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Patrick McDonald

Film Review: Son Can’t Rise Beyond His Fate in Emotional ‘Mommy’

Mommy

CHICAGO – One of the odd unexplainable quirks of human existence is the shaping, variations and thoughts of our inner being. The physicality in the structure of the grey matter of the brain, with the slightest imperfection, can make the difference in a lifetime of behavior and perspective. Sometimes it can work out, and sometimes different consequences are created or destroyed, like the story of Diane Després in “Mommy.”

Film Review: Story Choices Aside, Heart Matters in ‘Black or White’

CHICAGO – As race issues continue in the news, in the wake of Ferguson and “I Can’t Breathe,” the movies exhibit an extraordinary piece of timing with the new film “Black or White.” Oscar winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer participate in a story of family and healing.

Interview: Director Kevin Macdonald Gets Under His ‘Black Sea’

Kevin Macdonald of 'Black Sea'

CHICAGO – The old fashioned paranoid thriller lives, with the release of ‘Black Sea,’ a submarine movie that combines elements of the silent running of those underwater tin cans with the motivation of finding treasure – in this case Nazi gold – that has been buried where it sunk 70 years ago. The director of this film, Kevin Macdonald, creates a nail biting tension in the will-they-or-won’t-they survival mode of the British and Russian members of the submarine’s crew, led by Captain Robinson (Jude Law).

Theater Review: Brown Paper Box Co. Stages Pointed ‘Spike Heels’

Spike Heels Stage Play

CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

Interview: Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie & Director Mike Binder Ponder ‘Black or White’

CHICAGO – Kevin Costner has come to represent a particular brand of Americana, for his roles in films like “Field of Dreams,” “Dances with Wolves” “JFK” and recently as Pa Kent in “Man of Steel.” His latest film is “Black or White.”

Theater Review: ‘The Book of Merman’ Should Satisfy Both Sets of Fans

Book of Merman, The

CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

Film Review: Story Won’t Go All the Way in ‘The Boy Next Door’

CHICAGO – There was a different kind of vibe coming from the thriller “The Boy Next Door,” different than what is expected when hearing “Jennifer Lopez as teacher caught in a scandal with a student.” But for every piece of original thinking, there was a fear of making it too different.

Interview: Actor Trai Byers of Film ‘Selma,’ TV’s ‘Empire’

CHICAGO – The excellent film “Selma” focuses on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But just as important as King were the marchers from supporting civil rights societies, such as the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and their leaders like James Forman, portrayed in the film by Trai Byers.

Interview: Chicagoan Eric McCoy, Justus Meyer of McCoy|Meyer Productions

Justus Meyer, Eric McCoy

CHICAGO – When HollywoodChicago.com last talked to Eric McCoy, he was a fresh-out-of-film-school director with a notable short work – “Carpe Millennium” – ready to hit the festival circuit, and a different name, Eric Bednarowicz. About a year later, Eric moved to Los Angeles, took his middle name as his new moniker, and teamed up with Justus Meyer to form the new production company McCoy|Meyer. Ironically, Dictionary Films of Chicago just announced that McCoy|Meyer of Los Angeles will join their team of production experts here.

Film Feature: The Top 10 Celebrity Photos of 2014, By Joe Arce

CHICAGO – In a year where shoots with perpetual photo fashionistas like Cindy Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker still failed to crack the Top Ten list of biggest celebrity photo-ops, you know 2014 was a very good year for HollywoodChicago.com and myself, Joe Arce, as Senior Staff Photographer.

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  • Spike Heels Stage Play

    CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).

  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

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