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George Lucas

Film Review: ‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’ is the One We’ve Been Waiting For

CHICAGO (No Spoilers!) – I felt privileged on Tuesday morning. Not just to be a Chicago film critic, but to be a movie lover. Film critics and movie lovers alike wade through scores of yawners hoping for one or two masterpieces that remind us why we fell in love with the experience of watching a film in the company of people we like.

Interview: Mackenzie Phillips Lives Life One Day at a Time

CHICAGO – The irony is, of course, that actress Mackenzie Phillips was in a notable 1970s sitcom called “One Day at a Time,” and that phrase often describes the struggles of living with addiction. Phillips talked to HollywoodChicago.com about living that life at the “Hollywood Show” Chicago.

Film Feature: Five Things We Want From ‘Star Wars, Episode VII’

CHICAGO – There was a time when the idea of actual sequels to George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” trilogy seemed like the most fantastic (and unlikely) of all the fanboy fantasy fodder in the multiverse. How could chapters VII through IX work? How do you follow the “teddy bear picnic” ending of “Return of the Jedi”?

Blu-ray Review: Amazing Set For ‘Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures’

CHICAGO – A few years ago, I was asked why Blu-ray hadn’t taken off at the time and replaced DVD as so many fans of the format thought it should. The answer was simple — “Because Raiders of the Lost Ark isn’t on Blu-ray.

Film Review: Influential Filmmakers Discuss Digital Revolution in ‘Side by Side’

CHICAGO – We are at the tipping point of a technology that has been used for a hundred years to capture the moving image. Shooting on film is going away as more and more filmmakers use digital technology to tell their stories. How does this change the art form? Is it a creative new landscape or the death of something important?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Anytime IMAX Passes to ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX

CHICAGOFor the first time ever, Indy’s in IMAX! In this HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 pairs of run-of-engagement, anytime movie passes up for grabs for the special, one-week theatrical return of “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”!

Film Review: Eye-Popping 3D, Same Story in ‘Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace’ Rerelease

CHICAGO – Jar Jar Binks is back, and George Lucas has him in 3D. Yes, the re-release of 1999’s “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace,” takes advantage of the new 3D technology.

Film Review: World War II-Era Tuskegee Airmen Fly in ‘Red Tails’

CHICAGO – The courage of the Tuskegee Airmen cannot be denied. The all African American World War II fighter pilot squadron not only braved battle, but also the virulent prejudice of the 1940s. The new film “Red Tails” chronicles the circumstance of that squadron, with a sappy and overlong treatment.

DVD Review: ‘The People vs. George Lucas’ Brilliantly Captures ‘Star Wars’ Culture

The People vs. George Lucas

CHICAGO – “The People vs. George Lucas” is a misleading title and several outlets have misleading representations of what you should expect from the film. This is not an antagonistic piece even if it does contain some amazing evidence in the anti-Lucas movement. The “vs.” makes it sound like a hatchet job. It’s not. It’s more of a love letter to the fans who have built their lives around “Star Wars” and THEN it goes on to point how that love has made the fan base even more sensitive to perceived slights to the holy trilogy. It’s a clever, fun documentary that runs just a bit long but truly captures something about geek-movie culture that hasn’t been so well-documented before.

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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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