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About the HollywoodChicago.com Staff

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HollywoodChicago.com is your everything entertainment source for trusted and timely daily reviews, interviews and news. We are your daily entertainment source for:

  1. Film reviews (delving into what makes success or failure rather than just what happens)
  2. Breaking entertainment news (covering the U.S. with a specialty on Chicago)
  3. Humanized film interviews
  4. DVD reviews
  5. Blu-ray reviews
  6. Chicago theatre reviews
  7. Top 10 lists
  8. TV reviews
  9. Video game reviews
  10. Music reviews
  11. Entertainment giveaways
  12. Exclusive celebrity photography

DMCA.com Protection Status Six of our film critics are on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes. We are credible at NewsCred. Our privacy policy is here. Our global news pickups are here. Our logos are here. Our media kit is here. View our archives here. Our staff biographies in order of joining are below. Disclosure: All reviews on HollywoodChicago.com are of products provided by the publisher/studio.


TVGuide.comIMDbHollywoodChicago.com is in partnership with high-quality, highly trafficked entertainment sites including TVGuide.com, IMDb and Metacafe. All of our content is teased on the IMDb NewsDesk.


About the HollywoodChicago.com Staff

Adam Fendelman: Founder/Publisher
Patrick McDonald: Senior Staff Writer
Spike Walters: Contributor
Jon Espino: Film & Video Game Critic
Jeff Doles: Videographer/Video Editor
Joe Arce: Senior Staff Photographer


Adam Fendelman: Founder/Publisher

Adam Fendelman, founder, publisher, HollywoodChicago.comAdam Fendelman has been a writer since the womb (and witnesses say he was scribing in his head even then). Raring to craft words professionally, he leapt out of the University of Missouri-Columbia journalism doors in 2000.

Though he doesn’t yet have kids, HollywoodChicago.com is his baby. Helmed by Adam and joined by a team of veteran and accredited critics, HollywoodChicago.com is a daily everything entertainment publication focusing on Chicago and the national scene with movie reviews and interviews along with reviews for TV, DVDs, music, Blu-rays, video games, theater and more.

These days in Chicago, he can be found daring to champion his hometown St. Louis Cardinals, attempting to work out, screening zillions of movies and supporting struggling actors everywhere. Adam has appeared on NBC’s “The Match Off,” the FOX cop drama “The Chicago Code” and was filmed in Ron Howard’s “The Dilemma” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion”. He has also been heard on radio shows from Mancow to WGN Radio.

Adam lives for being moved. He backdrops his life with the stimuli that make him feel alive. Film, live music, theater and fine fare jive especially well in his world. He thrives after the sun goes down, relishes dotting his mouth with sweets and savors foreign amber beer if the pour’s done right.

Starting in entertainment as a Chicago theater critic for Centerstage Chicago (part of the Sun-Times Media Group), Adam is a Rotten Tomatoes-listed film critic. Adam was the exclusive cell phones guide at About.com (previously owned by the New York Times Company) and a writer for The Huffington Post. His IMDb page can be found here.

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Patrick McDonald: Senior Staff Writer
Member: Chicago Film Critics Association

Patrick McDonald, senior staff writer, HollywoodChicago.comIt is rumored that Pat McDonald was conceived at a drive-in during a double feature of “It Came From Outer Space” and “Touch of Evil,” which may explain his movie review perspective.

After scoring a film minor from the movie-mad Indiana University, McDonald took a detour from his Chicago advertising career to volunteer for the city’s film festival. He established an e-mail movie review newsletter in the 1990s. Following the millenium, cyberspace beckoned and the McDonald movie reviews joined the blogosphere in The Last Blog in Cyberspace.

He was discovered for HollywoodChicago.com while wearing a tight sweater and sitting at the Woolworth’s soda fountain (or at least that’s how he likes to tell it). His movie writing has also been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and NBC 5 Chicago. As part of the HollywoodChicago.com team, he swings from both sides of the plate (whatever that means). Pat is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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Spike Walters: Contributor
Member: Chicago Film Critics Association

Spike Walters, contributor, HollywoodChicago.comSpike Walters’ love of film and film criticism began at an early age when he received the book “The Golden Turkey Awards” and caught a little program on PBS called “Sneak Previews” with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

This sparked a love of films – both good and bad that continues to this day.

