March 2019

Exclusive Photo: Amber Tamblyn for Her New Book ‘Era of Ignition’

CHICAGO – How does a person reflect on their moment in the world? Actress Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) found herself in such a point in life. Her new book, “Era of Ignition,” reflects upon her journey and in a macro sense, America’s journey in transition. Joe Arce took an Exclusive Photo of her at an event sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Film Review: Tribal Side of Drug Trafficking in ‘Birds of Passage’

Birds of Passage

CHICAGO – One of the overriding characteristics in the movies, when it comes to drug traffickers, is the stereotypical image of a fat and corrupt cartel leader who usually have machine gun wielding henchmen and bikini clad groupies. “Birds of Passage” goes back to the business of the drug trade, but it is about the families that controlled the territorial borders during that key era, and the basis of that control in ancient tribalism.

Tribal Side of Drug Trafficking in ‘Birds of Passage'

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

CHICAGO – One of the overriding characteristics in the movies, when it comes to drug traffickers, is the stereotypical image of a fat and corrupt cartel leader who usually have machine gun wielding henchmen and bikini clad groupies. “Birds of Passage” goes back to the business of the drug trade, but it is about the families that controlled the territorial borders during that key era, and the basis of that control in ancient tribalism.

Film Review: ‘Transit’ is an Absorbing Thriller with a Perplexing Conclusion

Transit

CHICAGO – What if a new fascism were to sweep the land, and affects Paris, as it did in World War 2? “Transit” postulates on that very theory and creates a paranoid atmosphere that is stunningly real, but brings that emotion to a conclusion that I believe is redundant, and pretends to be deeper than it is.

‘Transit’ is an Absorbing Thriller with a Perplexing Conclusion

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

CHICAGO – What if a new fascism were to sweep the land, and affects Paris, as it did in World War 2? “Transit” postulates on that very theory and creates a paranoid atmosphere that is stunningly real, but brings that emotion to a conclusion that I believe is redundant, and pretends to be deeper than it is.

Film Review: Imagination is the Key to Charming ‘Wonder Park’

CHICAGO – Most animated films depicting the “family” often includes a parallel lesson about togetherness or some such domestic symbolism. In “Wonder Park,” the lesson is how the spark of imagination can keep a childhood alive. When that spark is temporarily dosed, the destination of the title also suffers.

Imagination is the Key to Charming ‘Wonder Park’

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

CHICAGO – Most animated films depicting the “family” often includes a parallel lesson about togetherness or some such domestic symbolism. In “Wonder Park,” the lesson is how the spark of imagination can keep a childhood alive. When that spark is temporarily dosed, the destination of the title also suffers.

Film Review: 1970s Caper Film in Enjoyable ‘Finding Steve McQueen’

Finding Steve McQueen

CHICAGO – The “caper” film, AKA the heist film, is one of the old reliable genres in the movies, and usually involves a gang of mismatched thieves. “Finding Steve McQueen” goes all the way back to the 1970s to spotlight a based-on-truth burglary that involves Tricky Dick himself, President Richard M. Nixon.

1970s Caper Film in Enjoyable ‘Finding Steve McQueen’

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

CHICAGO – The “caper” film, AKA the heist film, is one of the old reliable genres in the movies, and usually involves a gang of mismatched thieves. “Finding Steve McQueen” goes all the way back to the 1970s to spotlight a based-on-truth burglary that involves Tricky Dick himself, President Richard M. Nixon.

Film Review: Julianne Moore is a Ringing Sensation in ‘Gloria Bell’

CHICAGO – The sheer ordinariness of life is not fodder for most dramatic films … the popcorn munchers generally turn out for something more high concept. But in Exhibit A, there is “Gloria Bell,” in which Julianne Moore portrays the title character in a series of ordinary extraordinary events.

Julianne Moore is a Ringing Sensation in ‘Gloria Bell’

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

CHICAGO – The sheer ordinariness of life is not fodder for most dramatic films … the popcorn munchers generally turn out for something more high concept. But in Exhibit A, there is “Gloria Bell,” in which Julianne Moore portrays the title character in a series of ordinary extraordinary events.

Interview: Chicago’s Asian Pop-up Cinema Features ‘Ten Years Japan’ on Mar. 13, 2019

Ten Years Japan

CHICAGO – In 2015, fearing the upcoming possibilities of losing their autonomy, Hong Kong released a short film anthology called “Ten Years,” which looked into the future of their province. Three years later, “Ten Years Japan” does the same, except of course with different filmmakers and attitudes.

Exclusive Photo: In Memoriam Actor Jan-Michael Vincent, Dead at 73

CHICAGO – In one of Jan-Michael Vincent’s most recent photos, taken in 2016 by photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com, the ex-heart throb actor is revealed as a man who lived his life hard to the end. Vincent died last month in Asheville, North Carolina, on February 10th, 2019. He was 73.

