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Film News: CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, Opens April 16, 2015

CIMMfest 2015 logo

CHICAGO – CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, has become one of the fastest growing and buzzworthy Chicago film festivals in recent years. Combining film, tribute events and live performances – and centered in and around the neighborhood of Wicker Park from April 16th through the 19th, 2015, – CIMMfest is not so much a festival as a organic happening.

Film Review: Racial Satire ‘Dear White People’ is Heated, Hilarious

CHICAGO – A new voice has everyone’s attention with the shaking-head comedy “Dear White People,” a necessary “Wake UP!” to a melting pot nation that still needs to get itself together, even if a black president is in the White House.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Spike Lee Joint Collection’ Releases Are Solid Starting Point

25th Hour

Who of our modern filmmakers will justify lavish, career-spanning box sets in the next generation (presuming there is such a thing and we’re not 100% digital)? We’ve seen Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock sets in recent years but who will get the same treatment in ten or twenty years?

Film Review: Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake Merely Echoes Superior Original

After years in development hell, Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s beloved “Oldboy” is finally here. Does it live up to the high expectations set by the original?

Film Review: Spike Lee Returns to Brooklyn in ‘Red Hook Summer’

CHICAGO – “I ain’t pawning my responsibility off as a parent and saying she’s in God’s hands.” What a powerful line. The idea that religion has been used as a crutch, an excuse for communities who preach that God will save their young ones when they need to do their part is a passionate and powerful one.

Blu-ray Review: Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s Timeless ‘Malcolm X’

Malcolm X

CHICAGO – Spike Lee has been getting national buzz again after the Sundance premiere of his controversial “Red Hook Summer” and the ageless Denzel Washington is back in the spotlight as his latest action vehicle, “Safe House,” premieres in theaters on Friday. It seems a perfect time for a Blu-ray release to bring audiences back to one of their career highlights. Over twenty years ago, the two collaborated on their most artistically rewarding venture, the epic “Malcolm X,” a fantastic film that has held up remarkably well, in no small part due to the excellent HD transfer from Warner Bros.

Film News: Spike Lee Goes on Tirade During Q&A at Sundance Film Festival

Spike Lee Sundance

CHICAGO – Apparently, Spike Lee is upset with Hollywood. And if you didn’t know, he made it loud and clear at a Q&A after the first screening ever of his new film “Red Hook Summer,” which premiered Sunday night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The film, which received mixed remarks on Twitter from the audience in attendance, was made by Lee completely independent of a studio.

Film News: Josh Brolin Signs on For Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake

Oldboy

CHICAGO – If a remake of the 2003 Korean film “Oldboy” didn’t look like it was going to happen, it sure does now. After Spike Lee had signed on to direct the Americanized remake a few weeks ago, just yesterday Empire reported that Josh Brolin has signed on to play the lead character.

DVD Review: Spike Lee’s ‘If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise’

If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise DVD

CHICAGO – Perhaps no American artist has chronicled a modern disaster with as much passion and meticulous attention to detail as Spike Lee. His 2006 documentary about the struggles of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” was television at its most vital, provocative, wrenchingly powerful and resoundingly humanistic.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Interstellar

    CHICAGO – Far more marvelous than imperfect, “Interstellar” is the answer for moviegoers who have lost the zeal for massive films, citing a lack of ideas, heart, or general passion for filmmaking. Director Christopher Nolan’s 2014 space odyssey is an event of beauty, with the rare experience of showing viewers something they haven’t seen before.

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