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Interview: Dale Robinette, on His Iconic Photo From ‘La La Land’

CHICAGO – The photograph of the 2016 movie year is undoubtedbly the iconic shot of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, caught in mid dance, in the musical “La La Land.” The film received 14 nominations for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony (Feb. 26th), and the “Unit Still Photographer” who got the shot was Dale Robinette.

Interview: Producer & CEO Julie Smolyansky, 2017 Women in Film Chicago Focus Awards Honoree

2017 WIFC Focus Awards

CHICAGO – One of the signature events for Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) is their annual Focus Awards, which will take place on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 (for more details and ticket purchasing information, click here). The WIFC will honor four notable women who influence Chicago-area film production, including actress Julia Sweeney, producer/activist Mary Morten, director of photography Tari Segal and CEO (of Lifeway Foods, Inc.) and film producer Julie Smolyansky.

Film News: Spertus Institute’s Sunday Cinema Series Concludes on Feb. 19, 2017

Spertus Cinema Series

CHICAGO – The Spertus Institute, Chicago’s leading center for Jewish learning and leadership, concludes a two-month film series at their downtown location, featuring a documentary entitled “Torah Treasures and Curious Trash,” preceded by the short film “Hannah Cohen’s First Communion.” The screenings begin at 2pm within the Institute’s Feinberg Theater, located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago…click here for more details.

Film Review: Odd Times at the Cinema with ‘The Great Wall’

CHICAGO – Taking a concept higher than the Wall that inspired it, and mostly succeeding, “The Great Wall” gets a nod as one of the oddest stories in a long time. Pre-supposedly based on a “legend,” it brings Matt Damon into ancient China to help battle lizard monsters at the Great Wall. Book it.

Film Review: ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Provides a Much-Needed Temporary Fix

cureforwellnessnews

CHICAGO – Gore Verbinski is no stranger to the spooky. He always creates these tense, terror-filled scenes that effectively frighten us. His films, from “Ring” to “Rango”, each are compelling enough to keep our attention, not matter how absurd they transform into. Boy, does he ever deliver in the gorgeously grotesque “A Cure for Wellness.”

Film Review: Report Card on ‘Fist Fight’ is a Failing Grade

CHICAGO – “Fist Fight” is such a thin premise it can’t even sustain its own two minute trailer, much less a feature length film. That premise, what there is of it, is simple – English teacher (Charlie Day) and History Teacher (Ice Cube) get involved in an altercation with a student on the last day of class, at a failing high school known for senior pranks.

Film Review: ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Adds Artistry to Mass Murder

CHICAGO – It takes a special kind of film that enthralls the audience so much that they stop caring about the body count and are more concerned with the main character running out of bullets. “John Wick: Chapter 2” offers the same cathartic effect as watching a Nazi get punched but in an infinitely more picturesque package.

Film Review: Rotating Perspectives Converge in ‘Train Station’

Train Station

CHICAGO – Taking on the variance of choice in a very unique and compelling way, “Train Station” was interpreted through 40 filmmakers in 25 countries, following a character – The Person in Brown – in a singular story that flexes and changes as the role is exposed. Chicago was one of those filming locations, and “Train Station” will screen here at the Music Box Theatre on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Film Review: Discover the 2017 Oscar Short Film Nominees

CHICAGO – One of the more overlooked set of nominees at Academy Awards time is two categories for Best Short Film – Live Action and Animated. The 2017 nominees are packaged as two presentations that are currently screening in Chicago at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema.

Film Review: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Delivers the Usual Laughs

LEGO Batman Movie, The

CHICAGO – “The LEGO Batman Movie” is more of a parody than the laugh-out-loud hijinks of the surprising “The LEGO Movie,” but the legend of The Bats is ripe for a good skewering, and the movie has a lot of fun doing it. Will Arnett reprises the voice as the title character, with Zach Galifianakis taking on the antics of The Joker.

Film Review: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ is More Silly Than Sexy

CHICAGO – While offering a veritable sex scene smorgasboard, “Fifty Shades Darker” fails to offer much in the way of anything that is actually sexy. As the mousy Anastasia Steele and the billionaire Mr. Grey, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are slightly more comfortable in their roles than they were the first time around.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Asylum, The Logo

    CHICAGO – Put in a dash of crazy, add a dash of funny and you are defining “The Asylum,” a catch-all name for a couple of show events in Chicago, playing at The Apollo Theater Studio through February 23rd, 2017. Behind the scenes of these showcases is producer Michael Sanow, a Chicago theater veteran. For “The Asylum” information regarding the “Atypical Musical Comedy Show” (Tuesdays) and “Access Comedy” (Thursdays), click here.

  • Baltimore Waltz, The

    CHICAGO – During the scourge of the AIDS epidemic, at its height in the late 1980s, a playwright lost her brother to the condition. Inspired by him, Paula Vogel wrote “The Baltimore Waltz,” a story about her and her brother’s travels through Europe – and filtered through the prism of fantasy and the movies. The Brown Paper Box Company presents a re-staging of the play in Chicago through February 19th, 2017.

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