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Exclusive Photos: Comedian Denis Leary’s New Book ‘Why We Don’t Suck’

Denis Leary, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Leave it to acerbic comedian Denis Leary to cut through our times with a new book, “Why We Don’t Suck,” which is subtitled “And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches.” Whether he is the man to stop it all remains to be seen, but he was in Chicagoland in early November to promote the book through Anderson’s Bookshop.

Film Review: Visual Excellence Aside, ‘Coco’ is Just So-So

CHICAGO – “Coco” bears all the visual hallmarks of the Pixar Studio at its best, however its story bears the more recent symptoms of creative exhaustion. In this story, a young boy named Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) aims to follow his heart and pursue music, but toe tapping tunes have been strictly forbidden in his home.

Film Review: Charles Dickens is ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

Man Who Invented Christmas, The

CHICAGO – The story of Ebenezer Scrooge, as told in Charles Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol,” seems to be the one constant that survives the commercialization of the holiday season. The story of Scrooge’s creation is told with expressive sentimentality in “The Man Who Invented Christmas.”

Entertainment News: Teen Idol David Cassidy Dies at 67

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA – He was the heart throb-iest of the teen heart throbs when he came onto the scene in the early 1970s. David Cassidy was the driving force of the manufactured-for-TV pop act The Partridge Family, which provided a soundtrack for their era. Cassidy died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the age of 67, on November 21st, 2017.

Film Review: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Examines Our Violence

CHICAGO - Film is often an expression of our society, either as a depiction of how it really is or how it should be. Few films are as daring as Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which isn’t afraid to show us the state of our society and offer a realistic solution through a grim drama that is as humorous as it is devastating.

Exclusive Photo: Antonio Fargas, Portrayed Huggy Bear on ‘Starsky and Hutch’

Antonio Fargas, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The coolest cat on 1970s TV was Huggy Bear, informant to the cop team of “Starsky and Hutch.” The man who portrayed that fly guy was Antonio Fargas, who also could lay claim as the Godfather of Blaxploitation Films (the run of African American cinema in the late 1960s through the ‘70s). Fargas was honored for his contributions with the Career Achievement Award at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival, Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

Interview, Audio: Director Petra Volpe Issues ‘The Divine Order’

CHICAGO – It is astounding to note that Switzerland did not have the vote for women until 1971. Writer/director Petra Volpe was also astounded at the ignorance of that history, so she set out to create a drama about the event. “The Divine Order” is set in a small Switzerland village, where the winds of change are coming.

Exclusive Photo: Eric Roberts is the F**king Man, as His Podcast Implies

Eric Roberts, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Yep, “Eric Roberts is the F**king Man”! That is the name of the podcast, and the mercurial actor recorded it live in front of an audience at Music Box Theatre in Chicago, as part of their Cinepocalypse Film Festival. Roberts’ filmography includes “The Pope of Greenwich Village” (1984), “Cecil B. Demented” (2000), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “Inherent Vice” (2014).

Film Review: Up Up & Away for ‘Justice League’ From DC Comics

CHICAGO – In the America of truth, justice and comic book movies, the DC brand – featuring hero icons Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – has lagged behind their rivals at Marvel Studios. “Justice League” fills that gap admirably, after the slam-bam summer of Wonder Woman.

Podtalk: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Fall Finale is Baz Poonpiriya’s ‘Bad Genius’ on Nov. 15, 2017

Bad Genius

CHICAGO – The Fall Season Five comes to a close for the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series in Chicago as they facilitate the Midwest Premiere of “Bad Genius” – directed by Nattawut ‘Baz’ Poonpiriya – on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017, at the AMC River East 21 Theatre. Inspired by a true story, the film is about intrigue surrounding a organized ring of test cheaters, procuring answers in advance of high school exams, and running a business associated with that cheating. HollywoodChicago.com got an opportunity for a Podtalk with director Baz Poonpiriya (below). For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Actor Adria Dawn on ‘DorkumentaryLIVE!’ in Chicago from Nov. 15-19, 2017

Adria Dawn

CHICAGO – What began as a web series has evolved to the stage. “DorkumentaryLIVE!” is the pet project of Tarleton/Dawn Productions, a husband (David) and wife (Adria) team that live and work in Chicago. They developed the series in Los Angeles, and after several episodes online decided to adapt it to the stage. “DorkumentaryLIVE!” will run from Wednesday, November 15th through Sunday, November 19th, 2017, at Stage 773 on Belmont Avenue in Chicago (see details below).

Film Review: Authentic Coming-of-Age in Expressive ‘Lady Bird’

CHICAGO – In one of the best American films of 2017, Greta Gerwig went behind the camera to write and direct an autobiographical overview of her Senior Year in high school, within a directionless town and family. The result is enlightening truth, told with laugh-out-loud directness and connective empathy. The film is a total winner.

Film Review: Mustache Has More Than ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

CHICAGO – “Murder On The Orient Express” is a movie that is never quite as interesting as the main character’s mustache. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Agatha Christie’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. While it is a departure from the source novel, Branagh sports silver streak facial hair of audacious eccentricity.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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