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Exclusive Photo: Antonio Fargas, Portrayed Huggy Bear on ‘Starsky and Hutch’

Antonio Fargas, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The coolest cat on 1970s TV was Huggy Bear, informant to the cop team of “Starsky and Hutch.” The man who portrayed that fly guy was Antonio Fargas, who also could lay claim as the Godfather of Blaxploitation Films (the run of African American cinema in the late 1960s through the ‘70s). Fargas was honored for his contributions with the Career Achievement Award at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival, Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

Interview, Audio: Director Petra Volpe Issues ‘The Divine Order’

CHICAGO – It is astounding to note that Switzerland did not have the vote for women until 1971. Writer/director Petra Volpe was also astounded at the ignorance of that history, so she set out to create a drama about the event. “The Divine Order” is set in a small Switzerland village, where the winds of change are coming.

Exclusive Photo: Eric Roberts is the F**king Man, as His Podcast Implies

Eric Roberts, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Yep, “Eric Roberts is the F**king Man”! That is the name of the podcast, and the mercurial actor recorded it live in front of an audience at Music Box Theatre in Chicago, as part of their Cinepocalypse Film Festival. Roberts’ filmography includes “The Pope of Greenwich Village” (1984), “Cecil B. Demented” (2000), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “Inherent Vice” (2014).

Film Review: Up Up & Away for DC Comic Branded ‘Justice League’

CHICAGO – In the America of truth, justice and comic book movies, the DC brand – featuring hero icons Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – has lagged behind their rivals at Marvel Studios. “Justice League” fills that gap admirably, after the slam-bam summer of Wonder Woman.

Podtalk: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Fall Finale is Baz Poonpiriya’s ‘Bad Genius,’ Nov. 15, 2017

Bad Genius

CHICAGO – The Fall Season Five comes to a close for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series in Chicago as they facilitate the Midwest Premiere of “Bad Genius” – directed by Nattawut ‘Baz’ Poonpiriya – on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017, at the AMC River East 21 Theatre. Inspired by a true story, the film is about intrigue surrounding a organized ring of test cheaters, procuring answers in advance of high school exams, and running a business associated with that cheating. HollywoodChicago.com got an opportunity for a Podtalk with director Baz Poonpiriya (below). For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Actor Adria Dawn on ‘DorkumentaryLIVE!’ in Chicago from Nov. 15-19, 2017

Adria Dawn

CHICAGO – What began as a web series has evolved to the stage. “DorkumentaryLIVE!” is the pet project of Tarleton/Dawn Productions, a husband (David) and wife (Adria) team that live and work in Chicago. They developed the series in Los Angeles, and after several episodes online decided to adapt it to the stage. “DorkumentaryLIVE!” will run from Wednesday, November 15th through Sunday, November 19th, 2017, at Stage 773 on Belmont Avenue in Chicago (see details below).

Film Review: Authentic Coming-of-Age in Expressive ‘Lady Bird’

CHICAGO – In one of the best American films of 2017, Greta Gerwig went behind the camera to write and direct an autobiographical overview of her Senior Year in high school, within a directionless town and family. The result is enlightening truth, told with laugh-out-loud directness and connective empathy. The film is a total winner.

Film Review: Mustache Has More Than ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

CHICAGO – “Murder On The Orient Express” is a movie that is never quite as interesting as the main character’s mustache. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Agatha Christie’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. While it is a departure from the source novel, Branagh sports silver streak facial hair of audacious eccentricity.

Podtalk: Michael Lippert of Short Film ‘Miriam is Going to Mars' at Ithaca Fantastik Fest, Nov. 11, 2017

Miriam is Going to Mars

CHICAGO – The issue of mental health is given a celestial spin in the short film “Miriam is Going to Mars,” written and directed by Michael Lippert of Cutters Studios in Chicago. The film recently was the Grand Jury Winner at the Midwest Independent Film Festival “Midwest Advertising Community Shorts Night,” and follows that up with a screening at the Ithaca (New York) Fantastik Fest on November 11th, 2017.

Podtalk: Executive Director Brent Kado on 7th Chicago Comedy Film Festival From Nov. 9-11, 2017

2017 Chicago Comedy Film Festival

CHICAGO – If you hear the sound of laughter from the vicinity of the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago, then most likely it is coming from the New 400 Theater, the base for the 7th Chicago Comedy Film Festival. The Festival showcases features, shorts and experimental films in all styles of funny. It opens on Thursday, November 9th, 2017, with a program of Chicago Short Films at The Second City, and continues through Saturday, November 11th.

Film News: Chicago Spotlight on 2017 CIMMfest From Nov. 9-12

CHICAGO – The fall movie season continues in Chicago with one of the best movie-music-party celebrations of the year. CIMMfest – the Chicago International Movie & Music Festival – is back for its 9th year, and promises another blast of great sounds and movies about those sounds, in all genres.

Podtalk: Lina Ramona Vitkauskas Presents ‘The Master Plan’ in Chicago on Nov. 14, 2017

Master Plan, The

CHICAGO – Poet and Activist Lina Ramona Vitkauskas is also a first generation Lithuanian-American. In keeping an eye on the situation in her homeland – part of the Baltic States that broke independently from the old Soviet Union – she discovered a new documentary about the Russian infiltration in the country’s political structure. “The Master Plan” breaks down the several-year campaign by Vladimir Putin to divide opinions and politics, to disrupt the region and confuse the recent independence. Sound familiar? A FREE screening of “The Master Plan” will take place on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 (7pm) at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

Exclusive Photo: Valerie Bertinelli is Cooking With New Book ‘Valerie’s Home Cooking’

CHICAGO – She has lived “One Day at a Time” and has come into a second act that really cooks. Valerie Bertinelli has gone from child star to recipe maven with her new book “Valerie’s Home Cooking,” named after her Food Network TV Show. She came to Chicagoland to promote the book on October 22nd, 2017.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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