HollywoodChicago.com Arts & Entertainment News

Oscar Week: Podtalk with Director Bing Liu of Oscar nominated Feature Doc ‘Minding the Gap’

Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu

CHICAGO – All through the 2019 Oscar Week, HollywoodChicago.com will rerun significant articles from 2018 that feature the nominees associated with Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony. Today is a Podtalk with director Bing Liu, who was the filmmaker behind a Best Documentary Feature nominee, “Minding the Gap.” The film seems to be a nostalgic profile of Liu’s youth in Rockford, Illinois, as he goes back to his hometown to explore the skateboarding culture that kept him balanced while growing up in a difficult home environment. What he found out about himself was an organic reveal in the film, both shocking and cathartic.

Film Review: Relatable Togetherness Highlight 2019 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

2019 Oscar Animated Shorts

CHICAGO – The relationships in our lives affect who we are, whether they are momentary or long term. Interestingly, like the Oscar nominated Live Action shorts, the Animated Short Film nominees have that similar connective themes in four of the five stories. Family relationships, son-to-mother, mother-to-daughter, daughter-to-father and parents-to-child, are explored in poignant and expressive ways. The Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago are currently showing all the shorts in one program. Click here for more information.

Digital TV Review: Chicago-Produced ‘Geek Lounge’ Premieres on Amazon Prime

Geek Lounge

CHICAGO – The comic book admiration society has been the fastest growing sub-culture in the last 25 years. Once thought a remnant of childhood is now a flourishing industry in show business, comic book shops and conventions. “Geek Lounge,” a TV series created by producer/director/writer Larry Ziegelman, explores the comic book/pop culture generation, and is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Click here for the details.

Film Review: Sequel Surprisingly Surpasses the First Film in ‘Happy Death Day 2U’

hdd2u

CHICAGO – At some point, we’ve all experienced deja vu. Sure, it could just be because we lead a monotonous, predictable life, but I’d personally welcome the idea of something supernatural at play over the more practical explanation. That’s exactly what “Happy Death Day” introduced, and it was a hilarious slasher take on “Groundhog Day”, and luckily the sequel, “Happy Death Day 2U”, adds to the experience.

Film Review: The James Cameron Touch Creates ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

CHICAGO – The creation of new worlds has always been a mainstay of the cinema, virtually since it was invented. And whether you love or are indifferent to the films of James Cameron (“Titanic”), he remains one of the prime movers in advancing the creative tools of films. His influence is all over “Alita: Battle Angel.”

Film Review: Something for Everyone in Delicious ‘Isn’t It Romantic’

CHICAGO – “Isn’t It Romantic” knows exactly what it is, and what it wants to be. It is simultaneously for people who love Romantic Comedy, and those who profess to hate them … but may secretly love them. It’s an amusing trifle that’s about as surprising as a heart shaped box of chocolates, but sometimes that’s what you want.

Podtalk: Production Crew & Cast of Michael Glover Smith’s ‘Rendezvous in Chicago’

Rendezvous in Chicago 2

CHICAGO – Filmmaking is a collaborative art, the melding of technical skill and creative energy. Proving that collaboration on a very high level is the new film “Rendezvous in Chicago,” written and directed by Michael Glover Smith. This passion project, shot in eight days, brought together a production crew and cast who perfectly meshed to create the “romance-in-the-Windy-City movie the world has been waiting for.” For the rest of the 5-Star review from HollywoodChicago.com, click here.

Film Review: Childhood is a Major Theme in 2019 Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films

2019 Oscar Live Action Shorts

CHICAGO – There are four films among the five Oscar-nominated Live Action Shorts for 2019 that have childhood in their theme, and they all are telling about situations in the more in-your-face dark circumstances of life today (or in the case of one film, 25 years ago). The Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago are currently showing all the shorts in one program. Click here for more information.

Exclusive Photos: In Memoriam Character Actors Dick Miller and Julie Adams

Dick Miller, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – They often are the background people, the best friends or townspeople in various film and TV parts. Two character actors, who have over 200 roles between them, passed away recently. Dick Miller and Julie Adams were both previous subjects for the lens of photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com.

Film Review: ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ is Flat Out Funny

CHICAGO – There are two things I love as a film observer. The pretty colors of modern animation … and to laugh. I got both in the appropriately titled “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” Picking up where the first first left off, the gang of Lego brick figures, including Emmet, Wyldstyle and Batman, have a new adventure.

Film Review: Windy City Romance We’ve All Been Waiting for is ‘Rendezvous in Chicago’

Rendezvous in Chicago

CHICAGO – In the 30 odd years I’ve lived in Chicago, and in the 10 years I’ve done the Chicago Film Tour, I know Chicago movies. The problem was that most of them didn’t understand the Windy City vibe, especially in the relationships that develop here. Well, writer/director Michael Glover Smith gets it exquisitely right, in his three story anthology called “Rendezvous in Chicago.”

Podtalk: Midwest Independent Film Fest Opener is ‘An Acceptable Loss’ on Feb. 5, 2019

An Acceptable Loss

CHICAGO – Some extraordinary local and outside talent coordinated to produce the film “An Acceptable Loss” in 2018, including featured stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter (“Southside with You”). Producer Colleen Griffen and writer/director Joe Chappelle, who hail from Chicagoland, helped to create this passionate thriller, with echoes of paranoid government oversight films like “All the President’s Men” and the recent “Vice.” The Midwest Independent Film Festival has made “An Acceptable Loss” the kickoff film for their 2019 season. Click here for tickets and details.

Film Review: World War I Comes to Life in ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’

CHICAGO – The First World War took place (1914-18) in conjunction with the early days of film, with enough cameras available to actually capture it. For years, that dusty and silent celluloid was used in documentaries, but never has it come to life the way that director Peter Jackson presents it in “They Shall Not Grow Old.”

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