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Film News: ‘Birdman’ is Best Picture at 2015 Academy Awards

CHICAGO – The Bird was the word at the 87th Academy Awards, as the film “Birdman” won Best Picture and Alejandro González Iñárrittu won Best Director for the same film. The stellar broadcast was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, and was highlighted by some passionate speeches and song performances.

Film News: ‘Life Itself’ Snub Mars 2015 Oscar Nominations

CHICAGO – In an unprecedented oversight, especially for the film community in Chicago, film critic Roger Ebert’s biography “Life Itself” was snubbed for Best Documentary as the nominations were announced on Jan. 15, 2015 for the 87th Academy Awards. The films “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” tied for most Oscar nominations with nine.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Blu-ray Combo Packs

CHICAGO – In our latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack giveaway, we have 10 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of the comedyA Million Ways to Die in the West” with Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron!

Film Review: High-Level Acting, Broad Themes in ‘Gone Girl’

CHICAGO – How can a sudsy, Lifetime TV Movie-type plot capture the resonance of our current information age? By twisting it by the ears and having gutsy, high-level performances. “Gone Girl” is a marvelous invention of media satire, celebrity culture and the perfect casting of Ben Affleck.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 15 Pairs of Passes to ‘Gone Girl’ With Ben Affleck

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 15 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated mysteryGone Girl” starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike from director David Fincher!

Film Review: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Suffers Because Seth MacFarlane Casts Himself

CHICAGO – A feature-length comedy is a daunting undertaking. But being consistently funny for 2 straight hours is like climbing Mount Everest blindfolded with no arms while taking selfies using your feet.

Film Review: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ Goes in All Directions

CHICAGO – Two observations regarding Seth MacFarlane. One, he is a hilarious writer and voiceover talent. Two, he isn’t as good as a comic leading man, on screen and in live action. Those two elements clash brightly in the overlong but funny “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to Seth MacFarlane’s ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new comedyA Million Ways to Die in the West” starring Seth MacFarlane (“Ted”), Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson!

Film Review: ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’ Wins with Foodimals, Overemphasizes Humans

CHICAGO – I was paying attention to the movie. Correction: I was mostly paying attention to the movie. It was challenging to ignore my angry, empty stomach and fully enjoy the food coma that is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”.

TV Feature: Predictions For the 65th Annual Emmy Award Winners

CHICAGO – The 65th Annual Emmy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will unfold on Sunday night and I’m back for that annual game of guess the winners. More than any other show, the Emmys seemed designed to make those of us who try to figure them out feel stupid.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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