Alfred Hitchcock

Via Zoom: Directors Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe of ‘The Beta Test’

CHICAGO – Creating a complex story and delivering it in a spectacular way was the accomplishment of two self-described “best friends.” Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe are the co-writers, directors and friends of the new film “The Beta Test” – releasing November 5th, 2021 – a thriller that takes on the darker side of human motivations.

Film Review: 'The Woman in the Window' Offers a Muddled Yet Entertaining View

CHICAGO – People in waste management have a mantra that seems to have been awkwardly adopted by the film industry: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In the film industry’s case, ‘reduce’ doesn’t mean to create less waste, but to reduce the amount of money spent taking a chance on original content.

UPDATE: Music Box Theatre IS OPEN! Gene Siskel Center Continues At-Home Screenings

CHICAGO – Using safety-first precautions, the Music Box Theatre of Chicago has reopened as of July 3rd for limited seating (see link below for details). The Gene Siskel Film Center continues “Film Center From Your Sofa.”

Film News: Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89

LOS ANGELES – His acting career spanned from working with Alfred Hitchcock to Tim Burton. Along the way, he had significant TV and film roles including a Best Supporting Oscar win for portraying Bela Lugosi in Burton’s “Ed Wood”. Martin Landau died in Los Angeles on July 15, 2017. He was 89.

Interview: Director Pat Healy of ‘Take Me’ at Chicago Critics Film Festival on May 15, 2017

CHICAGO – An original voice, in an original conceptual movie, is a rare category of cinema art. Director and lead actor Pat Healy, working from a script from Mike Makowsky, has fashioned “Take Me,” a thriller about kidnapping and having the tables turned.

Film Review: A Celebration of Pure Cinema in ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’

CHICAGO – In 1966, a breakthrough book about the movies was released, entitled “Hitchcock/Truffaut.” A new documentary explores the actual interviews that were conducted between French new wave director Francois Truffaut and the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, that would become that book.

Blu-ray Review: Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ Joins Criterion Club

Foreign Correspondent

Cinema history has a few great double-up years: 12-month periods in which a classic filmmaker had not one but two great films. Mel Brooks may be the most notorious, releasing two of the best comedies of all time in 1974 (“Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein”) and Steven Spielberg has arguably done it a few times, inarguably in 1993 (“Jurassic Park” & “Schindler’s List”) and he would double-up again in 2002 (“Minority Report” & “Catch Me If You Can”) and 2011 (“Tintin” & “War Horse”).

TV Review: Check in to A&E’s Creepy, Fun ‘Bates Motel’

CHICAGO – Few characters in the history of pop culture are as well known as Norman Bates. In fact, if you don’t know who (or where) the title of A&E’s new show, “Bates Motel,” refers to then you probably won’t enjoy it, presuming you have cable below the rock under which you live anyway.

DVD Review: Criterion Edition of Original ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’

The Man Who Knew Too Much 1934

CHICAGO – Did everyone know that the great Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) is an expert on Alfred Hitchcock? So much so that he wrote a book on the legendary director and was asked by The Criterion Collection to do a wonderful interview on Hitch’s 1934 version of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”? Del Toro wonderfully expounds on the film, offering his insight as to how the work that would be remade into a more popular Jimmy Stewart film in later years actually represents the perfect transitional piece from Hitch’s British period to his American one. It’s just one of several great special features on another stellar Criterion release.

Blu-ray Feature: The 10 Best Blu-rays of 2012

CHICAGO – It’s that wonderful time of year when we look back on the 11 months that just sped by and try to capture what was best, worst, overlooked, and more. While most of these pieces will just make people disagree, our annual cavalcade of year-end features starts with a piece that you can use to do your holiday shopping!

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

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