Ex Machina

Film Review: Consider the Meaning of Life Force in ‘Annihilation’

CHICAGO – Alex Garland, the standout creator/director of “Ex Machina,” is back with “Annihilation,” another science fiction story. And like the previous film, it explores implications of a sci-fi event, in this case an outer space incident that restructures a cellular code, that ends up destructive.

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 Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2015, By Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – Another year is about to slide towards the next one, so it’s time to look back at the cinema universe of 2015, the 10 Best Films of the year. In this arena, the intrepid “Über Critic” of HollywoodChicago.com, Patrick McDonald, will attempt to give his spin on the “best of” point of view.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Association Names ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ as 2015 Best Picture

CHICAGO – “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the hyper-driven artistic achievement by director George Miller, was designated Best Picture of 2015 by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), at a ceremony on December 16th. George Miller was also honored as Best Director, and “Mad Max” received five total honors.

Film News: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Tops Chicago Film Critics Association 2015 Best Film Nominees

CFCA 2015 Mad Max

CHICAGO – The adrenalin-fueled “Mad Max: Fury Road” topped the Chicago Film Critics Association nominations list for 2015, announced on Monday, December 14th. Other notable multi-category nominees included “Carol,” “The Revenant” and “Inside Out.” Jennifer Jason Leigh scored a double nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for “The Hateful Eight” and “Anomalisa,” and Amy Schumer got a nod for Most Promising Performer with “Trainwreck.”

Film Review: There are Future Consequences in ‘Ex Machina’

CHICAGO – The title “Ex Machina” is a play on Deus ex machina, the stage/scenario term meaning god from the machine, or the basic happy ending. By cutting out the “Deus” in the phrase, the film is left with just the machine, and the humans.

Interview: Director Alex Garland Seeks Humanity in ‘Ex Machina’

CHICAGO – Who are we anyway, when as inventors of artificial intelligence, we can create a new wave of thought process? That is what writer – and now director – Alex Garland (“28 Days Later…,” “Sunshine”) has been grappling with his entire career. His directorial debut is the stunning and prescient “Ex Machina.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio review of the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” the first film of one of the most successful film franchises in movie history, spun off from the original breakthrough sci-fi TV series of the 1960s. Beam me up.

  • A League of Their Own 2022

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on September 2nd, reviewing the new TV series “A League of Their Own,” a parallel universe adaptation of the popular 1992 film, now streaming on Prime Video.

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