The Thing

Film News: Experience the 70mm Film Fest at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, Sep.14-27, 2018

70mm Film Festival

CHICAGO – When a filmmaker creates a new work, they use the templates that are available to them, past and present. As films become more digitized and portable, Chicago’s historic Music Box Theater reminds us of the one format that filmmakers used (and still use). The 2018 70mm Film Festival runs from September 14th through the 27th. For more details and tickets, click here.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Thing’ Prequel Almost Works But Misses Paranoia of Original

The Thing

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is a brilliant study in paranoia. It is more than a mere horror film. The remake/prequel, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a decent horror film but the comparison to the classic original and some serious mistakes in the final act make “decent” not good enough by association.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Remake Fails in Every Way

Conan the Barbarian

CHICAGO – There were a disturbing number of remakes in 2011 that failed to justify their existence, including “The Thing,” “Footloose,” and, perhaps worst of all, Marcus Nispel’s “Conan the Barbarian.” The man behind the equally worthless remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th” has carved out his own niche of dubious filmmaking decisions that make the original look like a masterpiece in comparison. The first “Conan” worked almost entirely because of the star power brought to it by Ah-nuld. The words star power and Jason Momoa have never been used together in a sentence before now.

Film News: ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ Sets Box Office Record With Weekend Win

Paranormal Activity 3

CHICAGO – “Paranormal Activity 3” made record breaking audiences scream all weekend long and hauled in enough money to not only be named box office king for this weekend, but for all time from any September/October fall release.

Film News: ‘Real Steel’ Wins Second Round at Weekend Box Office

Real Steel with Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Dakota Goyo (main page)

CHICAGO- In the battle of boxing robots and dancing teens, the robots have won in a split decision. In its second weekend in theaters, “Real Steel” has won back-to-back box office bouts, winning this past weekend by a very close scorecard.

Film Review: Unsettling Paranoia, Special Effects Showcase ‘The Thing’

CHICAGO – With Halloween approaching, what will truly scare us at the cinema this month? One strong entry is this weekend’s “The Thing,” the third remake of a wild and mysterious monster movie. It combines a European-style approach to paranoia with some truly unique monster effects.

Film News: ‘Real Steel’ Wins Weekend Box Office Bout

Real Steel Box Office

CHICAGO – The new futuristic boxing film “Real Steel” rocked and socked its way to the box office crown this weekend, dethroning last week’s winner, “Dolphin Tale.” The new film, starring Hugh Jackman, brought in an estimated $27.3 million.

Film Review: John Carpenter Returns With Mediocre ‘The Ward’

CHICAGO – John Carpenter’s “The Ward” would make for a satisfying episode of the now-canceled “Masters of Horror” and might therefore be an interesting rental someday but it doesn’t live up to the pedigree of its once-brilliant director and ultimately disappoints regardless of the name above the title. After a decade away from the big screen, Carpenter proves he still has his legendary skill with tension and the film features a few strong performances but the script is a generic, derivative mess.

Blu-Ray Review: John Carpenter’s Incredible ‘Escape From New York’

Escape From New York

CHICAGO – Our younger readers may find it hard to believe that John Carpenter was once one of the most inspiring filmmakers in the world. He’s still one of the truly influential voices of the ’70s and ’80s despite the tragedy that has been his career for the last couple decades. Save for the occasional flare-up (“Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns,” “In the Mouth of Madness”), Carpenter’s work has barely resembled his prime. For proof, check out the still-amazing and timeless “Escape From New York,” now available on Blu-ray for the first time.

Blu-Ray Review: Snowbound Thriller ‘Whiteout’ Stinks Like a Dead Tauntaun

Whiteout Blu Ray

CHICAGO – Thrillers set in a frigid landscape are nothing new. Just look at “The Thing,” or “The Shining,” or heck, even “The Empire Strikes Back.” Like outer space, a frozen wasteland is an efficiently isolated location where there’s little hope of escape from whatever malevolent forces lurk there. In the case of “Whiteout,” the malevolent forces are the filmmakers and the helpless victims are us.

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  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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