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Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers the Films of Director John G. Avildsen

John G. Avildsen

CHICAGO – His films were more popular than his name, but director John G. Avildsen did put his mark on the last 30 years of 20th Century movies. Avildsen died last week at the age of 81. He is known best for the Oscar Best Picture-winning “Rocky” (1976), but also did the controversial “Joe” (1970), “Save the Tiger” (1973, Best Actor Oscar for Jack Lemmon), John Belushi’s last film “Neighbors” (1981), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Lean on Me” (1989) and “8 Seconds” (1994). Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com offer three essays on their Avildsen favorites.

Festival Feature: The Films of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

CHICAGO – The 16th Tribeca Film Festival wrapped last Sunday (April 30, 2017) and the award-winning films of the festival have been named. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com was there for the first week of Tribeca and files his personal best of the films he experienced.

Tribeca Film Festival Slideshow: Burt Reynolds & Robert De Niro on the Red Carpet for 'Dog Years'

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Robert De Niro, Burt Reynolds and Chevy Chase for DOG YEARS.

NEW YORK CITY – Taking a well-deserved one more turn around the block, the legendary Burt Reynolds was at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival representing his new film “Dog Years,” directed by Adam Rifkin, and co-starring Chevy Chase and Ariel Winter. The director and three stars were joined on the Red Carpet by festival co-founder Robert De Niro.

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.

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  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

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