‘My Golden Days’

CHICAGO – Feel like a French film? Well, “My Golden Days” is just the ticket. Full of existential romance, too many cigarettes, casual carnality and pathological regret, the story should come with its own beret and baguette.

Passion of Young French Love Fuels ‘My Golden Days’

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

CHICAGO – Feel like a French film? Well, “My Golden Days” is just the ticket. Full of existential romance, too many cigarettes, casual carnality and pathological regret, the story should come with its own beret and baguette. Rich in detail, and awash in fine European actors, the movie is a perfect anecdote for “American Exceptionalism.”

Interviews: Flashback to Nia Vardalos, Lainie Kazan of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’

Nia Vardalos photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The second biggest release of the 2016 Easter Weekend is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” The sequel to the 2002 mega-hit, the film rolls out the same weekend as a certain “Bats v Supes,” but is a bit quieter – and more Greek – than its weekend neighbors. In anticipation of the new “Wedding,” HollywoodChicago.com reruns a couple interviews from featured stars Nia Vardalos and Lainie Kazan.

Film Review: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is Both Despairing & Disappointing

CHICAGO – Dang it, DC Comics and Warner Bros.! Two of my favorite comic book characters get dragged through a dull mud in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” There is a dawn all right, but instead of the bright sun over the horizon, it’s a full mooning to the fans who anticipated the film.

‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is Both Despairing & Disappointing

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

CHICAGO – Dang it, DC Comics and Warner Bros.! Two of my favorite comic book characters get dragged through a dull mud in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” There is a dawn all right, but instead of the bright sun over the horizon, it’s a full mooning to the fans who anticipated the film.

Interview: Jonathan Gold, Iconic Food Writer in ‘City of Gold’

CHICAGO – Although Jonathan Gold is not a household name, his food writing and criticisms have influenced Los Angeles palates for a generation. He is the only food critic to have ever received the Pulitzer Prize, and he is profiled in a new documentary by director Laura Gabbert entitled “City of Gold.”

Interview: Director Benjamin Dickinson Maintains ‘Creative Control’

CHICAGO – There is a tremendous excitement when a fresh director voice is realized, and writer/director/actor Benjamin Dickinson is one such discovery. His feature film debut is ‘Creative Control’ – which like previous futuristic films ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Her’– explores sex and relationships through our technological evolution.

Film News: Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com to Host After Hours Film Society on March 21, 2016

Flowers

CHICAGO – The After Hours Film Society is a treasure of a cinema gathering that offers a comprehensive line-up of foreign, classic and specialty films for screening and discussion. Patrick McDonald, Editorial Coordinator and Film Critic for HollywoodChicago.com, will lead the discussion for the film “Flowers,” the 2015 Spanish film that was on the short list for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film, on Monday evening, March 21st, 2016, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, Ill.

Interview: Director Gavin Hood has His ‘Eye in the Sky’

CHICAGO – The new film “Eye in the Sky” is as contemporary a war film that currently could be made. The overview of drone warfare includes the distant “pilots” on the computer screen, the leaders in their paneled offices, and the target on the ground – which includes the enemy, but also several innocents.

Slideshow: Last Day of C2E2 is Sunday, March 20, 2016

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Hayley Atwell of TV’s ‘Agent Carter.’

CHICAGO – It’s the closing day (Sunday, March 20th) of the 2016 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo – also known as C2E2 – and what better way to celebrate the weekend than a Exclusive Portrait Slideshow of the celebrity attendees of the 2015 edition of the event. Actor Matt Dillon, Director M. Night Shyamalan and Hayley Atwell (TV’s “Agent Carter”) of the Marvel Universe were among the celebrity highlights.

Film Review: Magic of Orson Welles Rings the ‘Chimes at Midnight’

Chimes at Midnight

CHICAGO – Another wondrous pleasure about director Orson Welles – as if he needed something else on his resume – is the discovery of his film career after the “Citizen Kane”/studio system/boy wonder period of the 1940s. Facing difficulties cobbling together financing for his evolving vision, he resorted to overseas money, international casts and more-for-less. One of the prime examples is “Chimes at Midnight” (1965), a Shakespeare amalgamation that is just another example of Wellesian audacity and yes, genius.

