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September 2016

Film Review: Unfunny ‘Masterminds’ is a Complete Waste of Talent

CHICAGO – Tick…tick…tick. That is the sound of your life frittering away, if you choose to experience the 94 minutes, that feels like two weeks, for “Masterminds.” The film that has virtually no laughs – in categorizing itself as a comedy – and is an almost criminal waste of some decent comic talent.

Unfunny ‘Masterminds’ is a Complete Waste of Talent

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Tick…tick…tick. That is the sound of your life frittering away, if you choose to experience the 94 minutes, that feels like two weeks, for “Masterminds.” The film that has virtually no laughs – in categorizing itself as a comedy – and is an almost criminal waste of some decent comic talent.

Interview: Garrett Clayton for Reeling2016’s Closing Night Film ‘King Cobra’

Garret Clayton, 'King Cobra'

CHICAGO – Closing Night for Reeling2016 is Thursday, Sep. 29th, after Chicago’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival has presented a week of cinema celebrations. The Landmark Century Centre Cinema is the scene for “King Cobra,” directed by Justin Kelly and featuring Garrett Clayton. The film is a notorious overview of the life of gay porn star Brent Corrigan. Both Clayton and the director are scheduled to appear on behalf of the film.

Interview: Director Hannes Holm Meets ‘A Man Called Ove’

CHICAGO – In 2012, Fredrik Backman released his Swedish novel called “En man som heter Ove.” It was published in English in 2013, and became a best seller. The book that delved into the life of a cranky old man is now a major Swedish movie, distributed in the U.S. by Chicago’s Music Box Films, and directed by Hannes Holm.

Interviews: Red-Carpet Talk for Reeling2016 Opening Night

CHICAGO – Reeling2016, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, opened last week (Sep. 22nd) with a hurricane force, through Bianca Del Rio. The comic goddess premiered the film “Hurricane Bianca,” directed by Matt Kugelman. Del Rio, Kugelman and others walked the Red Carpet at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre.

Slideshow: Red-Carpet Opening Night for Reeling2016, Chicago’s LGTBQ+ Film Festival

| Image 1 of 9 |
Opening Night Marquee, Music Box Theatre Chicago.

CHICAGO – The historic Music Box Theatre was extra fabulous on September 22nd, as Reeling2016, Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, rolled out the Red Carpet on Opening Night for the the film “Hurricane Bianca,” featuring Bianca Del Rio (Roy Haylock), and directed by Matt Kugelman. Filmmakers Carly Usdin and Brittani Nichols of “Suicide Kale” also walked the Carpet, as well as Three Queens.

Interview: Director Lee Ho-Jae at the Asian Pop-Up Cinema

CHICAGO – The 2016 Fall Season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema of Chicago kicked off on September 17th, with the South Korean film “Sori: Voice of the Heart.” The director behind this purposeful man-and-machine relationship movie is Lee Ho-Jae. The unusual story combined our modern tech world with a satellite turned robot who is sick of it all.

Film News: Chicago’s ‘Asian Pop-Up Cinema’ Screens ‘Hamog’ on Sep. 25, 2016

Asian Pop Up Cinema 2016 Logo

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema Series, spotlighting a variety of diverse Asian films, continues its 2016 Fall Season with a Filipino film, “Hamog,” directed by Ralston Jover. The film, making its Chicago premiere, will screen at 2pm on Sunday, Sep 25th, 2016, at the Wilmette Theatre in Willmette, Ill.

Film Review: ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is How the Western Was Lost

CHICAGO – The appeal of Westerns was mostly lost on me when I was younger. The tales of these hypermasculine wanderers, answering every problem with a gun, never appealed to me. When I got older, I discovered their messages of honor and self-defense against corruption. The genre proved it could be more than one-liners and shootouts, but “The Magnificent Seven” set out to be only that.

