Timothy Spall

On-Air Film Review: Princess Diana-Rama! Review of ‘Spencer’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 4th, 2021, reviewing the new film by director Pablo Lorrain (“Jackie”) about Princess Diana, “Spencer,” in theaters on November 5th.

DAY TEN: Spotlight on ‘Spencer’ at 57th Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 22, 2021

CHICAGO – Day Ten of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) will screen “Spencer,” the highly anticipated film about Princess Diana, with Kristen Stewart as the title character, and directed by Pablo Lorrain (click SPENCER for details).

Film Review: ‘Early Man’ is Unabashedly Freaking Hilarious

CHICAGO – Humor flows from one individual, and reaches another. Whether the receiver laughs or not is subjective, based on experiences and worldview. It can be agreed, however, that animator Nick Park (“Wallace & Gromit”) is hilarious, and he’ll make the world laugh in “Early Man.”

Video Interview: Author Deborah Lipstadt on Holocaust ‘Denial’ With Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com interviews the “Queen of Truth,” Deborah Lipstadt, whose book and famous court trial inspired the new film “Denial”. This year’s “Spotlight” but for the Jews, Rachel Weisz plays Lipstadt opposite Timothy Spall, who portrays the Holocaust denier David Irving.

Film Review: Eccentric Story of ‘Mr. Turner’ Still Visually Arresting

Mr. Turner

CHICAGO – The thing that can be said for British writer/director Mike Leigh is that it’s never known what story may capture his fancy. The auteur of “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “Topsy-Turvy,” “Secrets and Lies” and “Life is Sweet” now tackles the last quarter century of a notable British painter’s life, through his strange maneuverings and unconventionality, in “Mr. Turner.”

Film Review: Convoluted British Heist Flick ‘Wasteland’ Tests Your Patience

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

CHICAGO – I’m not sure there’s ever been a heist film in which the heist is discussed, debated, and argued about more than “Wasteland,” opening in Chicago this Friday, August 2, 2013. We know from the beginning, with its “Usual Suspects” narrative trick of an arrested man telling a cop how he got there, that things went wrong. And then we get to hear about the plan for things to go wrong over and over and over again. Writer/director Rowan Athale thinks he has made a crime caper a la “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” but the constant spinning of wheels drains the piece of its energy until a final act gets so convoluted that the whole thing falls apart.

Film Review: Odd Fairy Tale of ‘Upside Down’ is Also Inside Out

Upside Down

CHICAGO – Definitely one of the strangest films so far in 2013 is “Upside Down,” featuring a dream pairing of Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess. The problem is they exist as disparate lovers on opposing planets, with opposite gravitational pulls. Thus what is up for Kirsten is down for Jim, or vice-versa?

DVD Review: World of Nightmares on Display in Effective ‘Heartless’

Heartless

CHICAGO – “Heartless” is a Faustian nightmare, a story of a man who sees behind the curtain of the real world to the creatures of chaos that really run it. It’s a surprisingly riveting and accomplished piece of work, bursting at the seams with attitude and ideas. Many films have attempted to recreate a truly terrifying night vision but “Heartless” finds that dark place between the waking world and that of our worst dreams to become something that deserves (and probably will find on DVD) a wider audience.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Topsy-Turvy,’ ‘The Mikado’ Join Criterion Collection Together

Topsy-Turvy

CHICAGO – Leave it to The Criterion Collection to not just perfectly remaster one of the most acclaimed films of the ’90s but to take its ancestor, the film version of the play in which the modern classic centers around, and give it a similarly remarkable treatment. Fans of Mike Leigh’s “Topsy-Turvy” will adore the new Criterion edition, available now on DVD and Blu-ray, but they should also pick up “The Mikado” to see the inspirational musical in its entirety.

Film Review: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush Star in Confident ‘The King’s Speech’

The King's Speech
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” has been barreling through the awards season with a number of significant nominations, including six from the Chicago Film Critics Association just today. I understand why. The film does nothing wrong. It features confident production values and good performances but never reaches the peak of excellence for this critic. “The King’s Speech” is a good film that’s been inflated by some viewers to great even if it doesn’t quite deserve the throne.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • South Side

    CHICAGO – One the brightest comedies set in Chicago is “South Side,” created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle. The pair moved the show from Comedy Central to HBO Max, and Season Two dropped for streaming on November 11th, 2021, with the same free-wheeling and hilarious misadventures of Simon and Kareme.

  • Colin in Black & White

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 4th, 2021, reviewing the new miniseries “Colin in Black & White” – regarding the early years of ex-NFL QB Colin Kaepernick – currently streaming on Netflix.

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