April 2016

Film Review: Susan Sarandon Plays Smother Mother in ‘The Meddler’

CHICAGO – Some mothers are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them. The Mom of “The Meddler” – portrayed with precise intuition by Susan Sarandon – is of the greatness-of-the-future variety, by simply evolving to be herself. Rose Byrne as daughter Lori tags along.

Susan Sarandon Plays Smother Mother in ‘The Meddler’

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

CHICAGO – Some mothers are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them. The Mom of “The Meddler” – portrayed with precise intuition by Susan Sarandon – is of the greatness-of-the-future variety, by simply evolving to be herself. Rose Byrne as daughter Lori tags along.

Interview: Director Lorene Scafaria Presents ‘The Meddler’

CHICAGO – The combining of icon Susan Sarandon and a “smother mother” from New Jersey is unbeatable, especially under the sure hand of writer/director Lorene Scafaria. The distinctive voice that brought us “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,’ now is taking on mother/daughter relationships in “The Meddler.”

Film Review: Tom Hanks Delivers in ‘A Hologram for the King’

CHICAGO – Tom Hanks is using his golden years as a vehicle to stretch his performance skills, and his role as a sort of “Death of a Salesman” spin in “A Hologram for the King” gives him an opportunity to keep stretching. The stylish film floats within the focus on his character, and he delivers.

Tom Hanks Delivers in ‘A Hologram for the King’

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

CHICAGO – Tom Hanks is using his golden years as a vehicle to stretch his performance skills, and his role as a sort of “Death of a Salesman” spin in “A Hologram for the King” gives him an opportunity to keep stretching. The stylish film floats within the focus on his character, and he delivers.

Slideshow: Exclusive Portraits from 2016 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo

| Image 1 of 4 |
Edward James Olmos of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ ‘Stand and Deliver.’

CHICAGO – The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) was recently in town, and the geek world was in heaven. For three days, the best in the comic book, entertainment, TV and movie world were gathered at the McCormick Place convention center on the near south side.

Theater Review: ‘New Country’ is Original, Exuberant & Poignant

New Country

CHICAGO – The Country Music industry has become as huge as any category of music entertainment. So Mark Roberts, the creator of the TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” has fashioned a boisterous new play about the machinations of that genre of music industry, and gave it the plaintive title of “New Country.”

Film Review: ‘Elvis & Nixon’ is a True Story That’s Fit for a King

CHICAGO – “When two great saints meet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Paul McCartney of John and Yoko. Well that also applies to “Elvis & Nixon.” Their meeting, albeit brief, has layers of meaning for our times – and their time – and the movie with the “E&N” title exposes that meaning with humor and grace.

‘Elvis & Nixon’ is a True Story That’s Fit for a King

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

CHICAGO – “When two great saints meet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Paul McCartney of John and Yoko. Well that also applies to “Elvis & Nixon.” Their meeting, albeit brief, has layers of meaning for our times – and their time – and the movie with the “E&N” title exposes that meaning with humor and grace.

Film Review: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is a Bloated Bore

CHICAGO – This new Hollywood fairy tale does have one thing in common with the bedtime stories of old…it may lull you to sleep in the first 30 minutes. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is a special effects extravaganza where the effects aren’t special, the story is thin, and almost all the actors seem to have been allowed or even encouraged to indulge their worst impulses.

‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is a Bloated Bore

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

CHICAGO – This new Hollywood fairy tale does have one thing in common with the bedtime stories of old…it may lull you to sleep in the first 30 minutes. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is a special effects extravaganza where the effects aren’t special, the story is thin, and almost all the actors seem to have been allowed or even encouraged to indulge their worst impulses.

Entertainment News: Prince, Ending His Purple Reign, Dies at 57

CHANCHASSEN, Minn. – One of rock’s most legendary and mysterious figures, whose full and real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st, 2016, after paramedics found him unresponsive at his Paisley Park home in Chanchassen, Minnesota. No cause of death has been given. The singer was 57 years old.

Film News: 2016 Chicago Latino Film Festival Closing Night on April 21 with ‘No Kids’ From Argentina

32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – It has been two weeks of films and culture for the 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival, but all great things come to a conclusion. Thursday, April 21st, 2016, will be the final film gathering of the festival, at the Chicago History Museum, with a showing of “No Kids,” from Argentina.

Film News: Music Box Theatre Hosts Chicago Fashion Show by Elle Val on April 21, 2016

Rihanna in 'The First Monday in May'

CHICAGO – Hot off the PERFECT SCORE review for (click the title) The First Monday in May comes a fashion event at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago, on April 21st, 2016, It will be the first time the theatre will host a fashion show – in conjunction with a screening of the film – and it will be curated by Elle Val, an online Chicago boutique.

