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Podtalk: Filmmakers Bill Holderman & Erin Simms Join ‘Book Club’

CHICAGO – If your impression of a book club is one of staid pseudo-intellectuals creating pithy symbolism out of nothingness, then your impression is about to change. Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen star in the new comedy “Book Club,” co-written by Erin Simms and director Bill Holderman.

Film Review: Formula Works Well in Hilarious ‘Deadpool 2’

CHICAGO – We could all use some laughs, and “Deadpool 2” blessedly delivers. The meta superhero Deadpool – who exists both as a anti-hero and actor playing him – provides the wisecracks in the midst of the mayhem he experiences, and entertains in a way that other comic book movies wish they could be.

Film News: CLOSING NIGHT of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema is May 16, 2018

2018 APUC Closing Night

CHICAGO – Season Six of Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema has been superior, and definitely ranks as one of their best. After showing the finest contemporary films of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and India, Hong Kong is saved for the Closing Night Film on May 16th, 2018. “Tomorrow is Another Day” is the English title, and it was directed by Chan Tai-Lee and features Ling Man-Lung. Chan and Ling will appear on behalf of the film at the AMC River East 21 Theatre in downtown Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

Festival Feature: Immersive Virtual Reality at 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK CITY – Every year, the evolution of story experience is on display at the Tribeca Film Festival, and its popularity continues to escalate. The “Virtual Arcade,” which was at the festival hub in the Tribeca neighborhood, featured Virtual Reality (VR), interactive storytelling and immersive experiences.

Festival Feature: The Films of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

2018 Tribeca Film Festival 2

NEW YORK CITY – The 17th Tribeca Film Festival wrapped a couple weeks ago (April 29th, 2018) and the award winning films of the festival have been named. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com was there for the first week of Tribeca, and files his personal best of the films that he experienced.

Podtalk: Programs Manager Ana Wright on Opening of New ‘Chicago Filmmakers’ Home

Chicago Filmmakers

CHICAGO – One of the gems of the local cinema scene is the organization known as Chicago Filmmakers. Their 43 year old mission? To make the world of filmmaking available to anyone who wants to learn, thereby allowing new and diverse voices to emerge. Chicago Filmmakers recently moved into their ultimate home, a converted fire station in the Edgewater neighborhood, which is ideally located and suited for any local resident to learn the nuts and bolts of moviemaking, or to take in their screen offerings. Ana Wright is the Programs Manager for the nonprofit center.

Film Review: Melissa McCarthy is the Charming ‘Life of the Party’

CHICAGO – Melissa McCarthy is a comedic force to be reckoned with, able to wring laughs improbably out of the stingiest of material. She always manages to find the funny, which helps elevate everyone around her, and so she slips easily in the durable friendly constructs of the campus comedy in “Life Of The Party.”

Film News: Chicago Critics Film Festival Closing Day/Night Line-up for May 10, 2018

2018 Chicago Film Critics Festival

CHICAGO – The 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF), the only fest curated by film critics in the country, is finishing up with a rousing line-up of cinema leading to the Closing Night Spotlight. “Eighth Grade” will close the 6th annual fest – and although the film is sold out – rush tickets could be available at the fest’s location, Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. Get all the information by clicking here.

Film Review: Strange Story of ‘Disobedience’ is Constant Distraction

CHICAGO – The director Sebastían Lelio is no stranger to oddball human stories. His 2017 film, “A Fantastic Woman” – the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film – was a one-of-a-kind but amazingly poignant story of identity. His latest, “Disobedience,” mines the same human territory with lesser results.

Podtalk: Jerry Vasilatos on May 8, 2018, Opening Registration for Chicago 48 Hour Film Project

2018 48 Hour Film Project

CHICAGO – If you ever had a hankering to get a film onto the big screen, the 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) is your opportunity. The short-movie-creating competition is coming back to Chicago for the 14th straight year, and Jerry Vasilatos is the producer for the 4th year. The registration period has opened on May 8th, 2018, and will continue through July 3rd. For complete details, click here.

Podtalk: Filmmaker Clare Cooney on ‘Runner’ at Chicago Critics Film Festival, May 6, 2018

Runner/Clare Cooney

CHICAGO – When a notable filmmaker debut takes place, the cinema universe takes notice. Clare Cooney debuted her short film “Runner” on the festival circuit in 2017, and won Best USA Short Film at the Fairhope (Alabama) Film Festival. She brings the made-in-Chicago short back to its city of origin, as “Runner” screens as part of the 6th Chicago Critics Film Festival on Sunday, May 6th, 2018, part of “CCFF Shorts Program #1.” For details and ticket purchase info, click here.

Exclusive Photos: Natalie Morales of ‘The Today Show’ on Cookbook ‘At Home with Natalie’

Natalie Morales, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Natalie Morales is the West Coast news anchor of NBC-TV’s “The Today Show,” the host of “Access Hollywood” and a contributing correspondent to “Dateline NBC” and the “NBC Nightly News.” Somehow, she also has time to be a superior home cook, and shared her recipes recently during a stop at Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange (Illinois), promoting her cookbook “At Home with Natalie.”

Film Review: Charlize Theron in ‘Tully’ Turns Mom Into Martyr

CHICAGO – “Tully” is a deeply weird motherhood fantasy snuck inside the friendly-but-distancing screenwriting constructs of another pseudo ironic story by Diablo Cody. Charlize Theron plays Margo, a mother of two kids with a third due any day, struggling with the sacrifices she’s made for motherhood.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Has anybody in show business had more “comebacks” than Cher… or if you added her many last names Cher Sarkisian La Piere Bono Allman? All of the triumphs and downturns are shoehorned into “The Cher Show,” now in Chicago in a pre-Broadway run through July 15, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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