Vera Farmiga

Film Review: Melodrama Mire in ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

CHICAGO – Everyone’s favorite city-flattening radioactive reptile, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” gets stuck in a mire of third-rate-TV-network domestic melodrama in this disappointing follow up to the thrilling 2014 reboot. But before I roar about the many ways this misbegotten miscreant messes up, let’s throw a few pebbles of praise.

On-Set Photo: Dale Robinette Clicks a Pic for ‘The Front Runner’

Front Runner, The, photo by Dale Robinette

CHICAGO – When we first met photographer Dale Robinette (click here) he had just taken one of the most iconic movie photos of the last ten years. Well, his work as “Unit Still Photographer” goes on, and he recently contacted HollywoodChicago.com to share one of his on-set photos from “The Front Runner,” which opened in Chicago last week.

Podtalk: Director Jason Reitman Votes for ‘The Front Runner’

CHICAGO – The year 1988 marked a border crossing in the way that the media covered national candidates. Senator Gary Hart seemed destined for president, until a extramarital relationship with Donna Rice became the focus of media attention. Director Jason Reitman tells the story in a new film, “The Front Runner.”

Photos: 54th Chicago International Film Festival Ends with Ruth E. Carter & ‘The Front Runner’

Ruth E Carter, Jason Reitman photos by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – That’s a wrap. The 54th Chicago International Film Festival ended on Sunday October 21st, 2018, with a screening of “The Front Runner,” directed by Jason Reitman (who made an appearance). Also on Saturday, the Black Perspectives event was a career overview of Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter, who contributed to “Black Panther” and “Selma,” among many others.

Film News: CLOSING NIGHT film of 54th Chicago International Film Festival is ‘The Front Runner’

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CHICAGO – It all comes down to the last night, and what a closer on Sunday, October 21st, 2018 for the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF). “The Front Runner,” featuring Hugh Jackman and J.K. Simmons, and directed by Jason Reitman (“Juno”), will bring down the curtain on the Fest.

Podtalk: Director Shana Feste & Actor Lewis MacDougall Establish Their ‘Boundaries’

Boundaries

CHICAGO – Combining an intimate, personal story with a superstar cast, writer/director Shana Feste realized a semi-autobiographical journey in her new film “Boundaries.” The cast includes Oscar winners Christopher Plummer and Vera Farmiga, as well as Lewis MacDougall (“A Monster Calls”), Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Lloyd AND Peter Fonda in a road trip picture that reunites ne’er do well Dad Jack (Plummer) with his desperate-to-connect-with-him daughter Laura (Farmiga).

Film Review: ‘The Commuter’ is a Fun, Butt-Kicking Good Time

CHICAGO – Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a good old Liam Neeson ass-kicker… and “The Commuter” fits that bill. It asks, damn near requires, you to leave your brain safely at the station, but it moves too fast that you don’t have much time to think about it. It’s ludicrous, dumb and fun entertainment for January.

Film Review: Inauthentic ‘The Judge’ Guilty of a Stale Confrontation

CHICAGO – Here comes “The Judge,” here comes “The Judge.” That 1960s catchphrase gets new meaning in the film featuring Robert Downey Jr. and veteran Robert Duvall, in a angry generational face-off that makes little sense and provides a stiff courtroom drama that felt like bad TV.

TV Review: Season Two Proves That ‘Bates Motel’ is Still the Place to Check In

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CHICAGO – The theme of Season Two is ‘unraveling’. Lies unravel, best laid plans unravel, loyalties unravel and most of all Norma and Norman Bates unravel in increasingly spectacular fashion. This pulpy re-imagining of the Bates family history is easily one of the best things on TV and the premiere episode of Season two isn’t afraid to take advantage of how attached audiences have become to the Twitchy pair and their assorted and very troubled friends and neighbors.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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