‘The Magnificent Seven’ is How the Western Was Lost

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The appeal of Westerns was mostly lost on me when I was younger. The tales of these hypermasculine wanderers, answering every problem with a gun, never appealed to me. When I got older, I discovered their messages of honor and self-defense against corruption. The genre proved it could be more than one-liners and shootouts, but “The Magnificent Seven” set out to be only that.

Film Review: Funny, Spontaneous ‘Storks’ Really Delivers

CHICAGO – I’ve waited all week to write that headline, and I will be joining the 100,000 other similar headlines out there. Hey-ooh! “Storks” is a lot of fun, without the dire need for any “message” or heavy handedness that is too familiar in the current animation environment. It’s just funny.

Funny, Spontaneous ‘Storks’ Really Delivers

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I’ve waited all week to write that headline, and I will be joining the 100,000 other similar headlines out there. Hey-ooh! “Storks” is a lot of fun, without the dire need for any “message” or heavy handedness that is too familiar in the current animation environment. It’s just funny.

Film News: Reeling2016, 34th Chicago LGBTQ+ Film Fest, Opens on Sep. 22, 2016 with ‘Hurricane Bianca’

Reeling2016 Logo

CHICAGO – The second oldest LGBTQ+ International Film Festival in America, Reeling2016, is about to launched its 34th edition in Chicago at the historic Music Box Theatre on Thursday, September 22th (details below). The Opening Night film will be “Hurricane Bianca,” featuring famed comedian Roy Haylock, and his outrageous alter ego Bianca Del Rio. Haylock/Del Rio will walk the Red Carpet with writer/director (and Chicago native) Matt Kugelman.

Interview: Director Steve Chan Hits a Home Run with ‘Weeds on Fire’

CHICAGO – The most American game of baseball gets a new spin in the film “Weeds on Fire,” directed by Steve Chan. The story explores a youth team in the 1980s whose exploits coincided with a renaissance in Hong Kong. The film is screening on Sep. 21st, 2016, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, part of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series (details below).

Film Review: History & Pure Fun in ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years’

Beatles: Eight Days a Week

CHICAGO – They were the greatest show on earth, for what it was worth. But what they also were was one of the most fascinating show business stories in history. Director Ron Howard encapsulates John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr during their initial meteoric rise in the descriptively titled ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years.’

History & Pure Fun in ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years’

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

CHICAGO – They were the greatest show on earth, for what it was worth, but what they also were was one of the most fascinating show business stories in history. Director Ron Howard encapsulates John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr during their initial meteoric rise in the descriptively titled ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years.’

Film Review: ‘Blair Witch’ Takes a Familiar Trail to a Dead End

Blair Witch

CHICAGO – The forest is an elusive environment that can hold hope for one person or isolation for another. You can enter the forest for some Thoreauvian wisdom, but end up being engulfed by its overwhelming monotony. As we revisit the world of “Blair Witch”, we are reminded that the found footage genre has come a long way from its humble origins, but perhaps some footage is better off not “found.”

‘Blair Witch’ Takes a Familiar Trail to a Dead End

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

CHICAGO – The forest is an elusive environment that can hold hope for one person or isolation for another. You can enter the forest for some Thoreauvian wisdom, but end up being engulfed by its overwhelming monotony. As we revisit the world of “Blair Witch”, we are reminded that the found footage genre has come a long way from its humble origins, but perhaps some footage is better off not “found.”

Film Review: Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ a Lesson for Our Times

CHICAGO – The experience of director Oliver Stone, to look underneath the slimy rocks of government secrecy and bureaucracy, produces an excellent history lesson in “Snowden,” an overview of Edward Snowden, a whistleblower against the government who is still in exile.

Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ a Lesson for Our Times

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The experience of director Oliver Stone, to look underneath the slimy rocks of government secrecy and bureaucracy, produces an excellent history lesson in “Snowden,” an overview of Edward Snowden, a whistleblower against the government who is still in exile.

