July 2019

Film Review: A Soul Laid Bare in ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’

David Crosby: Remember My Name

CHICAGO – Getting into the mind of a creative person requires a delicate brush, or on the opposite end of that spectrum a new wing of a mental hospital. Submitted for your approval, one David Van Cortlandt Crosby, in the new documentary produced by Cameron Crowe, “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”

A Soul Laid Bare in ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Getting into the mind of a creative person requires a delicate brush, or on the opposite end of that spectrum a new wing of a mental hospital. Submitted for your approval, one David Van Cortlandt Crosby, in the new documentary produced by Cameron Crowe, “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”

Podtalk: Chicago Icon Bruce DuMont on ‘Mike Wallace is Here’

CHICAGO – This week, the new documentary “Mike Wallace is Here” will release in Chicago, so who better to get a perspective on the CBS News and “60 Minutes” interviewer and reporter than Bruce DuMont, a Chicago broadcasting icon who has covered the scene since the late 1960s.

Podtalk: Harry Wood on His Debut ‘Roast’ at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater, Thru Aug. 18, 2019

Roast

CHICAGO – It is Chicago where New York City native Harry Wood is debuting his first play, entitled “Roast,” through The Comrades theater company at the Greenhouse Theater Center. The comic drama, about a gathering of stand up comics and relatives to “roast” – rather than eulogize – a deceased fellow comedian, is a World Premiere that runs through August 18th, 2019. For tickets and more information, click here.

Slideshow: Upcoming Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago Runs August 22-25, 2019

| Image 1 of 17 |
Nichelle Nichols, Uhura of the original TV ‘Star Trek.’

CHICAGO – It’s baaaaack! One of the best annual pop culture entertainment and comic book gatherings returns to Chicagoland once again, as the Wizard World Comic Con will make its yearly visit to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., the weekend of August 22th through the 25th, 2019. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV and movie celebrities, highlighted in 2019 by Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”), Ben McKenzie (“Gotham”), Henry Winkler (“Happy Days,” Barry”), Cary Elwes (“Stranger Things,” “Princess Bride”) and Melissa Joan Hart (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”).

Film Review: ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is a Cinematic Poem

CHICAGO – What does Quentin Tarantino think about? That question immediately comes to mind when experiencing his latest film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” QT meditates on TV westerns, the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles and the Manson family, and it’s a tone and mood rather than a story. But it works.

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is a Cinematic Poem

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – What does Quentin Tarantino think about? That question immediately comes to mind when experiencing his latest film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” QT meditates on TV westerns, the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles and the Manson family, and it’s a tone and mood rather than a story. But it works.

Photo Gallery: Khalid at Chicago's United Center on July 25, 2019

| Image 1 of 6 |
Khalid performing at the United Center in Chicago, 1 of 6

CHICAGO – The R&B singer/songwriter Khalid burst onto the music scene the same day he graduated from high school. His debut single “Location” was released in July of 2016 and peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart … and was later certified quadruple platinum. His debut studio album, “American Teen,” was released on March 3rd, 2017. Since then he has achieved several top ten hits, including the song “Young Dumb and Broke,” a number one album and five Grammy nominations.

Exclusive Photo: Rush Rocker Geddy Lee, in Chicago for His ‘Big Beautiful Book of Bass’

Geddy Lee, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – He has THE distinctive rock voice among his generation of 1970s lead singers, and catapulted the group Rush into the stratosphere with hits like “Tom Sawyer,” “Fly by Night” and “Freewill.” He defies all bass player jokes in his years of playing and influencing with that rhythm instrument. Geddy Lee came to Chicago to promote his “Big Beautiful Book of Bass.”

Film Review: ‘The Farewell’ Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

‘The Farewell’ Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

Exclusive Photo: Marc Maron, Podcaster and Actor Featured in New Film ‘Sword of Trust’

Marc Maron, Photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – One of the most prominent podcasters of this particular era is Marc Maron, who famously broadcasts his “WTF with Marc Maron” show from his garage. His mix of comedians, politicians and celebrities has brought him notoriety in the crowded field. He is dipping his toe into acting, with a lead in a new film “Sword of Trust.”

