CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – One of the truest aphorisms ever uttered is that “you can take a person out of a small town, but you can’t take the small town out of them.” Veteran novelist, TV/film writer and now director Adriana Trigiani took that eternal truth and created a film tribute to her heritage in “Big Stone Gap” (2015). Loyola University in Chicago will have a special screening of the film, with an appearance by Ms. Trigiani afterward (via Skype), on Monday, February 8th, 2016 (details below).
CHICAGO – Chris Rock isn’t a huge writer/director, but when he does make a film, it’s an event to consider. For example, he made black president tale “Head of State” long before then-senator Barack Obama was even considered for the real-life role, and whether behind the stand-up mic or in an interview, he’s a voice to be reckoned with.
CHICAGO – Chris Rock wants you to take him seriously, so he has made a comedy with inconsistent laughs, and a nod towards the weird fishbowl lives that today’s celebrities endure. It’s a rare film where the last part is stronger than the first few acts, a mishmash that is “Top Five.”
CHICAGO (Exclusive!) – “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” mania is back with a new live-action film that opens on Aug. 8, 2014. To capture the fanfare, HollywoodChicago.com was on the scene on July 30, 2014 for the early premiere of the new film at Hollywood Blvd. Cinema in the Chicago suburb of Woodridge.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 100 pairs of advance-screening suburban movie passes up for grabs to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” with Megan Fox and Will Arnett! There will be a photo booth, music and giveaways at this event!
CHICAGO – Kate Hudson portrays a dying woman in “A Little Bit of Heaven,” and the film is so annoying that her extinguishment can’t come fast enough. The film insults both living and dying, and virtually everything in between, and brings along Lucy Punch, Kathy Bates, Gael Garciá Bernal, Peter Dinklage and Whoopi Goldberg for the funeral.
CHICAGO – Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 and became a highly-acclaimed film just two years later from what was then-seen as an unlikely directorial choice in Steven Spielberg. Despite the controversy, the film went on to be nominated for a stunning eleven Academy Awards and is now one of the first Spielberg works to get the HD upgrade.
CHICAGO – Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” was a landmark event in 1974, giving voice to a segment of society rarely seen on the stage. It took 34 years for a filmmaker to tackle this remarkable work in film form and Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” retains some of the inherent power of it source and features some strong performances in the process but never finds the narrative cohesion needed to translate it to modern movie audiences.
CHICAGO – The expansive and intuitive prose poetry of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” comes to life in Tyler Perry’s film adaptation “For Colored Girls.” Thandie Newton portrays Tangie (color Orange) and saturates the character with a precise truth.
CHICAGO – Robert Altman’s “The Player” is one of the more important and influential films in the life of this film critic. It came out at a time when the film industry was in a bit of a slump and stood out as an original, creative, mesmerizing vision that I feel helped usher in a period of such productivity in the ’90s. It is a brilliant masterpiece that has lost none of its power almost twenty years after its release.