August 2021

Slideshow, Podtalk: Johnny Brower on ‘Rock ’n Roll Revival' 1969, featuring John Lennon

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John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Johnny Brower (right of Yoko) meet the press.

CHICAGO – During the year 1969, in the midst of Woodstock and Summer of Soul, was the Rock ’n Roll Revival, taking place in Toronto, Canada. What makes this concert as significant as the other two – astoundingly, all three shows took place within three months of each other – is that a Canadian rock promoter named Johnny Brower snagged the biggest act of all for the show… John Lennon.

Entertainment News: Ed Asner, Eternally Lou Grant, Dies at 91

CHICAGO – Meeting Ed Asner is like meeting the grumpy uncle that you still love, because you know despite his curmudgeon nature, his has passion, spunk and delivers all of it in many ways. He was Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show most famously in the 1970s, but his other acting pursuits were just as significant.

Via Zoom: Filmmaker Chris Hudson of ‘The Mayberry Effect’

CHICAGO – Start whistling the theme to “The Andy Griffith Show” and most likely you’ll get someone to whistle along. This is the aura and the premise for the new documentary “The Mayberry Effect,” created and directed by Chris Hudson. Part tribute, part deep dive into nostalgia, the doc is all about the feeling of Mayberry and its legacy.

On-Air Film Review: Through Thin and Thinner! Review of ‘Together’

Together front

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 26th, 2021, reviewing the new film “Together” – a pandemic-era relationship story – In theaters on August 27th, 2021.

Through Thin and Thinner! On-Air Review of ‘Together’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 26th, 2021, reviewing the new film “Together” – a pandemic-era relationship story – In theaters on August 27th, 2021.

On-Air Film Review: Satisfying & Delicious! Review of ‘Candyman’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 26th, 2021, reviewing the new film “Candyman” – co-written by Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) – In theaters on August 27th, 2021.

Satisfying & Delicious! On-Air Review of ‘Candyman’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 26th, 2021, reviewing the new film “Candyman” – co-written by Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) – In theaters on August 27th, 2021.

Audio Film Review: Lust and Found! Review of ‘The Lost Leonardo’

Lost Leonardo, The

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new documentary about the art world, “The Lost Leonardo,” in select theaters, including Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, on August 27th, 2021.

Lust and Found! Audio Review of ‘The Lost Leonardo’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new documentary about the art world, “The Lost Leonardo,” in select theaters, including Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, on August 27th, 2021.

Film Review: 'Reminiscence' is a Mystery with Very Little in Mind

CHICAGO – “Reminiscence” is a futuristic noir with precious little on its mind. Instead of ideas, this sci-fi thriller offers half remembered cop movie cliches and hard boiled detective narration that’s just barely a step above Harrison Ford’s in the original cut of “Blade Runner.”

'Reminiscence' is a Mystery with Very Little in Mind

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

CHICAGO – “Reminiscence” is a futuristic noir with precious little on its mind. Instead of ideas, this sci-fi thriller offers half remembered cop movie cliches and hard boiled detective narration that’s just barely a step above Harrison Ford’s in the original cut of “Blade Runner.”

Film Review: ‘The Protege’ Understood the Assignment and Studied Up On Action Films Past

CHICAGO – I’ve always felt that the line between being a spy or an assassin has always been blade-thin. Both kill people based on the orders of someone else.

‘The Protege’ Understood the Assignment and Studied Up On Action Films Past

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

CHICAGO – I’ve always felt that the line between being a spy or an assassin has always been blade-thin. Both kill people based on the orders of someone else. They are always highly trained in fighting and gun-fu. There is a great chance that they will be absolutely charming and unusually attractive because the job demands it.

Audio Film Review: Black Sisters United! Review of ‘Unapologetic’

Unapologetic

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new release by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, “Unapologetic,” premiering at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago on August 20th, 2021.

Black Sisters United! Audio Review of ‘Unapologetic’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new release by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, “Unapologetic,” premiering at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago on August 20th, 2021.

On-Air Film Review: Papa Can You Hear Me! Review of ‘Flag Day’

Flag Day

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 19th, 2021, reviewing the new film “Flag Day” – featuring and directed by Sean Penn – In theaters on August 20th, 2021.