Film News: ‘Apollo 11’ Documentary in Theaters for 50th Anniversary on July 20, 2019

Apollo 11

CHICAGO – Today is the 50th Anniversary of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, and an excellent documentary on the subject – simply titled “Apollo 11” is doing a “one day only” showing on July 20th, 2019. For theater locations and show times around the country (type in your area), click here.

Film Review: Copy Cat Live Action ‘The Lion King’ Seems Unnecessary

CHICAGO – The latest tendency of Walt Disney Pictures to make live action remakes of their classic cartoons should have stopped at “Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The last three, “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” and now “The Lion King” subtract from their source cartoons, and the King is downright weird.

Copy Cat Live Action ‘The Lion King’ Seems Unnecessary

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The latest tendency of Walt Disney Pictures to make live action remakes of their classic cartoons should have stopped at “Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The last three, “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” and now “The Lion King” subtract from their source cartoons, and the King is downright weird.

Podtalk: Director Lulu Wang on Her New Film ‘The Farewell’

CHICAGO – One of the hottest films from the first half 2019 festival season was an emotional story about family. “The Farewell” is a breakout for both the lead actor Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and her director Lulu Wang. Wang’s story of her grandmother became a universal spirit about our relative connections.

Podtalk: Mindy Fay Parks, on 3rd Windy City International Film Fest, July 18-21, 2019

2019 Windy City International Film Fest

CHICAGO – One of the new Film Festival “kids” on the block is the Windy City International Film Fest, now in its 3rd edition. Touted as an indie film festival that celebrates local, national and international filmmakers, the fest has four days – July 18th through the 21st, 2019 – of networking, screenings and special events. One of the co-founders (with Josh Hope) of the fest is Mindy Fay Parks. For a complete schedule, click here.

Theater Review: Kokandy Productions ‘Head Over Heels’ Sparkles with Joy, Passion and Life

CHICAGO – Kokandy Productions is one of the best in Chicago doing musicals, and scores again with “Head Over Heels,” through August 25th, 2019, at Theater Wit. For more details and tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Judith Helfand on 'Cooked: Survival by Zip Code,' in Chicago Thru July 25, 2019

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

CHICAGO – In the Summer of 1995, there was extreme heat in the City of Chicago for seven days, with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees with high humidity. It hit the area like a tsunami, and left power outages and and an exposure of inadequate emergency responses in its wake. The death toll from the heat, when all the analysis was done, soared to 739 people. Director Judith Helfand chronicles that event, and events like it, in her new film, “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code.”

Film Review: Kumail Nanjiani is the Only Reason to See ‘Stuber’

Stuber

CHICAGO – Kumail Nanjiani is reaching the next level of stardom. Recently, he was the best thing in the rebooted “MIB: International” (as a cartoon sprite), and now he is the only reason to indulge in “Stuber.” Kumail portrays a nervy UBER driver named Stu (get it?), and upholds everything about the buddy movie that is enjoyable. The rest of it, including his buddy Dave Bautista, land with a dull thud.

Kumail Nanjiani is the Only Reason to See ‘Stuber’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Kumail Nanjiani is reaching the next level of stardom. Recently, he was the best thing in the rebooted “MIB: International” (as a cartoon sprite), and now he is the only reason to indulge in “Stuber.” Kumail portrays a nervy UBER driver named Stu (get it?), and upholds everything about the buddy movie that is enjoyable. The rest of it, including his buddy Dave Bautista, land with a dull thud.

Podtalk: Tracy Edwards, Skipper & Subject of Documentary ‘Maiden’

CHICAGO – In the pantheon of firsts, there are so many of them that fly under our radar. For every Rosa Parks, there are a number of women who take the challenge to make social change. In 1989, British-born Tracy Edwards became the first female skipper, guiding an all-female crew and sailboat in the prestigious Whitbread Around the World Race. Her story is told in “Maiden.”

