Mel Brooks

Audio Film Review: The Nickel and Timing of ‘The Automat’

Automat, The

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio film review on “The Automat,” a nostalgic look at a long-gone New York City/Philadelphia restaurant institution, a directorial debut by Lisa Hurwitz featuring interviews with Mel Brooks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others. In select theaters now.

Via Zoom: Misty Rowe of ‘Hee Haw’ & as Marilyn Monroe in Her Book ‘Misty Memories,’ PART TWO

CHICAGO – Misty Rowe is a Country Music cultural icon, through her many years with TV’s “Hee Haw,” but she also portrayed Marilyn Monroe in “Goodbye, Norma Jean” (1976). She remembers it all in her new memoir, “Misty Memories.”

Via Zoom: Misty Rowe on ‘Hee Haw' & as Marilyn Monroe in Her New Book ‘Misty Memories,’ PART ONE

CHICAGO – Misty Rowe is a Country Music cultural icon, through her many years with TV’s “Hee Haw,” but she also portrayed Marilyn Monroe in “Goodbye, Norma Jean” (1976). She remembers it all in her new memoir, “Misty Memories.”

Film News: Carl Reiner of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ Dies at 98

LOS ANGELES – If there ever was a living embodiment of show business history from the mid 20th Century to now, it was Carl Reiner. The producer, director, writer and sometimes actor worked in the business from 1938 to the present, and is probably best known for creating “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-66). He died of natural causes in Los Angeles on June 29th, 2020.

Film Review: Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet in ‘Leap!’

CHICAGO – One of the rites of passage for most girls in the U.S.(and elsewhere, I presume) is ballet lessons. Usually it lasts for a very short time, but some girls-to-women keep pursuing it, and may even become prima ballerinas. A new animated film named “Leap!” is dedicated to that spirit.

Film News: Gene Wilder of ‘Willy Wonka’ Fame Dies at 83

LOS ANGELES – The genius comedy of Gene Wilder was often in the subtlety. With a slow burn or a raised eyebrow, Wilder was able to draw big laughs. The star of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein” died in Stamford, Connecticut, according to his nephew in Los Angeles. He was 83.

Film Review: Drac Pack Still a Drag in ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’

CHICAGO – For the younger set unable to experience the mystique of Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein in their original creations, “Hotel Transylvania 2” may prove to be an introduction to the legendary bloodsucker and his band of movie monsters – and for that Adam Sandler deserves a stake through his heart.

Film Review: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ Hindered by Extra Sidekick

CHICAGO – Talking dogs have been around for decades in animated movies and television shows, especially the anthropomorphized kind. From the superhero antics of Underdog to the biting sarcasm from the likes of Brian from “Family Guy” - take your pick and you can find a dog to your liking. I always took a shine to Mr. Peabody, the intelligent and resourceful beagle with a penchant for puns.

Entertainment News: TV Comedy Pioneer Sid Caesar Dies at 91

Sid Caesar

LOS ANGELES – It’s a pioneering TV show practically lost to history. Sid Caesar hosted and performed in “Your Show of Shows,” a 90 minute live 1950s sketch comedy program, and also helped to launch a who’s who of 20th Century comedy. Coming out of his writer’s rooms were such comic greats as Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. Sid Caesar died February 12th at his home near Los Angeles, according to a newsfeed from Larry King on Twitter.

Interviews: Barbara Feldon, Bernie Kopell ‘Get Smart’ at The Hollywood Show

Barbara Feldon, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – The TV show “Get Smart,” which had its original run on the NBC network from 1965-1970, was an oddball classic. Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, the sitcom was a goofy satire on cold war politics of the 1960s, with a hapless operative named Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) working for the CONTROL agency, spying against a foreign menace called KAOS. Barbara Feldon (Agent 99) and Bernie Kopell (Sigfried) were part of the supporting cast.

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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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