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Oscar Week Feature: Top 20 Interviews of 2015, by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO –The movers, the shakers, the prominent filmmakers – they’ve all gone through the interview filter by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com. What better way to celebrate Oscar week than to review the TOP 20 talks of the 2015, with many 2016 Oscar favorites among the celebrated.

Interview: Director Jay Roach Channels His Inner ‘Trumbo’

CHICAGO – Director Jay Roach loves his work, heading into another phase of his successful career. The man who directed the first two “Austin Powers” films is now taking on movie and American history with “Trumbo,” featuring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as the 1950s blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Blu-ray Review: HBO’s ‘Game Change’ Triumphs with Brilliant Performances

Game Change Blu-ray

CHICAGO – When the HBO film, “Game Change,” was first announced, it sounded rather unnecessary. Why would Alaska governor-turned-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s overinflated celebrity deserve such a prestigious biopic? Wasn’t her TLC program, not to mention Tina Fey’s brilliant SNL parody, more than enough small-screen exposure for the oft-embarrassing politician?

Blu-ray Review: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis in Leaden ‘The Campaign’

The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis

CHICAGO – Jay Roach’s “The Campaign” should have been a slam dunk. A political comedy during an intense Presidential campaign with two of the funniest actors in movies today from a director who knows how politics can make for bizarre behavior after helming HBO’s stellar “Campaign Change” about Sarah Palin & John McCain. How could it fail? While “The Campaign” isn’t an outright disaster, it’s ultimately a disappointment, taking easy shots at physical humor and sex jokes instead of the clever satire it could have been.

Interview: Verne Troyer – Mini-Me in ‘Austin Powers’ – in Chicagoland

CHICAGO – The small but mighty Verne Troyer is a lucky and humble star. He grew in Michigan, and maintains his Midwestern roots in his approach to show business. Troyer makes an appearance at the Hollywood Palms (Naperville, Ill.) and the Hollywood Blvd. Cinema (Woodridge) to introduce “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Goldmember.”

Film Review: Predictable ‘The Campaign’ Hinges on Hilarious Newlyweds Ferrell, Galifianakis

CHICAGO – Will Ferrell makes several new proclamations loud and clear: he’s a comic dream-team duo with Zach Galifianakis in “The Campaign,” punching a baby and then a dog are seriously funny and real-life politics should take a lesson from this over-the-top smear campaign.

TV Review: Stunning Performances Drive HBO’s Fantastic ‘Game Change’

CHICAGO – You may be surprised by the angle taken by HBO’s controversial “Game Change,” a film already being summarily dismissed by conservative pundits who probably haven’t even seen the piece and merely assume that it’s another liberal Hollywood hatchet job. It’s not that at all.

TV News: HBO to Host Chicago Premiere of ‘Game Change’

Game Change Chicago Premiere

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Chicagoans will have their first opportunity to watch four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore’s controversial portrayal of former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin in Jay Roach’s new HBO drama, “Game Change.” The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

Film Review: Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd Serve ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

CHICAGO – The third of the Steve Carrell Seasonal Movie Trilogy debuts with the uneven but absurd comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” Paul Rudd, now the go-to actor for straight-man-yuppie-turned-wild-dude joins a strong cast, including the ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement (”Flight of the Concords”), and Bruce Greenwood.

Slideshow: 23-Image Photo Gallery of ‘Dinner for Schmucks’

| Image 1 of 23 |
Steve Carrell is Barry and Paul Rudd is Tim in ‘Dinner for Schmucks.’

CHICAGO – Summer comedy gets a stellar cast and lots of laughs in the new film “Dinner for Schmucks,” starring Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, Bruce Greenwood and Kristen Schaal. Directed by Jay Roach (”Meet the Parents”), this fun film is a mixture of absurd characters and hilarious situations.

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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 10th, 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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