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Entertainment News: Chandler Riggs of ‘The Walking Dead’ at Walker Stalker Con in Chicago From May 28-29, 2016

Chandler Riggs, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – It’s promoted as “for fans, by fans” and the Walker Stalker Con delivers the goods for those admirers of all things zombie, horror and cult based. The celebrities – including Chandler Riggs of AMC Network’s “The Walking Dead” – the exclusive talks/panels, the photo ops and the floor “walkers” themselves, will create an atmosphere of fun and dread at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., on Saturday and Sunday, May 28th and 29th, 2016.

Interview: Director Rebecca Miller Executes ‘Maggie’s Plan’

CHICAGO – Quirky Greta Gerwig is at it again (being quirky), and this time she’s looking for solutions in “Maggie’s Plan.” The made-in-New-York-City film has overtures of Woody Allen, combined with “Crossing Delancey.” Director Rebecca Miller (“Personal Velocity”) produces a valentine to all her influences and settings.

Film Review: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ is a Marvel Entertainment Gem

CHICAGO – In doing “comic book” movies right, Marvel Entertainment has established a formula of decent back stories, complex villainy and probable scenarios. In continuing to tell a history of the second half of the 20th Century in “X-Men Apocalypse,” they also add a historical parallel universe that works.

Interviews: Michael Peña, Craig Robinson & Ira Sachs at 2016 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – The Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) keeps rolling, and it’s a blockbuster so far. Actors Michael Peña and Craig Robinson, along with director Ira Sachs, made appearances on behalf of their films “War on Everything,” “Morris from America” and “Little Men.” The festival runs through May 26th, 2016.

Film News: 5 Perks of Chicago Critics Film Festival, With Closing Night on May 26, 2016

CHICAGO – One of the greatest film festivals of the year is curated by the Chicago cinema critics you know and love…so the films themselves are spectacular. The 4th Annual Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) is ongoing at the historic Music Box Theatre in Chicago through May 26th, 2016. The closing night film is “Operator.”

Film Review: Pointless Trip Back to ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’

CHICAGO – The original “Neighbors” was a funny enough movie, that still boasted at least a couple of big laughs. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” only manages the occasional chuckle here and there. As far as big budget studio comedy sequels go, it’s not as bad as “The Hangover 2.” It’s more in line with “Ghostbusters 2”.

Interview: Ric Addy, Owner of Chicago’s Shake, Rattle & Read, on Closing the Business

Ric Addy

CHICAGO – The term “throwback” is bantered about with such regularity these days that it loses its meaning. An authentic throwback, however, is the eclectic pop culture store “Shake, Rattle & Read,” which closes its doors at the end of business Saturday, May 21st, 2016. The outlet, an Uptown neighborhood mainstay, has been owned by the same family for 50 years. Current owner Ric Addy is ready to say goodbye to all that.

Film News: ‘Here Comes the Videofreex’ Panel Talk at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center on May 19, 2016

Here Comes the Videofreex

CHICAGO – What made the 1960s the petri dish for the counterculture had to do with many of that movement’s participants trying new things in the “underground.” When Sony released its first home video capability in 1968, many like-minded individuals – who wanted to use the technology to gather alternative news – set out to change the world. The result is a new documentary, “Here Comes the Videofreex.” The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago will offer a premiere screening and panel discussion on May 19th, 2016. For details, click here.

Interview: Director Whit Stillman Celebrates ‘Love & Friendship’

CHICAGO – Say the name Whit Stillman in certain cinema circles, and a rush of admiration soon follows. The director made a name for himself with his debut film “Metropolitan’ (1990), and followed with the same emotional pallette in “Barcelona” (1994). He is back with an adaptation of a Jane Austin novel, entitled “Love & Friendship.”

Interview: Director Raza Siddiqui on ‘We Could Happen,’ Premiering on May 17, 2016

We Could Happen - Raza Siddiqui

CHICAGO – Raza Siddiqui is a “can do” director, who not only continues his own proficiency in filmmaking, but supports all Chicago films by presenting and participating in local film showcases. He has completed his first feature film – “We Could Happen” – and it will have its premiere on May 17th, 2016, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago. For details, click here.

Interview: Sophia Wong Boccio of Asian Pop-Up Cinema on Closing-Night Gala on May 20, 2016

Asian Pop Up Cinema 2016 Logo

CHICAGO – One of the gems of the Chicago film scene began last year, and is successfully finishing its second season. The Asian Pop-Up Film Festival is the invention of its founder, Sophia Wong Boccio, a Hong Kong native who has lived all over the world, but never forgot her background in film, rooted from her parents. With that passion, she began the festival to share her vast knowledge of films from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, and expand access to them in Chicago.

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    CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.

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