After working as entertainment producer for both Dean Richards at WGN and later Bill Zwecker, Spike moved up to reviewing films for the CBS Chicago Web site as the Cantankerous Critic. He is now pleased to be bringing his reviews and opinions to HollywoodChicago.com.


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Jon Espino: Film & Video Game Critic

Jon Espino, film and video game critic, HollywoodChicago.comGrowing up, Jon was told he could be anything: an astronaut, a lawyer or even president. He had seen enough Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott to know space is not where he wanted to go. He had watched enough law procedurals to realize how much tedious paperwork was involved in being a lawyer. Also, aren’t presidents always the first ones targeted by every single terrorist group? Obviously, he watches too many movies and too much television, but that happens to be where he came across the iconic “At the Movies”.

For once, he was able to contextualize and articulate exactly what he liked about films on a technical level and not just an emotional one. He knew just what he wanted to do in the future and was not going to rest until he reached his goal. Armed with a degree in journalism and unbridled tenacity, he tackled every film he could and gained experience one review at a time.

Jon has always had a unique perspective. It all stems from his upbringing and how his social, political and economic experiences have shaped the person he is today. He feels that it has now become necessary to examine a film’s diversity and social relevance in an attempt to bring to light some of the deep-rooted issues in films and the industry itself. You’ll notice recurring words and phrases like cisgender, heteronormative, Bechdel test, male gaze, whitewashing, etc. Don’t be afraid; change is good.


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Jeff Doles: Videographer/Video Editor

Jeff Doles, videographer/video editor, HollywoodChicago.comJeff Doles is a master teacher, non-profit freelance videographer at 238 Studios and a HollywoodChicago.com red-carpet premiere videographer/video editor.

Students enrolled in his TV courses at Barrington High School have raised more than $4 million for charities. His students have earned more than 50 Student Excellence Awards from the National Television Academy.

As a result of his work in the field of video production, Jeff has been invited to the White House to meet the president and had the opportunity to film entertainers ranging from Woody Allen to Rihanna.

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Joe Arce: Senior Staff Photographer

Joe Arce, senior staff photographer, HollywoodChicago.comFor more than two decades, Joe Arce has been one of Chicago’s premiere celebrity publicity photographers. He has captured and crafted the candid images of more than 350 major celebrities.

Listed in the prestigious Library of Photography, Arce’s award-winning work and Web site are a virtual who’s who of Hollywood, fashion and the world of arts and entertainment. His noted “beyond the glitter” brand of celebrity portraiture offers up the viewer a rare and often-humorous glimpse of unguarded moments peeking behind the limelit curtain or backstage door.

Initially a frustrated guitarist, Arce began the 1980s shooting publicity for other Chicago bands as a favor. It wasn’t long before the flash from his camera rather than his fingers began opening backstage doors and eventually landed him on the tour buses of his childhood rock idols. Before he was old enough to rent a car, his world-famous tour mates were now likewise hanging his photos on their walls and inviting him cross country to shoot their kids’ birthday parties.

After a short stint as senior staff photographer for Backstage Pass Magazine and numerous tours as a personal band photographer for Lynyrd Skynyrd (among other such major headliners), Arce opened his first studio and began shooting fashion. He began with the portfolios of the model girlfriends of several of his former rock-star clients.

Next came national ad campaigns and work with rising young designers. It wasn’t long before major agencies on both coasts were sending their models and actors to Arce for testing. Switching his focus to arts and entertainment and notably celebrity publicity, Arce became a freelance fixture within the Chicago media as both a still photographer and later as a writer, producer and talent booker for a prime time independent Chicago arts and entertainment weekly.

Away from the limelight when he’s not busy enduring the horror of shooting some nude potential Playmate rolling across his studio floor, HollywoodChicago.com’s resident lens master reclusively hides away with his large collection of handmade celebrity publicist voodoo dolls while working on his future behind-the-scenes tell-all and watching hair metal videos on YouTube. Arce is still waiting for Heather Locklear to call.

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