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Patrick McDonald

Film Review: Comedy is Humanity in Magnanimous ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Don't Think Twice Front

CHICAGO – Comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is breaking out as a filmmaker, and he adds a deft and emotional touch to a story of an improvisation comedy troupe split apart by change they didn’t expect. That sounds a lot like life, and it’s best to “Don’t Think Twice.”

Film Review: Matt Damon is Fighting Mad in Tense ‘Jason Bourne’

CHICAGO – To come back to a character that everyone thought he had left behind, Matt Damon needed the right creative team. He got it again in co-writer (with Christopher Rouse) and director Paul Greengrass, and together they fashioned a paranoid spy tale in the rat-a-tat “Jason Bourne.”

Interview: Director Matt Weinstein Presents ‘The Gun Equation’ at 2016 Blue Whiskey Indie Fest

Gun Equation, The

CHICAGO – The weekend of July 29th through the 31st is the final three days of the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival in Mount Prospect, IL, and filmmakers from all over the indie sphere have made contributions, including director Matt Weinstein and his new short film project, “The Gun Equation.” For more information about the Blue Whiskey Festival, click here.

Interview: Philosopher King Mike Birbiglia of ‘Don’t Think Twice’

CHICAGO – When comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is in his element, as during the interviews he conducted at The iO Theater in Chicago, he is relaxed and ardently philosophical. He has written and directed a new film, “Don’t Think Twice,” which is about a improvisation comedy troupe, but it’s also about life.

Interview: Actor Paul Dooley on Getting to Portray Dad

Paul Dooley, Part Two

CHICAGO – After he reigned as the father in the classic 1979 film “Breaking Away,” actor Paul Dooley suddenly became everyone’s Dad – and by everyone that meant Molly Ringwald (“Sixteen Candles”), Julia Roberts (“Runaway Bride”) and Helen Hunt (“Mad About You”). He tells all in PART TWO of a comprehensive interview.

Red-Carpet Exclusive Portraits: Woody Allen for ‘Café Society’

CHICAGO – He is one of the most prolific American directors of the modern cinema era, and has also forged a career as stand-up comedian, actor, playwright and screenplay artist. He is Woody Allen, and he walked the Red Carpet at the Chicago History Museum on July 21st, 2016, for his new film ‘Café Society.’

Red-Carpet Video Interviews: ‘Café Society’ Filmmaker Woody Allen

Woody Allen, Cafe Society red carpet

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com presents our red-carpet video coverage of the “Café Society” premiere in Chicago on July 21, 2016. We interview legendary filmmaker Woody Allen along with executive producer Ron Chez and Metropolitan Capital Bancorp Chairman/CEO Michael Rose at the Chicago History Museum.

Film Review: ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’ Too Thin to be Completely Winning

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

CHICAGO – As far as TV shows that fans wish could be movies, the cult hit “Absolutely Fabulous” was high on the list. The adventures of Patsy and Edina, two middle age Brits with an appetite for self medication, has had a dedicated following since it premiered in 1992. Even though there were six full TV seasons, and various reunions, “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” has emerged.

Film Review: Old Hollywood Glamour in Woody Allen’s ‘Café Society’

CHICAGO – In the 1930s, the contrast between the world of Hollywood movie sparkle and the rest of a Depression-era America was as different as peasants and kings. Writer/director Woody Allen captures this dichotomy with an East Coast/West Coast tale of one family in “Café Society.”

Slideshow: Ethan Hawke, A-List Authors Highlight 2016 Chicago Printers Row Lit Fest

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Actor Ethan Hawke for his new graphic novel, ‘Indeh.’

CHICAGO – Actor Ethan Hawke continues his plethora of vocations with the “hawkeing” of “Indeh,” his new graphic novel (co-authored with Greg Ruth) at the 2016 Printers Row Lit Fest in June. He was the celebrity spotlight, but the festival also featured the heavy hitters of the literary world, including notables Terry McMillan (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) and R.L.“Goosebumps” Stine.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Harry Lennix, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – The stage play that Harry Lennix is in town to direct – “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red” – is in its last weekend, and is giving the actor/director the best notices of the theater part in his long and successful career. For more information about the play, and ticket availability, click here.

  • 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.’

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