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September 2018

Film Review: ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ is Movie Magic

CHICAGO – “The House With The Clock In Its Walls” is a surprisingly restrained and endearing haunted house pic for kids just getting rid of their training wheels. It’s all a spooky atmosphere with cobwebs galore, creaking doors, a stained glass window which changes on its own, and a library of books which at times resemble the avifauna predators from the Hitchcock classic “The Birds.”

‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ is Movie Magic

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

CHICAGO – “The House With The Clock In Its Walls” is a surprisingly restrained and endearing haunted house pic for kids just getting rid of their training wheels. It’s all a spooky atmosphere with cobwebs galore, creaking doors, a stained glass window which changes on its own, and a library of books which at times resemble the avifauna predators from the Hitchcock classic “The Birds.”

Podtalk: Darren Criss, Cover Star for Michigan Avenue Magazine

CHICAGO – Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Magazine celebrated its 10th Anniversary Issue last week with its cover celebrity Darren Criss, who just won an Emmy for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” and was Blaine in TV’s “Glee.” The anniversary event was September 11th, 2018, at The Marlowe on 169 West Huron Street.

Film News: 'Freelancers Anonymous' Opens 36th REELING LGBTQ+ Film Fest on Sep. 20, 2018

2018 REELING film fest logo

CHICAGO – One great source of pride in the Chicago cinema community is REELING, the second oldest LGBTQ+ International Film Festival in North America, and their 36th edition is launching on Thursday, September 20th, 2018, at the Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The Opening Night Film is “Freelancers Anonymous.” For details and tickets, click here.

TV News: Appreciation for Bill Daily of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ and ‘The Bob Newhart Show’

Bill Daily, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – He was America’s sidekick in TV’s golden decades of the 1960s and ‘70s, and was a proud Chicago-born-and-bred performer. Bill Daily, better known as Major Roger Healey (“I Dream of Jeannie”) and the wacky neighbor Howard Borden (“The Bob Newhart Show”) died at his New Mexico home at the age of 91 on September 4th, 2018.

Photo Gallery: Riot Fest 2018 with Alkaline Trio, Bullet for My Valentine

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Alkaline Trio 1 of 4.

CHICAGO – Alkaline Trio, Bullet for My Valentine, Suicidal Tendencies, The Dangerous Summer, Just Friends, Calpurnia, Save Face, SWMRS, Fear, Beach Goons, No Small Children and more performed at Riot Fest 2018 in Chicago on September 16th, 2018, the third day of the three day happening at Douglas Park. HollywoodChicago.com photographer Jeff Doles was there on Sunday the 16th and took the following Exclusive photos.

Interview: Director Constantinos Patsalides on ’30,’ at Greek International Short Film Festival

Short Film '30'

CHICAGO – In 2017, a Greek film production team – producer/writer George Avraam and director Constantinos Patsalides – came to Chicago with their documentary “Beloved Days,” which was part of the European Union Film Festival. The team returns to the international festival circuit with the World Premiere of their new short film, “30,” at the Greek International Short Film Festival (National Division), September 16th-22nd, 2018. For more information, click here.

Slideshow: Exclusive Red-Carpet Photos of Chance the Rapper at World Premiere of ‘Slice’

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Chance the Rapper portrays Dax in ‘Slice.’

CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s biggest celebrities and greatest ambassadors was a high school student in 2011. Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, has had a meteoric rise from that Chi-town high school to become one of music’s brightest stars. And besides the fame, he has made it his mission to help others, both with his time, donations and charitable events. And he has just made his debut in a movie, the appropriately titled “Slice.”

Film News: Experience the 70mm Film Fest at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, Sep.14-27, 2018

70mm Film Festival

CHICAGO – When a filmmaker creates a new work, they use the templates that are available to them, past and present. As films become more digitized and portable, Chicago’s historic Music Box Theater reminds us of the one format that filmmakers used (and still use). The 2018 70mm Film Festival runs from September 14th through the 27th. For more details and tickets, click here.

Film Review: Entertaining ‘A Simple Favor’ Can’t Maintain Its Mojo

CHICAGO – As the secrets are revealed in “A Simple Favor,” filtered through the witty and entertaining directorial style of Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”), the story moves with charm and energy for three-quarters of its running time. But as the mystery gets solved, the conclusion doesn’t live up to the promising beginning.

Entertaining ‘A Simple Favor’ Can’t Maintain Its Mojo

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – As the secrets are revealed in “A Simple Favor,” filtered through the witty and entertaining directorial style of Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”), the story moves with charm and energy for three-quarters of its running time. But as the mystery gets solved, the conclusion doesn’t live up to the promising beginning.

