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On-Air Film Review: Benefit for Bennifer in ‘The Tender Bar’

Tender Bar, The

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on January 6th, 2022, reviewing the latest from Ben Affleck, directed by George Clooney. “The Tender Bar” is streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting January 7th.

Film Review: ‘Being the Ricardos’ Questions Who Loves Lucy

CHICAGO – “Being the Ricardos” tries to tell the story of a comedy icon with a star who wouldn’t know physical comedy if it slapped her in the face. Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball isn’t the only problem weighing down this biopic, but anytime this lead-footed and ponderous production threatens to build up a little momentum, Kidman stops it in its tracks.

Podtalk: Director Tom Harper Flies High with ‘The Aeronauts’

CHICAGO – When we last saw Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones together, they were portraying husband and wife in the Stephen Hawking bio “The Theory of Everything.” Now they are 19th Century high-flying hot air balloonists in “The Aeronauts,” opening December 6th, 2019, and directed by Tom Harper.

Podtalk: Director Felix Van Groeningen of ‘Beautiful Boy’

CHICAGO – In a film certain to get Oscar buzz, “Beautiful Boy” opened on October 19th in Chicago, and opened the recent Chicago International Film Festival. The delicate and sensitive portrayal of addiction features fine performances from Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, guided by director Felix Van Groeningen.

Film Review: Stylish, Well Performed ‘You Were Never Really Here’

CHICAGO – Actor Joaquin Phoenix almost solely specializes in portraying broken souls, but he also does it with such intensity that he adds necessary depth to those characters, to allow for their redemption. As a hit man for hire in the new film “You Were Never Really Here,” he again reaches beyond the darkness.

Film Review: Matt Damon in ‘Downsizing’ Offers Few Small Pleasures

CHICAGO – “Downsizing” is an interesting premise that doesn’t ultimately go anywhere interesting. Part of the problem is that writer/director Alexander Payne doesn’t seem to know what kind of a movie he wants it to be… it’s part cerebral Woody Allen futuristic comedy, part sci-fi social satire about Midwestern malaise, and winds up failing at both.

Film Review: Woody Allen Has Run Out of Ideas with ‘Wonder Wheel’

CHICAGO – Woody Allen emptied out his junk drawer of discarded script ideas and somehow managed to convince Kate Winslet to star in it. That’s the gist of the latest “serious Woody” entry in the Oscar winner’s long running career. Woody Allen has had some timeless triumphs, but lately he’s been more about quantity than quality.

Film Review: American Legal System is Put on Trial in ‘Crown Heights’

CHICAGO – There is no justice for the poor. That should be carved in stone on courthouses beside all the platitudes of American “equality” and “law.” In an eye-opening narrative film based on a true story, “Crown Heights” explores just how an impoverished individual can be found guilty and imprisoned unjustly for years.

Interview, Audio: Abby Quinn, Gillian Robespierre & Elisabeth Holm of ‘Landline’

Landline Abby Quinn, Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre photo by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – It takes a collaborative village to make a movie, and part of that collective came to Chicago to promote “Landline.” Director Gillian Robespierre, Co-Writer Elisabeth Holm and debut actress Abby Quinn were essential to the film, which is set in 1990s New York City and features Jenny Slate in the lead role.

Interview, Audio: Actress Jenny Slate Answers the Call in ‘Landline’

CHICAGO – Jenny Slate keeps getting more high profile, both in voiceover work (“The Secret Life of Pets”) and as an actress. Her latest film is “Landline,” her second with director Gillian Robespierre. In the film, Slate portrays an engaged-to-be-married “adult” who is having trouble coming to terms with her life.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • La Dolce Vita Blu-ray

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio Blu-ray DVD review of “La Dolce Vita,” the Federico Fellini film masterpiece that introduced the 1960s to itself, and the term “Paparazzi” to the language, now available through Paramount Pictures wherever Blu-rays are sold.

  • Ms. Marvel

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson, WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin), on June 23rd, 2022, reviewing the new streaming series “Ms Marvel,” a new kind of Marvel Universe superhero now streaming on Disney+.

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