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Patrick McDonald

Exclusive Portrait: ‘Grumpy Cat’ Gains a Voice in Lifetime TV Movie

Grumpy Cat, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – What began as an internet meme has become a celebrity sensation. “Grumpy Cat,” AKA Tardar Sauce the cat, has built a career for herself and her owners as a magazine cover girl and brand name. Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) has just been named as the voice of Grumpy Cat for an upcoming Lifetime TV Movie, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” The famous feline recently appeared at Barnes & Noble Old Orchard in Skokie, Illinois, to promote her new book “The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations from Grumpy Cat.”

Film Review: Animated ‘The Boxtrolls’ Has British Comic Tone

CHICAGO – Monty Python, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Mr. Bean, Alan Partridge – all are examples of British comedy, that off-kilter “are you in on the joke?” point of view. That comic tone has arrived in an animated film, within the stop motion world of “The Boxtrolls.”

Interview: Directors of ‘The Boxtrolls’ on Their Animated Life

CHICAGO – How do you interpret an odd British storybook called “Here Be Monsters!” into a mainstream animated film? By taking the main characters – called ‘The Boxtrolls’ – and putting them up front. Animation veterans and co-directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi got the assignment, and deliver the goods.

Interviews: Red-Carpet Opening Night for Reeling32 Film Festival

CHICAGO – Reeling32, the Chicago International LGBT Film Festival, had a sensational Opening Night on Thursday, September 18th, 2014. The festival began with “Boy Meets Girl,” featuring Michelle Hendley in her debut performance, and directed by Eric Schaeffer. Both star and director attended the Opening Night.

Film News: Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com to Host ‘Breaking Away’

Breaking Away

CHICAGO – “Breaking Away,” the classic Oscar-winning film of 1979, will be shown on the big screen at Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton, Ill. – on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014, at 7:30pm (click on the link below to purchase tickets). It will be hosted by Film Critic Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.

Film Review: Lives Interact in ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them’

CHICAGO – There was something blank within “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them,” although it dealt with the issues of loss, family and reconciliation. The all star cast, including Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and William Hurt, add their performing spins to the story.

Film Review: Don’t Say That You Love Me in Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’

Tusk

CHICAGO – The headline is a quote (“Don’t say that you love me!”) from Fleetwood Mac’s song “Tusk,” which Kevin Smith gratefully includes in his film of the same name. The movie is either the most outrageous audacity of the year or a blatant middle finger from Smith to the audience. You decide.

Film Review: ‘The Maze Runner’ a Cut Above Teenage Dystopia Genre

CHICAGO – Yes, the future world of teenage bleakness, so popular in “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” now has its own genre. “The Maze Runner” is an excellent entry, and gets over its stilted dialogue and scary monsters by adding in surprises and atmospheric mystery.

Film News: Opening Night for Chicago’s LGBT International Film Festival Reeling32 on Sept. 18, 2014

Reeling 32

CHICAGO – The second oldest LGBT Film Festival is right here is Chicago, as “Reeling32” moves up a couple of months from their previous year November start date. Opening Night is September 18th, 2014, and the fest begins at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, with the provocative “Boy Meets Girl,” directed by Eric Schaeffer and featuring Michelle Henley, Michael Welch and Alexandra Turshen.

Interview: Young Actors Seek Their Reward in ‘The Maze Runner’

CHICAGO – What is wrong with our future? The Young Adult category of future fiction seems to think we’re all doomed, what with “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and now “The Maze Runner” film adaptations. The latest “Maze” take is pretty darn good, though, thanks to actors Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    CHICAGO – With J.J. Abrams not involved with the creation of a third “Star Trek” movie, a compendium of his work within the franchise only seems fitting. Loaded with special features but only a few new ones, this disc set is a strong choice for those who don’t already have both entertaining blockbusters in their collection.

  • References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

    CHICAGO – In “References to Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot,” now at the Den Theatre in Chicago through September 7th, the intersect of author José Rivera and the strong cast of actors make for a formidable partnership. Committed and passionate interpreters take both the soft and edgy parts of the narrative to task.

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