Podtalk: Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano, Part of PBS Station WTTW’s ‘Summer of Space’

Bob Sirott, Summer of Space

CHICAGO – July 20th, 2019, will mark the 50th Anniversary that a human being – astronaut Neil Armstrong – first stepped on the moon. All month in July/August, PBS station WTTW is featuring its “Summer of Space,” with special programming dedicated to both the Apollo 11 moon landing/walk and other space-themed shows. Participating are Chicago media personalities Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano, in “Jim Lovell in Booth One with Sirott and Murciano.” For a schedule of showings, click here.

Film Review: Unbelievable Story is Key to ‘Framing John DeLorean’

Framing John DeLorean

CHICAGO – The story of auto impresario John DeLorean is definitely one of truth is stranger than fiction, but also has a basis in “what ifs?” The fascinating new documentary of his life tells that story, breaking down the vagueness of how a former General Motors superstar got involved in a drug deal to save his own car company. As always, a situation like that has more loopholes.

Unbelievable Story is Key to ‘Framing John DeLorean’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The story of auto impresario John DeLorean is definitely one of truth is stranger than fiction, but also has a basis in “what ifs?” The fascinating new documentary of his life tells that story, breaking down the vagueness of how a former General Motors superstar got involved in a drug deal to save his own car company. As always, a situation like that has more loopholes.

Film News: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 80th Anniversary in Chicago’s Millennium Park, July 10, 2019

Wizard of Oz, The

CHICAGO – The Windy City is off to see the Wizard again, as the Grant Park Music Festival celebrates the 80th Anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. The festivities include a costume party, hosted by Linda Kollmeyer (“The Lottery Lady”), followed by the presentation with a live orchestra accompaniment – on the Park’s giant LED screen – of the classic 1939 film.

The event is free and open to the public (first-come, first-served) in both the “seating bowl” area and lawn, and begins at 6:30pm with the costume party, with the screening at 8pm. For more information, click here.

Theater Review: Americana of ‘The Music Man’ is Revived at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre

CHICAGO – Professor Harold Hill has come back to River City, and that means trouble right here. Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” is now in major revival at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Podtalk: Dr. Michelle Oakley, ‘Yukon Vet,’ Reflects on Season Seven

CHICAGO – The rumors of a series stoppage were just rumors, as Dr. Michelle Oakley is in the midst of production on Season Seven of her popular “Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet,” which airs on the Nat Geo Wild Channel. Soon the continuing story of an animal enthusiast turned Canadian Yukon veterinarian will have new adventures.

Film Review: Mind-Blowing ‘Midsommar’ is Disturbing and Beautiful

Midsommar

CHICAGO – “Midsommar” is beautifully composed, disturbing in nature and very very Swedish. Writer/Director Art Aster creates a stunning sophomore effort (after his brilliant debut “Hereditary”) that is pure cinema, and weaves a fantastical tale of humanity stripped to its bare bones. It moves a bit slow, but it also builds to something completely original and unexpected.

Mind-Blowing ‘Midsommar’ is Disturbing and Beautiful

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Midsommar” is beautifully composed, disturbing in nature and very very Swedish. Writer/Director Ari Aster creates a stunning sophomore effort (after his brilliant debut “Hereditary”) that is pure cinema, and weaves a fantastical tale of humanity stripped to its bare bones. It moves a bit slow, but it also builds to something completely original and unexpected.

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  • YippieFest 2020 Logo

    CHICAGO – It’s coming! YippieFest 2020 – joining the virtual and online revolution during these particular times – is set for August 22nd and 23rd. Details to come on schedules and times, but the whole fest can be downloaded for FREE on those dates through TWITCH streaming service. Click here for more details.

  • Space Force

    CHICAGO – Seemingly ripped from the headlines, by way of “Dr. Strangelove,” the new Netflix TV series “Space Force” debuted on May 29th, 2020. Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com reviewed the series during the Eddie Volkman Show (Star 96.7 FM in Joliet, Illinois) on June 5th, 2020.

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