December 2019

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2019, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – An entire decade is biting the dust in the switch from 2019 to 2020, with an America that can experience the anarchy of our current times reflected in the movies. What better time to unleash the 10 BEST FILMS of 2019, as selected by Über Critic Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.

Film News: Get Your Xmas Films on with ‘Pat & Ken At the Holidays’

Pat & Ken At the Holidays

CHICAGO – It’s the Eve of Christmas Eve, and what better time to figure out what the holiday film what-to-watch list will be. Enter “Pat & Ken At the Holidays,” featuring Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com and his faithful companion Ken Candela, whose off-kilter commentary has blessed him with the nickname, The Movie Wag.

Podtalk: Mentalist Alex McAleer Headlines ‘Champions of Magic,’ Dec. 23-29, 2019

Champions of Magic

CHICAGO – The Illusionists are coming to Chicago, and they are a traveling troupe of Champions. The “Champions of Magic” consists of Kayla Drescher (close-up magician), Fernando Velasco (escape artist), the team of Young & Strange (grand illusions) and mentalist Alex McAleer.

Podtalk: Director Jay Roach Delivers a FOX News ‘Bombshell’

CHICAGO – In the midst of these divisive times, there is always FOX News to further contribute to that divisiveness. The legacy of that news channel may ultimately be for the settlement of their sexual harassment lawsuits. Director Jay Roach (“Game Change”) explores the particulars of the situation in his new film “Bombshell.”

Film News: 2019 Best Picture of Chicago Film Critics Association is ‘Parasite’

CHICAGO – “Parasite,” a South Korean film with themes of class warfare, struck a chord at the 2019 Chicago Film Critic’s Association (CFCA) Awards, garnering Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (for Bong Joon Ho) and Best Original Screenplay.

Photo Gallery: Punk Rock Band SUM 41 at Belvidere’s Apollo Theatre AC, Dec. 15, 2019

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Sum 41 at Belvidere’s The Apollo Theatre AC, 1 of 10

BELVIDERE, ILL – Iconic punk rockers Sum 41 brought their “Order in Decline World Tour” to the Apollo Theatre AC in Belvidere, Illinois, on December 15th, 2019. Singer Deryck Whibley and the band selected crowd favorites from their extensive catalogue of songs and kept the crowd rocking and thrashing all night. Sum 41’s performance exuded catchy guitar riffs and contagious frantic energy, along with lyrics that the crowd knew by heart.

Red-Carpet Slideshow: New Showtime Network Series is Filmed-in-Chicago ‘Work in Progress'

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Co-creator and featured actor Abby McEnany of ‘Work in Progress.’

CHICAGO – One of the latest diversity-oriented TV series is “Work in Progress,’ which premiered on the Showtime Network on December 8th, 2019. The show was created by Chicago improv artists Tim Mason and Abby McEnany, who portrays a fictionalized version of herself.

Podtalk: Marianne Parker Performs ‘Inner Worlds’ at Chicago’s Davis Theatre, Dec. 16, 2019

Inner Worlds

CHICAGO – What is “Inner Worlds”? Imagine exploring the workings of a piano, the strings inside, the body that keeps those strings in place, and the other elements that make up the guts of the instrument. Then imagine creating music not from the keys, but from those innards, and performing a whole concert.

Podtalk: Director Jennifer Reeder Wields ‘Knives and Skin’

CHICAGOTONIGHT (12/13/19) is the Chicago release date of writer/director Jennifer Reeder’s “Knives and Skin,” a noir mystery that contains more than what’s on the surface. The historic Music Box Theatre is the locale (7:15pm), and there will be numerous opportunities to see Reeder in person (click the link below).

Podtalk: Director Tom Harper Flies High with ‘The Aeronauts’

CHICAGO – When we last saw Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones together, they were portraying husband and wife in the Stephen Hawking bio “The Theory of Everything.” Now they are 19th Century high-flying hot air balloonists in “The Aeronauts,” opening December 6th, 2019, and directed by Tom Harper.

Podtalk: Christine Marie on ‘Xmas in Lost Pines’ at Chicago’s Prop Thtr, Dec. 6-13, 2019

Xmas in Lost Pines

CHICAGO – Theater art is collaborative, and it’s often the design of a stage that sets the tone for the play that unfolds. The Curious Theatre Branch presents an original holiday play called “Xmas in Lost Pines,” opening Friday, December 6th, 2019 at the Prop Thtr (theatre) on Chicago’s Northwest side, with four performances through December 13th (all 8pm).

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