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Spirited Away

Film Review: Wondrous Last Act for Hayao Miyazaki in ‘The Wind Rises’

The Wind Rises

CHICAGO – The master animator and film legend Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”) announced his retirement after his latest film, “The Wind Rises.” He is often called “Japan’s Walt Disney,” but there is more to him then that, a soul and a mystery that is revealed in the stages of his animated art, and his contribution to artistic culture will continue to influence for generations to come. “The Wind Rises” is nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2014 Academy Awards.

Film News: Patrick McDonald, CFCA Present ‘Spirited Away’ at Gene Siskel Film Center on July 13, 2012

Spirited Away

CHICAGO – The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago are teaming up to present “Castles in the Sky,” a 15-film series of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, highlighting the exquisite work of Ghibli animator Hayao Miyazaki. As part of the series, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will introduce and lead a post-film discussion of Miyazaki’s classic, “Spirited Away,” July 13th at 6pm.

Film News: Gene Siskel Film Center, CFCA to Hold ‘Castles in the Sky’ Retrospective

Castles in the Sky Retrospective

CHICAGO – Fans of the legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and his magnificent Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, have a cinematic treat in store this summer. The Chicago Film Critics Association has teamed up with the Gene Siskel Film Center at 164 N. State St. to present “Castles in the Sky”: a 15-part retrospective showcasing the studio’s best work to date.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs to ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’

The Secret World of Arrietty combo pack

CHICAGO – In our latest animated edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the home entertainment release of “The Secret World of Arrietty” from the studio that brought you the Oscar-winning best animated feature “Spirited Away” and “Ponyo”!

Decalogue: HollywoodChicago.com Evaluates Films From 2000 to 2009

Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill Vol. 1"

CHICAGO – In developing Top Ten film lists every year, the “critic” tends to move on and simply forget what they said in previous annual evaluations. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com looks back, with less fear than expected.

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  • Ride Along with Ice Cube

    CHICAGO – Few figures have had less of an exciting domination of the world than Kevin Hart. In the past few years, the comedian has skyrocketed to leading fixture in the comedy scene, creating hit scripts out of films like “Think Like A Man” and “About Last Night,” while taking victory laps in his lacking stand-up features like “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain”. The big problem is that these projects don’t justify his comic potential.

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

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