CHICAGO - Look past the cheesy carbs and b-boy poses, this shiny mo-cap reboot of cartoon juggernaut “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” offers slick entertainment that makes for a welcome surprise for middle school fare. Proving that executive producer Michael Bay has both grown up but it still frightfully in tune with what jazzes teens, this surprise box office hit is indeed a nice slice of a blockbuster spectacle, whether or not a viewer cares about the turtles or not.
CHICAGO – When is comes to appreciating life, one great practitioner is Anson Williams, better known as the character “Potsie” from the 1970s TV series “Happy Days.” Williams wants to remind everybody to “pay it forward,” as he does in highlighting his unlikely mentor in his new book, “Singing to a Bulldog.”
CHICAGO – Telling the story of Alan Turing – the British closeted gay man who broke a Nazi code in World War II, saving millions of lives – was put upon the talented shoulders of two disparate individuals. Screenwriter Graham Moore – from Chicago – and Norwegian director Morten Tyldum collaborated on “The Imitation Game.”
CHICAGO – December 9th is the 2014 second season premiere of “Ground Floor,” the TBS workplace comedy featuring John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”), plus Skylar Astin and Briga Heelan (seen in the film “Pitch Perfect”). Chicago native Cindy Caponera is a writer and co-executive producer on the show.
CHICAGO – The Chicago independent film scene keeps thriving, and a local production that just wrapped up will soon be a part of it. “The View From Tall” is based on a play written by co-director Caitlin Parrish, who along with her directing partner Erica Weiss brought the story to the screen.
CHICAGO – Every year, HollywoodChicago.com explores the state of the Chicago film actor through Grace McPhillips and Steve Scholz, the Board President and Vice President of the Chicago Acting in Film Meetup Group NFP (CAFM). The group’s 2014 “Holiday Hurrah” will be at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago on Monday, December 15th.
CHICAGO – Evoking the name Liv Ullmann is to bring back one of the more glorious and creative periods of Scandinavian cinema, especially the films of Ingmar Bergman. The actress has directed her seventh film, the passionate adaptation of an August Strindberg play, “Miss Julie,” featuring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell.
CHICAGO – Women in Film (WIF) Chicago is a advocate group for women filmmakers, on-set professionals and executives in the creative arts, and every year they present their Focus Awards to significant contributors in those arenas. The honorees in 2014 were Shira Piven, Susan Credle, Erin Sarofsky and Christina Varotsis.
CHICAGO – Filmmaker Darryl Roberts has been on an eight-year journey to chronicle the influence of corporations, advertising and images on today’s teenagers. After releasing the first two “America the Beautiful” documentaries, his latest – and potentially most controversial – is “America the Beautiful 3: The Sexualization of Our Youth.”
CHICAGO – There are many categories of film director types – facilitators, tacticians, framers, to name a few – but there are few real artists. Bennett Miller has guided three films in his career, “Capote,” “Moneyball” and his latest “Foxcatcher.” All three have a purposeful artistry, and explore the soul within the humanity it portrays.
CHICAGO – Journalists are under fire, both in the hot zones of the world’s conflicts, and within the economics of the shrinking news business. One journalist – Maziar Bahari – became part of the drama in the 2009 Iranian presidential elections, and that story is told in writer/director Jon Stewart’s new film, “Rosewater.”