Magic of Orson Welles Rings the ‘Chimes at Midnight’

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

CHICAGO – Another wondrous pleasure about director Orson Welles – as if he needed something else on his resume – is the discovery of his film career after the “Citizen Kane”/studio system/boy wonder period of the 1940s. Facing difficulties cobbling together financing for his evolving vision, he resorted to overseas money, international casts and more-for-less. One of the prime examples is “Chimes at Midnight” (1965), a Shakespeare amalgamation that is just another example of Wellesian audacity and yes, genius.

Entertainment News: John Cusack at Opening Day of C2E2 in Chicago From March 18-20, 2016

Cusack1.JPG

CHICAGO – It’s Opening Day for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo – better known as C2E2. There are three days planned – Friday, March 18th through Sunday March 20th, 2016 – for celebrities, comic book producers and the entertainment associated with our age of super hero geek culture. The event takes place at the South Building at McCormack Place in Chicago. Chicago’s own John Cusack helps to get things rolling with a panel appearance TODAY (March 18th) at 2pm, and will sign autographs and meet fans over the weekend.

Interview: Melissa Rauch Finishes First in ‘The Bronze’

CHICAGO – She’s conquered television, and now it’s time for the movies. Melissa Rauch – also known as Bernadette on “The Big Bang Theory” – has created a new, uniquely voiced character named Hope Greggory. The character is a third placed, foul-mouthed Olympic gymnast in the new film “The Bronze.”

Exclusive Photos: Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on March 13, 2016

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Megadeth

CHICAGO – Thrash metal pioneers Megadeth (with singer Dave Mustane and Kiko Loureiro) and Suicidal Tendencies (with singer Mike Muir) shredded their guitars and kept the packed crowd moshing with 30 years of vintage metal classics at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on March 13, 2016. The HollywoodChicago.com lens captured all the action. Enjoy!

Red-Carpet Video Interviews: ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ Stars Ice Cube, Common & Cedric the Entertainer

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com brings you our red-carpet interviews with the stars of “Barbershop: The Next Cut”! We speak with Ice Cube, Common, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson, Deon Cole and Regina Hall at the Chicago premiere on March 14, 2016.

Interview: Nadia Hilker & Bill Skarsgard for ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1’

CHICAGO – The “Divergent” series of films are coming to a conclusion, with a two parter adapted from the last book. The first film is “The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1,” and there are some new kids in the mix, with two actors who have made their mark overseas – Nadia Hilker and Bill Skarsgard – joining the series.

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents ‘Zinnia Flower’ in Chicago on March 16, 2016

Zinnia Flower

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema Series, spotlighting a variety of diverse Asian films, continues its 2016 season with the film, “Zinnia Flower,” directed by Tom Shu-yu Lin. Mr. Lin will make an appearance at the screening, beginning at 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016, at the AMC River East Theater in Chicago.

Interview: Spotlight on Director Bradley Bischoff at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on March 16, 2016

Bradley Bischoff

CHICAGO – It will be a director’s “Debutante Ball” as filmmaker Bradley Bischoff comes into the spotlight at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago, at a showcase event presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP Chicago) and the theatre on March 16, 2016. Bischoff will showcase his short film package, and talk about the pre-production of his first feature film, “The Grasshopper.”

Exclusive Portrait: Kate Hudson for New Book ‘Pretty Happy’

CHICAGO – She’s the daughter of Hollywood royalty, but managed to carve out her own career as a film actress and entrepreneur. Kate Hudson can now add author to her list of accomplishments as she came to Chicagoland to promote “Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body.”

Film Review: ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a Dull Detour to a Dead End

CHICAGO – With “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Producer J.J. Abrams attempts a classic bait and switch on his audience. The name and the tagline suggest a connection to Abrams found footage monster movie, 2008’s “Cloverfield.” But in all honesty, this film has very little to do with the events of that movie.

‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a Dull Detour to a Dead End

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

CHICAGO – With “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Producer J.J. Abrams attempts a classic bait and switch on his audience. The name and the tagline suggest a connection to Abrams found footage monster movie, 2008’s “Cloverfield.” But in all honesty, this film has very little to do with the events of that movie.

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