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J.J. Abrams

Film News: Anton Yelchin, Chekov from ‘Star Trek’ Reboot, Dies at 27

LOS ANGELES – The loss of a up-and-coming actor at an early age is always a tragic event, and Anton Yelchin has been added to that roster. In a freak automobile accident at his home, Yelchin died on June 19th, 2016. He was best known for embracing the role of Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” film series reboot. He was 27 years old.

Film Review: ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a Dull Detour to a Dead End

CHICAGO – With “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Producer J.J. Abrams attempts a classic bait and switch on his audience. The name and the tagline suggest a connection to Abrams found footage monster movie, 2008’s “Cloverfield.” But in all honesty, this film has very little to do with the events of that movie.

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.

Blu-ray Review: Frustrating Release For ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Star Trek Into Darkness

CHICAGO – When you’ve got a movie as controversial among its core audience as J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness,” why would you court even more with a frustrating Blu-ray release pattern, one that essentially tries to milk the people who like the film for as much cash as conceivably possible?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Free Double-Feature Tickets to ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ ‘World War Z’

CHICAGO – What’s better than two blockbusters for the price of one? HollywoodChicago.com readers will score 20 pairs of guaranteed pick-your-showing double-feature tickets plus 10 prize packs to “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “World War Z” for free!

Interview: Actor Michael Peña on the Fast Track in ‘Turbo’

CHICAGO – Michael Peña is a serious guy – dedicated to his career direction, acting craft and perspective on a life in show business. But that is not all he is, as he has dedicated a new role for his young son. It is the new animated film called “Turbo,” and Peña portrays the voice of Tito, the owner of the world’s fastest snail.

Slideshow: William Shatner Introduces ‘Star Trek’ Films in Chicagoland

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CHICAGO – William Shatner, who originated the role of Captain Kirk in the first TV incarnation of “Star Trek,” has beamed aboard the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville, Ill., and the Hollywood Blvd. Theater in Woodridge this Memorial Day weekend, May 24th-26th, to introduce the films “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” – in which he stars – and the latest chapter of the legacy, “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Blu-ray Review: Final Season of FOX Hit ‘Fringe’

Fringe: "August"

CHICAGO – I find it fascinating that “Fringe,” the show that always seemed to be on the bubble for renewal and was always included in articles about low-rated programming, appears to be one of the most influential on the Fall 2013 season. FOX has two new dramas in the Fall and they’re both from “Fringe” alum — J.J. Abrams’ “Almost Human” and Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman’s “Sleepy Hollow”. They’re clearly looking for, believe it or not, the next “Fringe.” For while the smart sci-fi drama never found a huge audience on TV, it found an incredibly loyal one on Blu-ray, On Demand, iTunes, etc. and those fans can now complete their collection with a bittersweet but complete fifth and final season release.

Film Review: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Satisfies with Entertaining Adventure

CHICAGOJ.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” is like a really solid mid-season episode of a great TV series. Entertaining, for sure, but lacking the energy of a premiere or the stakes of a finale. It leaves fans wondering what’s next in the franchise, which will surely make Paramount happy, but doesn’t stand on its own like the truly great part twos (“The Dark Knight,” “The Empire Strikes Back”).

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ From J.J. Abrams

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new “Star Trek Into Darkness” starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto from J.J. Abrams!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Harry Lennix, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’

  • King and I, The

    CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.

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