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Film Review: ‘Creed’ is a Champion in the Rocky Balboa Legacy

CHICAGO – This is what happens when passionate filmmakers come into a known movie project – with an obvious love for the previous stories and characters – and create a new chapter that both evolves and honors its source. “Creed” does all of that, and gives the beloved Rocky Balboa one more time in the spotlight.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Legend’ With Tom Hardy in a Double Performance

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new gangster film “Legend” starring Tom Hardy in a double performance as London’s notorious Kray brothers!

Film Review: Grim Conclusion for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2’

CHICAGO – This has to be what the filmmakers intended when they split the final book of the “Hunger Games” series into two films. While “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1” was all set up, Part 2 doesn’t just lead up to a huge climax.

Film Review: Spirit Starts Early in Fun, Raunchy ‘The Night Before’

CHICAGO – The tradition of the holiday party gets a workout in “The Night Before,” as three friends take a Christmas Eve walk through the environs of New York City, and make their merry journey an unforgettable night of libation enhancement, magic moments and yes, the Holiday Spirit.

Interview: Director Rick Alverson Knows That’s ‘Entertainment’

CHICAGO – It’s original, it’s off-kilter, it’s different – it’s the new film “Entertainment.” Rick Alverson has fashioned a road picture, with an offbeat stand up comic trying to get home. The director has some fiery talent behind that journey, including Gregg Turkington as The Comedian, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera and Tim Heidecker.

Interview: Screenwriter David Wilson Represents ‘Spirit Riders’ at Equus Film Festival

David Wilson of 'Spirit Riders'

CHICAGO – The first big breakthrough for any screenwriter is a momentous occasion, and David Wilson has done just that. The shot-on-a-shoestring indie family film “Spirit Riders” – written by Wilson – has had a great afterlife in limited release, Video-On-Demand, DVD, foreign distribution and online digital downloads. And this upcoming weekend, from November 20 to 22, 2015, Wilson will represent his story, about Equine Therapy, at the Equus Film Festival in New York City.

Theater Review: We’ll Always Have Paris in ‘The Merry Widow’

CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.

Film Review: ‘Spotlight’ Offers a Relevant First Draft to History

CHICAGO – “Spotlight” is a movie which aspires to greatness and oftentimes just about gets there. It’s a movie that is thoroughly confident that the process of journalism and a great story provides all the excitement it needs to grab an audience’s attention. And what a great story it is.

Exclusive Portrait: Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ in Chicagoland to Promote New Book

Bill Nye, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – One of the most famous bow tie stylists in the world, and one of the greatest advocates for understanding our universe is Bill Nye, “The Science Guy.” He used that nickname in the 1990s, when he hosted a popular kids TV show with that title. He was at the Barnes & Noble book store at Old Orchard in Skokie, Ill., to promote his new book, “Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World.”

Film Review: ‘The 33’ Adds Depth to the Trapped Miners of Chile

CHICAGO – In the art of film, the best way to approach a based-on-truth story – where the outcome is well known – is to create a point-of-view vision for the narrative. The story of “The 33,” the trapped miners from Chile who were rescued with worldwide attention, is a prime example of that vision.

Interview: Director Jay Roach Channels His Inner ‘Trumbo’

CHICAGO – Director Jay Roach loves his work, heading into another phase of his successful career. The man who directed the first two “Austin Powers” films is now taking on movie and American history with “Trumbo,” featuring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as the 1950s blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Interview: Producer Marla Gamze to Present ‘Artists of the First Sunrise’ in Chicago on Nov. 14, 2015

Artists of the First Sunrise

CHICAGO – The traditions and ceremony of our tribal past have eventually become homogenized in modern society. But there are some parts of the world where those traditions still exist, and much of it has a connection to art, dance, design, music and ritual. Executive Producer Marla Gamze is working on a new documentary – “Artists of the First Sunrise” – about the indigenous Aboriginal tribes of Australia, a native population that still bond to their tradition and expression.

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