Jon Lennon Espino

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com 2022 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Here we go again. Welcome to the annual Oscar Predictions on HollywoodChicago.com, for 2022 (the 94th Academy Awards). The film/entertainment contributors – Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino – are joined by guest Michael Glover Smith, the director of the upcoming film “Relative.”



Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Sidney Poitier

CHICAGO – With the passing of actor Sidney Poitier at the age of 94 on January 6th, 2022, another lion of the cinema – who represented succinctly an era of the movies – has left the mortal coil. HollywoodChicago.com presents the following appreciation through three film essays in retrospect by Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino.

Pride Week!: Audio Review of Award-Winning ‘Gun Hill Road’

Gun Hill Road

CHICAGO – Jon Lennon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on the PRIDE film “Gun Hill Road” (2011), currently on TUBI for free, about the culture of Latino machismo when confronted with a transgender son. Happy Pride Week!

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com 2020 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Let’s make this important! The 92nd Academy Awards are on Sunday, February 9th, 2020, and HC.com film/entertainment contributors Patrick McDonald, Michael “Spike” Walters and Jon Lennon Espino are ready to add their Swami-like powers to eight major categories, plus three wild cards. Let the predicting begin.

Film News: Preview of 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – Tonight what heights we’ll hit. The 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) begins on Friday, May 17th, 2019, and offers a week of 2019 film greatness, selected by Chicago Film Critics from the major festivals so far. This will be a whole week at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, Click here for the schedule.

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com Predictions for 2019 Academy Awards

CHICAGO – Time to fill out the Oscar prediction ballots! The 91st Academy Awards are on Sunday, February 24th, 2019, and HC film critics Patrick McDonald, Michael “Spike” Walters and Jon Lennon Espino are ready to add their prognosticating powers to eight major categories, plus three wild cards. Let the predicting begin.

Oscar Week: Interview with Nominees Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira of ‘Roma’

ROMA Actors, Photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – One of the more pleasant surprises of the 2018 film year was the rise of the connectively expressive film “Roma,” written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Not only is it nominated for Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director at the 91st Academy Awards, but the two lead actresses – Yalitza Aparicio and Maria de Tavira – are nominated for Best Actress and Supporting Actress. Jon Lennon Espino, contributor at HollywoodChicago.com, interviewed both actresses last October at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival.

Podtalk: Director Jason Reitman Votes for ‘The Front Runner’

CHICAGO – The year 1988 marked a border crossing in the way that the media covered national candidates. Senator Gary Hart seemed destined for president, until a extramarital relationship with Donna Rice became the focus of media attention. Director Jason Reitman tells the story in a new film, “The Front Runner.”

Photo, Audio: ‘A Tribute to Carey Mulligan’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival

Carey Mulligan, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – She’s a memorable talent in a different age of movie stars. British-born Carey Mulligan has shown her talent for character roles, making her film debut with “Pride & Prejudice” in 2005, breaking out a year later with “An Education,” and taking on a number of parts as an American in “Drive,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Mudbound.” Her latest film is “Wildlife,” directed by Paul Dano.

Photo, Interviews: Red Carpet for ‘Roma’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival

ROMA Actors, Photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – One of the buzz films at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) is “Roma,” the latest from Academy Award winning director Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”). This personal and autobiographical film is winning kudos for its beauty and authenticity, as well as its setting in 1970s Mexico City. The film features Mexican actors Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Offer, The

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on May 5th, reviewing the new miniseries “The Offer,” about the creation of the classic film “The Godfather,” currently streaming on Paramount+.

  • Murder on Horizon

    CHICAGO – Time to get back to live stage shows! The Otherworld Theatre of Chicago (Wrigleyville Neighborhood) presents an immersive sci-fi experience – AKA audience participation – on a space station, enticingly titled “Murder on Horizon.” The audience is part of solving the mystery as a futuristic gumshoe goes from suspect to suspect to find the killer of a prominent scientist.

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