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Interviews: 1970s TV Stars Parker Stevenson & Ernest Thomas Reveal a Different Era of Entertainment

Parker Stevenson, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Television has changed so much in the last generation that it’s hard to imagine a time of only three networks and a limited number of shows premiering every fall. But in the 1970s there were two such TV series, “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” starring Parker Stevenson, and “What’s Happening!!,” starring Ernest Thomas. They both made appearances at the “Hollywood Show” in Chicagoland.

Preview: 2015 Wizard World Comic Con Chicago Runs August 20 to 23

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Drea de Matteo, Emmy Award winner for ‘The Sopranos.’

CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s most popular pop culture gatherings is the Wizard World Comic Con, and the 2015 edition is building anticipation for the weekend of Thursday, August 20th through Sunday the 23rd. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV and movie celebrities, highlighted by Burt Reynolds (“Deliverance,” “Smokey and the Bandit”) and Jeremy Renner (The Avengers film series).

Interview: Loni Anderson on Her Career at ‘The Hollywood Show’

Loni Anderson, Photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – To answer the musical question, “Baby, if you ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me?” there is the sublime Loni Anderson, who portrayed Jennifer Marlowe on the popular 1970s sitcom, “WKRP in Cincinnati.” Anderson was an attendee of “The Hollywood Show,” which comes to Chicago again on September 7th and 8th, 2013.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Deliverance’ Still Resonates Four Decades After Its Release

Deliverance

CHICAGO – The new digibook Blu-ray for John Boorman’s incredibly influential and timeless “Deliverance” features one of the best special features of the year as stars Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty sit for half an hour at the Burt Reynolds Museum in Florida and just reminisce about the movie that changed their lives. It alone makes this a great purchase for true movie historians. The stellar HD transfer and imported special features don’t hurt.

Blu-ray Review: Universal 100th Anniversary Titles ‘Erin Brockovich,’ ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ ‘The Sting’

CHICAGO – Universal has slowly but consistently been releasing an amazing collection of Blu-ray combo packs (BD, DVD, and Digital Copy) throughout 2012. Spanning the entire catalog of this 100-year-old company, movies like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Deer Hunter,” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” have been given lavish, restored treatments and “E.T.” and “Jaws” will come later in the year. By the time it’s done, this will be one of the most important waves of Blu-ray releases in the history of the form. This week’s inclusions feature two Oscar winners and one true ’70s phenomenon.

Feature: The Top 15 Interviews on HollywoodChicago.com in 2011

CHICAGO – One of the great privileges of reporting film and television on HollywoodChicago.com is the opportunity to interview the performers, directors and legends that create movie and TV content.

TV Review: Amazing Episode Kicks Off Third Season of FX’s ‘Archer’

CHICAGO – There’s so much variance in quality when it comes to TV animation for adults. On one end of the spectrum, there’s the already-canceled “Allen Gregory” and the hopefully-to-follow “Napoleon Dynamite.” On the other, you have a show like “South Park” that has lost none of its creative drive.

Hanging With the King: An Interview With Burt Reynolds

CHICAGO – There is a certain royal atmosphere when a true movie star walks into the room. Burt Reynolds is that type of star, and his presence has the history of popular movies about him, the journey of a career spanning 50 years.

Interviews: 1970s Movie Stars at the Hollywood Celebrities Show

Fred Williamson, photographed by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – The 1970s were the golden age for the youthful, angst-ridden style of filmmaking, but it also had its share of fun with James Bond, super bad action films and Burt Reynolds comedies. Richard “Jaws” Kiel, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and character actor James Hampton experienced that side of the 1970s, and told all at the Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show.

Blu-Ray Review: Two Amazing P.T. Anderson Films in ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Magnolia’

Magnolia

CHICAGO – Has any director watched their reputation rise as rapidly as the amazing Paul Thomas Anderson? With only five films under his belt - “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” and “There Will Be Blood” - the man has become one of the most respected and adored filmmakers in the world. Why? He not only hasn’t made a bad film, he hasn’t even come close. His second and third are now available on Blu-ray.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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