CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – The old man as macho action hero trend has finally calcified. If you haven’t seen either of the two previous “Expendables” pictures – this is definitely not the place to start. Sylvester Stallone’s creaky franchise hits rock bottom.
CHICAGO – I’ll say this for “Transformers: Age Of Extinction,” it’s the most tolerable Transformers movie Michael Bay has ever made. The substitution of Mark Wahlberg for Shia LaBeouf is a big part of that – and for its first two hours at least, Bay realizes less is more.
CHICAGO – Among the Transforming machines in the fourth installment of the “Transformers” series are human actors, poised to react to the giant robot madness around them. Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor are newcomers to the series, and both are making major franchise film debuts in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 pairs of advance-screening IMAX movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new film “Transformers: Age of Extinction” starring Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz!
CHICAGO – The so-called “legend of Oz” will cease to be legendary if they keep producing lame re-engineerings of the 1939 classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Close on the heels of last year’s dud, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” comes the dully rendered “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.”
CHICAGO – We didn’t see this one coming. Starz has canceled their most highly-acclaimed drama “Boss,” starring Kelsey Grammer, Golden Globe-winner less than a year ago. The show had a number of critics on its side but the ratings never matched the press and Starz has decided not to re-elect the program for a third year.
CHICAGO – The Golden Globe Award-winning “Boss” returns tonight for a second season of riveting drama based on our favorite city’s foundation of dirty politics. I thought the first season was strong but drifted a bit at times, lacking the focus of truly great drama.
CHICAGO – Starz’s “Boss” doesn’t so much reimagine life in politics in Chicago as Shakespearian drama as it does being in a mob family. Mayor Thomas Kane (Kelsey Grammar) is not too distinguishable from Tony Soprano in the way he manipulates those around him and in how betrayal could not only mean the end of your career but the end of your life (the First Lady of the Windy City describes politics as “money, muscle, and the neutralization of one’s enemies.”)
CHICAGO – The 48th Annual Hugo Television Awards took place last Thursday, April 19th, and the honoree for the career achievement award at the event was Kelsey Grammer, best known for portraying Frasier Crane on the series “Cheers” and “Frasier,” and currently portraying Mayor Tom Kane in the Starz Network cable drama “Boss.” Among the attendees paying tribute to Grammer was his long-time costar, John Mahoney, who played Frasier’s father on the sitcom.
CHICAGO – The Van Peebles name has had a long and historic contribution to the history of movies from the 1970s to today. Director Mario Van Peebles has extended a tradition of filmmaker credibility that began with his father Melvin’s breakthrough with “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” (1971) and continues with Mario’s recent release, “We the Party.”