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On-Air Film Review: Everything Must Converge in Ethan Hawke’s ‘Wildcat’

Wildcat

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review for the “Wildcat,” co-written and directed by Ethan Hawke and featuring his daughter Maya as 20th Century writer Flannery O’Connor. Currently in select theaters since May 17th. See local listings.

On-Air Film Review: ‘Boston Strangler’ Has a Chokehold on Crime

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on March 16th, 2023, reviewing “Boston Strangler,” another film version of one of the most notorious crimes of the 1960s. Streaming on HULU beginning March 17th.

On-Air Film Review: Teen Age! Review of ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on September 30th, 2021, reviewing the new film “The Many Saints of Newark” in theaters and streaming on HBO Max beginning October 1st.

Film Review: Strange Story of ‘Disobedience’ is Constant Distraction

CHICAGO – The director Sebastían Lelio is no stranger to oddball human stories. His 2017 film, “A Fantastic Woman” – the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film – was a one-of-a-kind but amazingly poignant story of identity. His latest, “Disobedience,” mines the same human territory with lesser results.

Tribeca 2018: Producer Ron Perlman for New Film ‘To Dust’

NEW YORK CITY – The actor side of Ron Perlman has made his mark in films/TV like the “Hellboy” series and “Sons of Anarchy.” But he has put on a producer’s cap for the new film “To Dust,” which features Matthew Broderick. The film made its Red Carpet premiere at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival on April 23rd, 2018.

Film Review: Stylish, Well Performed ‘You Were Never Really Here’

CHICAGO – Actor Joaquin Phoenix almost solely specializes in portraying broken souls, but he also does it with such intensity that he adds necessary depth to those characters, to allow for their redemption. As a hit man for hire in the new film “You Were Never Really Here,” he again reaches beyond the darkness.

Film Review: Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac Endure ‘A Most Violent Year’

A Most Violent Year

CHICAGO – The effect of violence, centering on the roughest statistical year for it (1981) in New York City history, becomes a flashpoint for the way business has always been done. If someone isn’t intimidating their competitor with lawyers or shady marketing practices, a few hired goons can do the trick. Oscar Isaac takes the beating, both real and metaphorical, in writer/director J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year.”

Film Review: Great Performances Drive Entertaining ‘American Hustle’

As career con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) introduces newly-undercover FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to his world of criminal enterprise, he shows him a Rembrandt painting in a museum, revealing that it’s a fake. Millions of people have seen and admired it, not realizing that it’s not the original. Does it matter if they get the same artistic enjoyment out of it?

Blu-Ray Review: James Franco Rocks in Intriguing if Flawed ‘Howl’

Howl

CHICAGO – James Franco gave a riveting performance in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” that is likely to earn one of the best actors of his generation an Academy Award nomination in a few weeks, but it wasn’t his only stellar turn in 2010. He also thoroughly delivered as the legendary poet Allen Ginsberg in the hybrid “Howl,” a film that’s part poem, part courtroom drama, and part history lesson. It doesn’t always come together but it’s worth seeing just for Franco’s work and the strength of the source material alone.

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  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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