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Film Review: Kumail Nanjiani is the Only Reason to See ‘Stuber’

Stuber

CHICAGO – Kumail Nanjiani is reaching the next level of stardom. Recently, he was the best thing in the rebooted “MIB: International” (as a cartoon sprite), and now he is the only reason to indulge in “Stuber.” Kumail portrays a nervy UBER driver named Stu (get it?), and upholds everything about the buddy movie that is enjoyable. The rest of it, including his buddy Dave Bautista, land with a dull thud.

Podtalk: Tracy Edwards, Skipper & Subject of Documentary ‘Maiden’

CHICAGO – In the pantheon of firsts, there are so many of them that fly under our radar. For every Rosa Parks, there are a number of women who take the challenge to make social change. In 1989, British-born Tracy Edwards became the first female skipper, guiding an all-female crew and sailboat in the prestigious Whitbread Around the World Race. Her story is told in “Maiden.”

Podtalk: Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano, Part of PBS Station WTTW’s ‘Summer of Space’

Bob Sirott, Summer of Space

CHICAGO – July 20th, 2019, will mark the 50th Anniversary that a human being – astronaut Neil Armstrong – first stepped on the moon. All month in July/August, PBS station WTTW is featuring its “Summer of Space,” with special programming dedicated to both the Apollo 11 moon landing/walk and other space-themed shows. Participating are Chicago media personalities Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano, in “Jim Lovell in Booth One with Sirott and Murciano.” For a schedule of showings, click here.

Film Review: Unbelievable Story is Key to ‘Framing John DeLorean’

Framing John DeLorean

CHICAGO – The story of auto impresario John DeLorean is definitely one of truth is stranger than fiction, but also has a basis in “what ifs?” The fascinating new documentary of his life tells that story, breaking down the vagueness of how a former General Motors superstar got involved in a drug deal to save his own car company. As always, a situation like that has more loopholes.

Film News: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 80th Anniversary in Chicago’s Millennium Park, July 10, 2019

Wizard of Oz, The

CHICAGO – The Windy City is off to see the Wizard again, as the Grant Park Music Festival celebrates the 80th Anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. The festivities include a costume party, hosted by Linda Kollmeyer (“The Lottery Lady”), followed by the presentation with a live orchestra accompaniment – on the Park’s giant LED screen – of the classic 1939 film.

The event is free and open to the public (first-come, first-served) in both the “seating bowl” area and lawn, and begins at 6:30pm with the costume party, with the screening at 8pm. For more information, click here.

Theater Review: Americana of ‘The Music Man’ is Revived at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre

CHICAGO – Professor Harold Hill has come back to River City, and that means trouble right here. Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” is now in major revival at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Podtalk: Dr. Michelle Oakley, ‘Yukon Vet,’ Reflects on Season Seven

CHICAGO – The rumors of a series stoppage were just rumors, as Dr. Michelle Oakley is in the midst of production on Season Seven of her popular “Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet,” which airs on the Nat Geo Wild Channel. Soon the continuing story of an animal enthusiast turned Canadian Yukon veterinarian will have new adventures.

Film Review: Mind-Blowing ‘Midsommar’ is Disturbing and Beautiful

Midsommar

CHICAGO – “Midsommar” is beautifully composed, disturbing in nature and very very Swedish. Writer/Director Art Aster creates a stunning sophomore effort (after his brilliant debut “Hereditary”) that is pure cinema, and weaves a fantastical tale of humanity stripped to its bare bones. It moves a bit slow, but it also builds to something completely original and unexpected.

Podtalk: Dacre Montgomery & Cary Elwes on ‘Stranger Things 3’

CHICAGO – Season Three of “Stranger Things,” one of the hottest TV series in the last couple of years, is launching on Netflix on July 4th, 2019. The series is going back to the world of Indiana and the “Upside Down,” and joining the cast – which includes Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove – is veteran actor Cary Elwes.

Podtalk: Director Gigi Saul Guerrero Debuts ‘Culture Shock,’ Streaming on Hulu, July 4, 2019

Culture Shock

CHICAGO – She calls her style of grindhouse and gore films “Tex Mex,” and you won’t find a better femme fatale producing a better debut film in that genre. Director Gigi Saul Guerrero makes her feature film debut with “Culture Shock,” which will premiere for the Hulu streaming service on July 4th, 2019, part of their “Into the Dark” series of horror films through Blumhouse Television.

Film Review: Fireworks for the 4th in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

CHICAGO – “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is remarkably light on its feet considering it takes place in the wake of the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” After the five year period between finger snaps which is now referred to as “the blip,” Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and some of his classmates have returned the same age, while everyone else has gotten five years older.

Film Review: ‘Yesterday’ is a Can’t-Miss Premise That Still Misses

CHICAGO – As a Beatles fanatic who has a band because of their existence, the premise of “Yesterday” was can’t miss. A man wakes up after an accident to discover he’s the only person to know that The Beatles existed? Sign me up and buy me popcorn. It’s unfortunate that the story went in a direction that did miss.

Film Review: Horror is Worth a Visit in 'Annabelle Comes Home'

CHICAGO – There is such an unnerving quality to older dolls, which is why they lend themselves so perfectly to horror stories. There’s just an unsettling feeling when looking at their static expression, usually plastered with a permanent smile that gives me terrible flashbacks to when I worked retail.

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