HollywoodChicago.com Arts & Entertainment News

Film Review: ‘John Wick 3 Parabellum’ is More Bang For Your Buck

John Wick 3 Parabellum

CHICAGO – I must admit that upon initial viewing, I didn’t care much for the original “John Wick” film. Coming as it did in the post “Taken” wave of old guy revenge thrillers, I found it to be stylish but supremely silly nonsense, since it was the death of puppy as the spark that lit the fuse. However as time has gone by, John Wick has grown on me.

Podtalk: Opening Night of Chicago Critics Film Fest is ‘Saint Frances’ on May 17, 2019

CHICAGO – Tomorrow, May 17th, 2019, is the night! The 7th Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) will kick off with the Opening Night film, “Saint Frances.” This begins a whole week of critic selected films at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, Click here for the schedule.

Podtalk: Raul Benitez of Full Spectrum Features on Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5, May 16, 2019

Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5

CHICAGO – For the past five years, the film house of Full Spectrum Features have been presenting and then distributing a program of short films, which are based in Chicago and features the rising filmmaking talent in the Windy City. On Thursday, May 16th, 2019 (7pm), Full Spectrum Features presents Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 5, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).The event is free, and advanced tickets have been claimed, but there will be walk up opportunities that night. Click here for details.

Theater Review: Classic ‘West Side Story’ at Chicago's Lyric Opera

West Side Story

CHICAGO – “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way … “ And there is no more appropriate way to lyrically pay tribute to a classic staging of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim musical, “West Side Story.” There is a new staging currently at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which runs through June 2nd, 2019. Click here for more details and tickets.

Film Review: ‘Poms’ Stumbles and Fumbles Through a Stale Routine

CHICAGO – There is an undeniable amount of skill and talent that goes into cheerleading. I happen to be rhythmically challenged so I am in awe of anyone, regardless of age, who can keep a beat while doing any sort of choreography. “Poms” promised to keep in step with a fresh premise, an all-star cast, and a new perspective on this tried-and-true genre but it tumbles along the way.

Podtalk: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Co-Presents ‘Still Human’ on May 13, 2019

Still Human

CHICAGO – One of the most honored recent films of Hong Kong, “Still Human,” will have its Chicago Premiere in a co-presentation by Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema and the Hong Long Economic & Trade Office. The emotional drama, about a disabled Hong Kong man (Anthony Wong) and his Filipino caregiver (Crisel Consunji), recently won accolades from the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Udine Far East Film Festival. First-time feature director Oliver Chan – she is a female filmmaker, despite the moniker – and lead actress Crisel Consunji will appear on behalf of the film at the Gene Siskel Film Center, on May 13th, 2019 (8pm). Click here for tickets and details.

Film News: Patrick McDonald Hosts ‘Bathtubs Over Broadway' for AHFS on May 13, 2019

Bathtubs Over Broadway

CHICAGO – How does one man rediscover and revive an art form? This question is answered in the magnificent “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” a 2018 documentary about the quest of comedy writer Steve Young, as he saves the legacy of the “industrial musical,” a form of American corporate entertainment from the 1950s through the ‘70s. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will host a screening of the film on Monday, May 13th, 2019 (7:30pm), and facilitate a discussion afterward, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, Ill. To purchase tickets, click here.

Interview: Alecia “Mixi” Demner, Singer & Songwriter from ‘Stitched Up Heart’

Stitched Up Heart, photo by Jeff Doles

CHICAGO – Hard rock to their core, the band “Stitched Up Heart” combine powerful vocals and soulful lyrics to make the band a rock ‘n’ roll force to be reckoned with … Stitched Up Heart recently released their new track “Lost,” featuring Godsmack front man Sully Erna. “Lost” is the first track released off their upcoming sophomore LP that will be released in the fall.

Film Review: Predictable, Unfunny ‘The Hustle’ Has No Game

Hustle, The

CHICAGO – As the “Oceans Eight” remake of last year proved, it is simply not enough to redo a film and flip the gender focus. Anne Hathaway may be the kiss of death for this genre, as she appeared both in O8 and the current “The Hustle,” which in turn is a remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (1988). Rebel Wilson, doing what Rebel Wilson does, portrays her sidekick.

Film News: Columbia College Filmmakers Present ‘Advanced Practicum,’ May 10, 2019

2019 Manifest Urban Arts Festival

CHICAGO – The end of the 2019 academic year means graduation is nearing, and Chicago’s Columbia College – offering a curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts and business for nearly 7,000 students – is celebrating with their undergraduate “Advanced Practicum.” The short film program, which combines collaborative talent for directors, producers and post-production, is part of the day-long events of the college’s “Manifest Urban Arts Festival.” For more information about Advanced Practicum, click here.

Film Review: ‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ is Family Fun for All

CHICAGO – Let’s face it. If you’re not already obsessed with Pokémon, or the parent of someone who is, you’re not likely to land in a darkened theater with “Detective Pikachu” on the marquee. But for any newbies who happen to walk in, there are a few pleasures in this big budget kid friendly blockbuster.

Exclusive Photo: In Memoriam, Peter Mayhew of ‘Star Wars’

CHICAGO – Most likely Peter Mayhew stepped into movie history because he could fit into a costume. The seven-foot-three actor was the perfect size for a new character in a little film called “Star Wars,” and so he became the once and future persona of Chewbacca. Mayhew died in Texas on April 30th, 2019. He was 74.

Film Review: History & Culture Co-Exist in Exemplary ‘The White Crow’

White Crow, The

CHICAGO – In any ear for pop culture, the name Rudolf Nureyev is well known. A Soviet Russian-born ballet virtuoso nicknamed “Lord of the Dance,” RN lived large until he died, of complications due to AIDS at age 54 in 1993. But before that, he was born into poverty, danced into fame, and historically defected to the West in 1961. “The White Crow,” a new film directed by Ralph Fiennes, tells his story.

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