Film Review: ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ Offers Labored Attempt at Humor

CHICAGO – “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is the kind of geriatric sequel that makes you retroactively question whether the original film that inspired it was all that good to begin with – it’s less a film than a labored collection of contrived situations involving pregnancy and pratfalls. It’s not painfully unwatchable, but it’s unlikely to inspire anything remotely resembling amusement in its audiences.

‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ Offers Labored Attempt at Humor

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

CHICAGO – “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is the kind of geriatric sequel that makes you retroactively question whether the original film that inspired it was all that good to begin with – it’s less a film than a labored collection of contrived situations involving pregnancy and pratfalls. It’s not painfully unwatchable, but it’s unlikely to inspire anything remotely resembling amusement in its audiences.

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Premieres ‘Sori: Voice of the Heart’ on Sep. 17, 2016

Asian Pop Up Cinema 2016 Logo

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema Series, spotlighting a variety of diverse Asian films, premieres its 2016 Fall Season with the South Korean film, “Sori: Voice of the Heart,” directed by Lee Ho-Jae. The director will make an appearance at the screening, beginning at 1:30pm on Saturday, Sep 17th, 2016, at the Wilmette Theatre in Willmette, Ill. (details below).

Interview: Actress Lucy Butler of TV’s ‘The Last Ship’ on Her Character’s Demise

Lucy Butler

CHICAGO – The season finale of TNT Network’s “The Last Ship” was this previous Sunday (Sep. 11, 2016), and as finales tend to do, there were surprises. One of these shocks was the death of the character Roberta Price, the regional leader of the Deep South. The actress who portrayed her, Lucy Butler, was a surprised as anyone else, and talked to HollywoodChicago.com regarding the transition.

Interview: Actors Tirf Alexius & Remoh Romeo on ‘Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers’ Premiere on Sep. 16, 2016

BSOTF

CHICAGO – The brothers from Haiti, by way of Chicago – Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo – are back with their latest production, “Bastard Son of a Thousand Fathers.” The U.S. premiere will be in Chicago this Friday, September 16th, 2016. This is the brother’s third feature, after “Critical Nexus” (2013) and the documentary “Lakay” (2014).

Film Review: ‘When the Bough Breaks’ is in Need of Repairs

CHICAGO – Popular nursery rhymes are told to children as a way to calm them, but also as some kind of cautionary tale. Most of us could hear the melody and be able to sing the words along with it. This predictability is both its greatest strength and weakness, but the predictability that is the nursery cautionary tale in “When the Bough Breaks” is anything but a strength.

‘When the Bough Breaks’ is in Need of Repairs

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Popular nursery rhymes are told to children as a way to calm them, but also as some kind of cautionary tale. Most of us could hear the melody and be able to sing the words along with it. This predictability is both its greatest strength and weakness, but the predictability that is the nursery cautionary tale in “When the Bough Breaks” is anything but a strength.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Advance TV Premiere Passes to FOX’s ‘The Exorcist’ With Geena Davis

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: TV, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening TV premiere tickets up for grabs to the new FOX series “The Exorcist” starring Geena Davis! Our winners will enjoy free concessions at this premiere!

Slideshow, News: The Hollywood Show in Chicagoland From Sep. 9-11, 2016

| Image 1 of 17 |
1970s and ‘80s icon Kristy McNichol.

CHICAGO – “The Hollywood Show” is an exciting gathering of celebrities and memorabilia for movies, TV and pop culture fans. The latest edition will be this weekend – September 9th-11th, 2016 – at the Hilton/O’Hare Airport Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. (details below). Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com will be there to photograph the stars, and offers a Slideshow featuring the celebrities who attended the 2015 event.

Interview: Director Kyle Ham on the Chicago Premiere of ‘Reparation’ on Sep. 10, 2016

Reparation

CHICAGO – The premiere of a new director’s work is cause for an event, and the new film “Reparation” will get its Chicago premiere on September 10th, 2016, at the suburban Wilmette Theatre (details below). “Reparations” is a war and military story, but mostly about the war at home after the service.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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