Film Review: ‘The Predator’ is the Best Sequel Reboot of the Series

CHICAGO – By the standards of Predator sequels, “The Predator” is easily the best of the bunch. But that’s a depressingly low bar to clear… kind of like saying you got the nicest looking “Yugo” on the lot. Coming 31 years after Arnold Schwarzenegger battled the original “one ugly mother f**ker,” this reboot brings the space alien with the heat seeking vision to the suburbs.

‘The Predator’ is the Best Sequel Reboot of the Series

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – By the standards of Predator sequels, “The Predator” is easily the best of the bunch. But that’s a depressingly low bar to clear… kind of like saying you got the nicest looking “Yugo” on the lot. Coming 31 years after Arnold Schwarzenegger battled the original “one ugly mother f**ker,” this reboot brings the space alien with the heat seeking vision to the suburbs.

Interview: Season Seven Opening Night Film for Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema is 'Adulthood'

Adulthood

CHICAGO – It’s another opening and another show, as Season Seven of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) starts it’s run of showcase films, beginning with South Korea’s “Adulthood” on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018. Director Kim In-seon and lead actress Lee Jae-in of “Adulthood” will appear on behalf of the film at the screening, which begins at 7pm at the AMC River East 21 theatre. For details and tickets, click here.

Film Review: ‘Peppermint’ Offers Nothing New in Revenge Genre

CHICAGO – When a revenge film gets a bit stale, as they tend to do, the best way to pass the time is to start counting how many people are indiscriminately killed. “Peppermint,” which has the former “Alias” star Jennifer Garner going back to an action mode, had 36 (give or take) quality kills, with the last one taking the longest between executions.

‘Peppermint’ Offers Nothing New in Revenge Genre

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

CHICAGO – When a revenge film gets a bit stale, as they tend to do, the best way to pass the time is to start counting how many people are indiscriminately killed. “Peppermint,” which has the former “Alias” star Jennifer Garner going back to an action mode, had 36 (give or take) quality kills, with the last one taking the longest between executions.

Film News: Appearances by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Sep. 8 & 9, 2018

Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com will be on the road in the Windy City this weekend, as Patrick McDonald (Editor and Film Writer) makes two appearances in different venues. The first will be a “Power Breakfast” sponsored by Women in Film Chicago, on the topic of “Giving and Receiving Feedback” at 10am September 8th, 2018, at Noisefloor Post Production House on Erie Street. For more details and tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Media Artist Lana Z. Caplan on Her New Exhibit, ‘Dunites’

Lana Z. Caplan, 'Dunites'

BOSTON, MA – Meeting Lana Z. Caplan, as I did at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, is to meet a variety of perspective all in one dynamic artist. The veteran “lens based” media visionary has single-channel films, video, interactive installations and photography on her palette. Her latest exhibit – through September 29th, 2918 – is at Gallery NAGA in Boston, and it is entitled “Dunites.” The presentation will include photography, video, 35mm slides and a VR (Virtual Reality) installation, all inspired by the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes south of San Francisco.

Film News: ‘Skeletons in the Closet’ World Premiere at Chicago’s Davis Theater, Sep. 7th, 2018

Skeletons in the Closet

CHICAGO – The Chicago film scene will be vibrating again on Friday, September 7th, 2018, when the new locally-made film “Skeletons in the Closet” makes its World Premiere at the Davis Theater in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The horror movie is being presented by Cow Lamp Films, the Midwest’s first and only indie film/TV distributor, in association with Windy City Horrorama. “Skeletons…” screens at 9pm, get more details and ticket info by clicking here.

Film News: Burt Reynolds, The Movie Star King, Dies at 82

JUPITER, FLA – When I met Burt Reynolds in 2011, I knew I was meeting Hollywood royalty… he filled the room as a Movie Star King. He was frail at that time, complaining of the injuries he endured in the over 90 films in his career, but nothing stopped his stardom until it was over. Reynolds died on September 6th, 2018. He was 82.

Podtalk: Director Patrick Creadon on ‘Hesburgh’ at Midwest Independent Film Festival on Sep. 4, 2018

CHICAGO – For every grand name in history, there are behind-the-scenes performers who contribute to that history just as profoundly. One such person was “Father Ted” of Notre Dame, profiled in Patrick Creadon’s new documentary, “Hesburgh.”

Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Neil Simon

CHICAGO – Writer Neil Simon was an American treasure, and created humor that anchored his often neurotic characters into our consciousness. From his early days in 1950s TV (“Your Show of Shows”) to winning a 1990s Pulitzer Prize for “Lost in Yonkers,” he refined and produced “the laugh.” Simon died on August 26th, 2018, at age 91, in New York City.

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