Film News: Japan’s Hot Film ‘Fly Me to Saitama’ Opens 8th Asian Pop-up Cinema, Mar. 12, 2019

APUC Season Eight 2019

CHICAGO – Right out of the gate, the Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) of Chicago proves they are one of the top cultural connections in the city. Season Eight opens on Tuesday, March 12th with “Fly Me to Saitama,” one of the hottest films in Japan, with three consecutive weeks as a top box office draw.

Photo Gallery: Meek Mill 'The Motivation Tour' at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, Mar. 8, 2019

| Image 1 of 2 |
Meek Mill: The Motivation Tour at Aragon Ballroom 1 of 2.

CHICAGO – “The Motivation Tour,” headlined by Meek Mill (also known as Robert Rihmeek Williams), was unleashed at Chicago’s historic Aragon Ballroom on March 8th, 2019. The rapper and activist is known for his debut album “Dreams and Nightmares” and his latest “Championships,” and is known for his collaborations with Drake and T.I.


Photo Gallery: Mike Tramp of White Lion at the RocHaus, Mar. 9, 2019

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White Lion lead singer Mike Tramp performs at the RocHaus, 1 of 5.

WEST DUNDEE, Ill. – It’s been almost five years since rock singer Mike Tramp announced that his signature group, White Lion, was finally over. White Lion was a Danish/American rock band that began in 1983, and had their biggest hits four years later on the album “Pride” … “Wait” and “When Children Cry.” Mike Tramp performed at the RocHaus in West Dundee on Saturday, March 9th, 2019, and brought his acoustic guitar, rustic voice and passion for singing/storytelling to the stage.

Photos, Podtalks: Comcast Xfinity Teaches a Classic Old Chicago Home Some New Tricks

| Image 1 of 10 |
The exterior of the Ryan Mansion in Chicago’s Logan Square

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago is well known for its long tradition of distinctive architecture, and few neighborhoods has carried that tradition like the Logan Square area. Within this fast-gentrifying environment, a wealth of old structures are seeing new life. The “Ryan Mansion,” owned by Stacey Ballis and Bill Thurmond, recently got its own facelift, which included the recently released Comcast Xfinity Digital Security Service (xFi Advanced Security) and a full home wi-fi makeover (xFi Advantage).

Film Review: Brie Larson as ‘Captain Marvel’ is Not as Marvel-ous

CHICAGO – Since the Marvel cinematic universe began over a decade ago with “Iron Man,” it’s shown an amazing talent for consistency. While only a few installments have surpassed their comic book origins to become great examples of the genre – and great stories in general – Marvel hasn’t had many out and out clunkers either (possible exception, the second Thor movie).

Brie Larson as ‘Captain Marvel’ is Not as Marvel-ous

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

CHICAGO – Since the Marvel cinematic universe began over a decade ago with “Iron Man,” it’s shown an amazing talent for consistency. While only a few installments have surpassed their comic book origins to become great examples of the genre – and great stories in general – Marvel hasn’t had many out and out clunkers either (possible exception, the second Thor movie).

Flashback: John C. McGinley Remembers the Passing of John Candy on Mar. 4, 1994

Wagons East, John Candy John C. McGinley

CHICAGO – It was 25 years ago today – March 4th, 1994 – that comic actor John Candy died on the set of the film “Wagons East.” It was his 45th feature film, that extended back 21 years. One of his co-stars was John C. McGinley, best known as the irascible Perry Cox on the sitcom “Scrubs.” In a HollywoodChicago.com exclusive soundbite below, McGinley describes the atmosphere on the fateful day the cast was told of Candy’s passing.

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Fest Presents ‘Midwest Shorts’ on Mar. 5, 2019

2019 Midwest Shorts

CHICAGO – The art of the short film is catching up to our tech-laden short attention spans, but they also often serve as a calling card for the filmmakers of the future. The monthly Midwest Independent Film Festival will have their Spring “Midwest Shorts” on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, at the Landmark Century Cinema in Chicago. For details and tickets, click here.

Entertainment News: Luke Perry of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Dies at 52

LOS ANGELES – His image, as a brooding heartthrob on the FOX-TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210,” was reflective of the early 1990s. Luke Perry represented both the image and the show, and he died on March 4th, 2019, after suffering a massive stroke on February 27th. He was only 52 years old.

Film Review: Familiar Scares of ‘Greta’ Has Too Many Plot Holes

CHICAGO – Admittedly, horror films are not my thing. I find them redundant, pandering and more reliant on gore rather than story. “Greta” is somewhat of a thriller horror film, about an older lady stalker preying on a younger New York City woman, but it had both a seen-it-before and unreliable plot.

Familiar Scares of ‘Greta’ Has Too Many Plot Holes

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

CHICAGO – Admittedly, horror films are not my thing. I find them redundant, pandering and more reliant on gore rather than story. “Greta” is somewhat of a thriller horror film, about an older lady stalker preying on a younger New York City woman, but it had both a seen-it-before and unreliable plot.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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