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Patrick McDonald

Film Review: ‘Papa Hemingway in Cuba’ is Sadly Inauthentic

CHICAGO – Getting the opportunity to trod upon the very ground that Ernest Hemingway once trod must have been a heady experience for the producers of “Papa Hemingway in Cuba.” But location simply isn’t enough if such a literary legend is to come to life.

Film News: Asian Pop-Up Cinema Presents ‘I Am a Monk’ in Chicago on May 4, 2016

I Am a Monk

CHICAGO – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema Series, spotlighting a variety of diverse Asian films, continues its 2016 season with the film, “I Am a Monk,” directed by Yukinori Makabe. Makabe-san will make an appearance at the screening, beginning at 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016, at the AMC River East Theater in Chicago.

Film Review: Susan Sarandon Plays Smother Mother in ‘The Meddler’

CHICAGO – Some mothers are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them. The Mom of “The Meddler” – portrayed with precise intuition by Susan Sarandon – is of the greatness-of-the-future variety, by simply evolving to be herself. Rose Byrne as daughter Lori tags along.

Interview: Director Lorene Scafaria Presents ‘The Meddler’

CHICAGO – The combining of icon Susan Sarandon and a “smother mother” from New Jersey is unbeatable, especially under the sure hand of writer/director Lorene Scafaria. The distinctive voice that brought us “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,’ now is taking on mother/daughter relationships in “The Meddler.”

Film Review: Tom Hanks Delivers in ‘A Hologram for the King’

CHICAGO – Tom Hanks is using his golden years as a vehicle to stretch his performance skills, and his role as a sort of “Death of a Salesman” spin in “A Hologram for the King” gives him an opportunity to keep stretching. The stylish film floats within the focus on his character, and he delivers.

Slideshow: Exclusive Portraits from 2016 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo

| Image 1 of 4 |
Edward James Olmos of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ ‘Stand and Deliver.’

CHICAGO – The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) was recently in town, and the geek world was in heaven. For three days, the best in the comic book, entertainment, TV and movie world were gathered at the McCormick Place convention center on the near south side.

Theater Review: ‘New Country’ is Original, Exuberant & Poignant

New Country

CHICAGO – The Country Music industry has become as huge as any category of music entertainment. So Mark Roberts, the creator of the TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” has fashioned a boisterous new play about the machinations of that genre of music industry, and gave it the plaintive title of “New Country.”

Film Review: ‘Elvis & Nixon’ is a True Story That’s Fit for a King

CHICAGO – “When two great saints meet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Paul McCartney of John and Yoko. Well that also applies to “Elvis & Nixon.” Their meeting, albeit brief, has layers of meaning for our times – and their time – and the movie with the “E&N” title exposes that meaning with humor and grace.

Film News: 2016 Chicago Latino Film Festival Closing Night on April 21 with ‘No Kids’ From Argentina

32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival

CHICAGO – It has been two weeks of films and culture for the 32nd Chicago Latino Film Festival, but all great things come to a conclusion. Thursday, April 21st, 2016, will be the final film gathering of the festival, at the Chicago History Museum, with a showing of “No Kids,” from Argentina.

Film News: Music Box Theatre Hosts Chicago Fashion Show by Elle Val on April 21, 2016

Rihanna in 'The First Monday in May'

CHICAGO – Hot off the PERFECT SCORE review for (click the title) The First Monday in May comes a fashion event at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago, on April 21st, 2016, It will be the first time the theatre will host a fashion show – in conjunction with a screening of the film – and it will be curated by Elle Val, an online Chicago boutique.

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  • New Country

    CHICAGO – The Country Music industry has become as huge as any category of music entertainment. So Mark Roberts, the creator of the TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” has fashioned a boisterous new play about the machinations of that genre of music industry, and gave it the plaintive title of “New Country.”

  • Romeo and Juliet, Lyric Opera of Chicago

    CHICAGO – The familiar story of the “star crossed lovers” by William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet,” has been given as many interpretations over the years as there are stars in the sky. The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the operatic French version, with a bright and venerate staging.

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