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Film Review: Suspenseful ‘Life’ Is Tense, Compelling Science Fiction

CHICAGO – Combining the invasion elements of “Alien” with the life-raft-in-space morbidity of “Gravity,” the new film “Life” maintains a grip from the enlightened beginning to the twisted end. Mars is the origin, so the film joins “The Martian” and “The Space Between Us” in sourcing the red planet.

Film Review: ‘Power Rangers’ Reboot is a Stunning Bore

CHICAGO – The big budget “Power Rangers” reboot tests the limits of just how pedestrian a supposed $100 million dollar blockbuster can be. Part of that is due to the fact that superhero movies are a dime a dozen these days, and a movie has to have something more than just silver screen quality special effects to set it apart.

Film Review: Kristen Stewart is Hauntingly Captivating in 'Personal Shopper'

CHICAGO – I’ve had a deep fascination with ghost stories since I was a kid. There is something both interesting and terrifying knowing that there are often unseen forces we could be encountering in our everyday life. Olivier Assayas creates an unexplainable phantasm thriller in “Personal Shopper” that remains completely captivating throughout even if you don’t understand what you just experienced.

Interview: Director Hunter Adams on Release of ‘Dig Two Graves’

Dig Two Graves

CHICAGO – One of the local filmmaker heroes has been Hunter Adams, the director of “Dig Two Graves.” Shot in Southern Illinois in the infamous “Little Egypt” area, Adams took a shoestring budget and created a tense and mysterious supernatural thriller. “Dig Two Graves” will get its theatrical and iTunes release on Friday, March 24th, 2017, and will play in Chicago at the AMC River East Theatre (details below).

Interview: Director Danny Boyle Goes Back to ‘T2 Trainspotting’

CHICAGO – Rarely does a filmmaker have a long or influential enough career to revisit a story and characters that they’ve explored in a previous film. Oscar winner Danny Boyle has both qualifications, as he again takes on – 20 years after its 1996 release – his classic film “Trainspotting, which is elegantly titled “T2 Trainspotting.”

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents Chicago Premiere of ‘The Search’ on Mar. 22, 2017

Search, The Tibet

CHICAGO – The fourth season of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema series continues with the Chicago premiere of “The Search” on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago. “The Search” is the first film ever made in western China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, with a full Tibetan crew and language (with English subtitles). For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Interviews: Women in Film Chicago 2017 Focus Award Recipients

CHICAGO – Women in Film Chicago (WIFC) continues its role as one of the best resource and advocacy groups for women filmmakers. Last month, they celebrated their Focus Awards and honored four women – producer Julie Smolyansky, cinematographer Tari Segal, filmmaker Mary Morten and comedian Julia Sweeney.

Interviews: 53rd Chicago International Television Awards on Mar. 23, 2017

CIFF TV Awards 2916

CHICAGO –The 53rd Chicago International Television Awards, a companion celebration to the Chicago International Television Festival – and presented by Cinema/Chicago, the organization who presents the Chicago International Film Festival – will take place Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, and will honor entertainment reporter Dean Richards, advertising guru Joe Sedelmeier and the newly-formed-but-already-influential Amazon Studios. The entire television festival will take place from March 21st to the 23rd at the AMC River East 21, and screenings are free and open to the public. Click here for a complete schedule and details.

Entertainment News: Hail Hail Rocker Chuck Berry, Who Dies at 90

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO – One of rock and roll music’s last living pioneers, Chuck Berry, was found dead in his home in St. Charles County, Missouri, on Mar. 18, 2017. He was the “Father of Rock ‘n Roll” for his hit songs in the 1950s, but Berry was also known for his controversies and live concert style. He was 90 years old.

Theater Review: Nothing Without a Company’s ‘The Kid Thing’ is Fulfilling & Authentic

Kid Thing, The

CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Film Review: ‘The Sense of an Ending’ Ponders a Vague Mystery

Sense of an Ending, The

CHICAGO – “The Sense of an Ending” is a highfalutin title, automatically putting most folks into book club mode. It is adapted from a novel, and the narrative has the same page turning-type rhythm. An old man, portrayed by Jim Broadbent, is encountering his past, while his current situation remains untenable.

Film Review: Flawless ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a New Classic

CHICAGO – Do not doubt the power of live action to create a new atmosphere of joy and…dare I say it…beauty. The re-imagining of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” is everything that the previous was and much more. It packs a true and emotional wallop that follows through to the end.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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