Papa Can You Hear Me! On-Air Review of ‘Flag Day’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 19th, 2021, reviewing the new film “Flag Day” – featuring and directed by Sean Penn – In theaters on August 20th, 2021.

On-Air Film Review: Haunted Domicile! Review of ‘The Night House’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 19th, 2021, reviewing the new film “The Night House” – featuring Rebecca Hall – in theaters on August 20th, 2021.



Haunted Domicile! On-Air Review of ‘The Night House’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on August 19th, 2021, reviewing the new film “The Night House” – featuring Rebecca Hall – in theaters on August 20th, 2021.

Podtalk: Filmmaker/Actor Ashton Swinford Talks Magic in Her New Short Film, ‘Basic Witches’

Ashton Swinford Basic Witches

CHICAGO – When we last checked in with actor and filmmaker Ashton Swinford, she had just completed her hilarious web series ”Miss Information”. She is back with a new short film, equally funny, in the white privilege satire “Basic Witches.”

Via Zoom: Filmmaker/Actor Clare Cooney on Her New Short ‘Pick Up’

CHICAGO – Although this former Chicago-based actor has moved on to Los Angeles, she continues as a filmmaker with her excellent second short, “Pick Up.” Clare Cooney wrote, directed and is featured in this poignant journey, as two ex-lovers figure out their current status in the midst of the world pandemic.

Film Review: Spike is Back! Counter Point For ‘Free Guy’

Free Guy

CHICAGO – Welcome back to film reviewer Spike Walters … “Free Guy” has the sort of premise that seems to tingle with possibility. Ryan Reynolds stars as a background character in a Grand Theft Auto/Fortnite-style video game who gradually discovers the true nature of his existence. There are many different ways to go with this material, but “Free Guy” inexplicably strands Reynolds and us in a half assed romantic comedy about coders instead.

Spike is Back! Counter Point Review of ‘Free Guy’

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

CHICAGO – Welcome back to film reviewer Spike Walters … “Free Guy” has the sort of premise that seems to tingle with possibility. Ryan Reynolds stars as a background character in a Grand Theft Auto/Fortnite-style video game who gradually discovers the true nature of his existence. There are many different ways to go with this material, but “Free Guy” inexplicably strands Reynolds and us in a half assed romantic comedy about coders instead.

Audio Film Review: The Spark That Lights Fire! Review of ‘Ema’

Ema

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new Pablo Larrain film “Ema,” a Chilean Film distributed in the U.S. by Music Box Films of Chicago. In select theaters, including the Music Box Theatre. beginning August 13th, 2021.

The Spark That Lights Fire! Audio Review of ‘Ema’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new Pablo Larrain film “Ema,” a Chilean Film distributed in the U.S. by Music Box Films of Chicago. In select theaters, including the Music Box Theatre. beginning August 13th, 2021.

Film Review: 'Free Guy' Doesn’t Play Around When It Comes to Delivering a Good Time

CHICAGO – Playing video games is one of the single most infuriating experiences that I continue to put myself through. One of my few masochistic traits emerge whenever I boot up my PC or PS4 …

'Free Guy' Doesn’t Play Around When It Comes to Delivering a Good Time

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

CHICAGO – Playing video games is one of the single most infuriating experiences that I continue to put myself through. One of my few masochistic traits emerge whenever I boot up my PC or PS4, and that’s because I always feel the need to play every game on the most difficult setting. This leads to a seemingly endless cycle of fighting, killing, dying, and then starting all over and trying again.

Audio Film Review: Do You Here What I Hear? Review of ‘CODA’

CODA

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new release “CODA” – the Grand Jury Prize winner as Best Film at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival – now in theaters and streaming on Apple TV+ beginning August 13th, 2021.

Do You Here What I Hear? Audio Review of ‘CODA’

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

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the new release “CODA” – the Grand Jury Prize winner as Best Film at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival – now in theaters and streaming on Apple TV+ beginning August 13th, 2021.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Chicago Party Aunt

    CHICAGO – The funny meter of Netflix went off the scale last week, as the animated series “Chicago Party Aunt” made its debut on September 17th. What began as a Twitter account by comic actor Chris Witaske (who also provides his voice talent) has morphed into the cartoon adventures of Aunt Diane Dumbowski, her nephew Daniel, and an array of familiar Chicago-isms and characters.

  • Factory Theater, The

    CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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