Exclusive Portrait: Chyna of World Wrestling Federation Fame Dies at 45

Chyna copy.JPG

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – She was an actress, model, bodybuilder and even adult film star, but Chyna – AKA Joanie Laurer – will always be remembered as the “Ninth Wonder of the World” during her undefeated reign as World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Woman’s Champion and gender crossover WWF Intercontinental Champion. She was found dead on April 20th, 2016, in her Redondo Beach (California) home at the age of 45.

Interview: Director Jeremy Saulnier Invites Us to ‘Green Room’

CHICAGO – Combining punk rock, neo-Nazism and horror is not an easy balancing act, but filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier (“Blue Ruin”) was up to the task. As a former punker himself, it was natural to transfer the energy of that music, and translate it into a slash and burn scary movie. It’s time to step into the ‘Green Room.’

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 30 Pairs of Passes to ‘Green Room’ With Patrick Stewart

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new horror film “Green Room” starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots!

Film Review: ‘The Dark Horse’ Rises with Performance of Cliff Curtis

Dark Horse, The

CHICAGO – The narrow genre of chess movies (“Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “Pawn Sacrifice”) gets a New Zealand entry, the appropriately titled “The Dark Horse.” The film is a showcase for the performance of Cliff Curtis as the title character, abiding with mental instability and his own redemption.

‘The Dark Horse’ Rises with Performance of Cliff Curtis

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

CHICAGO – The narrow genre of chess movies (“Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “Pawn Sacrifice”) gets a New Zealand entry, the appropriately titled “The Dark Horse.” The film is a showcase for the performance of Cliff Curtis as the title character, abiding with mental instability and his own redemption.

‘The First Monday in May’ Confirms That Life is Beautiful

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

CHICAGO – The moral of the story of “The First Monday in May” definitely is “there is heaven on earth if the right angels come together.” The film is stunningly beautiful, as it chronicles the development of the annual costume exhibit and gala at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Film Review: ‘The First Monday in May’ Confirms That Life is Beautiful

CHICAGO – The moral of the story of “The First Monday in May” definitely is “there is heaven on earth if the right angels come together.” The film is stunningly beautiful, as it chronicles the development of the annual costume exhibit and gala at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Slideshow: Cast of ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ on the Chicago Red Carpet

| Image 1 of 6 |
‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ Red Carpet, March 14th, 2016.

CHICAGO – The Chicago premiere of “Barbershop: The Next Cut” took place in March of 2016, and what made it special is that the principle cast walked the Red Carpet and did a “tour” of the city to promote the film. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles was at that Chicago Red Carpet, which took place at the Showplace ICON Theatres, and captured these Exclusive Portraits.

Film Review: ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ Does Their Take on ‘Chi-Raq’

CHICAGO – The Barbershop series of films have always prided themselves on following the “Seinfeld Rule” – they are essentially about nothing. But with this go-around – like the recent “Chi-Raq” – the gang at the shop takes on the Chicago neighborhood violence around them, in “Barbershop: The Next Cut.”

‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ Does Their Take on ‘Chi-Raq’

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

CHICAGO – The Barbershop series of films have always prided themselves on following the “Seinfeld Rule” – they are essentially about nothing. But with this go-around – like the recent “Chi-Raq” – the gang at the shop takes on the Chicago neighborhood violence around them, in “Barbershop: The Next Cut.”

Interview: Director Jude Klassen Rocks CIMMfest with ‘Love in the Sixth’ on April 17, 2016

Jude Klassen of 'Love in the Sixth'

CHICAGO – The “Canuck Girls” have hit town, and they brought a lively, passionate and super fun musical about relationships and the environment to CIMMFest! Toronto-based writer/musician/actor/director Jude Klassen created “Love in the Sixth,” and it plays out at the 2016 festival on Sunday, April 17th (3:45p) at the Logan Theatre in Chicago. Click here for complete details.

Entertainment News: 6 Things to Do April 16-17 at 2016 CIMMfest

CHICAGO – The hottest two days of the 2016 CIMMfest – the Chicago International Music & Movies Festival – is of course on the last two weekend days. After conferring their Baadasssss Award to Documentarian Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films on Friday, April 15th, it’s time for the Saturday/Sunday blitz to begin.

Film News: Week Two Highlights of 2016 Chicago Latino Film Festival

32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – It’s Week Two of the 32nd Edition of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, and the films, programs and filmmakers are creating a big buzz over at the AMC River East 21 Theatre, where all the festival films are being shown. The huge variety of movies from Latino countries all over the world has brought in the film buffs and fans, making Chicago again the place to be for film.

Interview: Alonzo Alcaraz on ‘One Night Stand’ at Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 15, 2016

One Night Stand

CHICAGO – One of the most exciting days for any filmmaker is the World Premiere of their first feature film. Alonzo Alcaraz will be experiencing that excitement at the 2016 Chicago Latino Film Festival as the the World Premiere of “One Night Stand” is screened on Friday evening, April 15th. For details, click here.

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