Jessica Chastain

On-Air Film Review: Countdown Begins in ‘Armageddon Time’

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on November 3rd, 2022, reviewing “Armageddon Time,” a memoir from writer and director James Gray, in theaters beginning November 5th.

Film News: Will Smith Slap on Chris Rock Mars CODA Best Picture Oscar

CHICAGO – Usually these Oscar wrap ups are ordinary. But in a shocking event at the 94th Academy Awards, eventual Best Actor winner Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Oh and by the way, CODA wins the Best Picture in a historic honor.

Oscar Week: Producer Gigi Pritzker on Jessica Chastain in ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’

CHICAGO – The Oscars are this upcoming Sunday, March 27th, and one of the great performances of the year – nominated for Best Actress – is Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” The producer of the film is Gigi Pritzker.

Film Review: Ass Kicker of the Wrong Kind is Downfall of ‘The 355’

CHICAGO – There’s something to be said for a well done ass kicker in January that provides an entertaining distraction from the ice and snow outside. “The 355” is not it, offering a typical quick cutting action thriller that plods along in the most formulaic and least exciting manner possible. There’s nothing in this movie that hasn’t been done to death already.

Podtalk: Wendy Sharon of Wilmette Theatre for ‘This Changes Everything,’ Sept. 13, 2019

This Changes Everything

CHICAGO – When the world broke open during the historic #MeToo entertainment industry scandal, the incidents were simply the tip of the gigantic iceberg. “This Changes Everything” goes deeper behind the subject of women in film, to expose a system in show business that has consistently lacked in opportunities for female filmmakers and production workers. The historic Wilmette (Illinois) Theatre will screen the documentary as part of a Women Filmmaker Celebration on September 13th, 2019 (7pm), with a panel discussion moderated by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com. For more details and tickets, click here.

Film Review: ‘Dark Phoenix’ Rises Above Typical Comic Book Action

CHICAGO – Leave it to Marvel Entertainment to produce another “marvel-ous” take on their angst-ridden superhero characters. The latest X-Men film, called the last of this series, is “Dark Phoenix,” and it contains comic book action that is unprecedented for its originality and sheer power. It’s another winner.

Film Review: Aaron Sorkin’s Directorial Debut in ‘Molly’s Game’

CHICAGO – High stakes poker are for folks who prefer to get their rush of adrenalin from the turn of a card rather than other life risks. The positives, the negatives and everything in between are in “Molly’s Game,” the feature directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” creator). Let’s walk and talk.

Film Review: Jessica Chastain is Steadfast as ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

CHICAGO – Jessica Chastain is a memorable and glamorous actress, who continues to challenge herself with in-depth and complex roles. “The Zookeeper’s Wife” is her latest, and her performance outweighs the formulaic based-on-truth story, set during the Holocaust.

Film Review: ‘Miss Sloane’ Thrills Politically, But Drags Narratively

CHICAGO – Nothing says the holiday season like a film about lobbying and politics. If you read that sarcastically, you’d be wrong. “Miss Sloane” offers a female spin for an otherwise male-dominated political landscape. Most of you are trying to tune out politics after the elections, but this film builds off of that momentum by reminding us how we arrived to that point.

Film Review: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ is a Bloated Bore

CHICAGO – This new Hollywood fairy tale does have one thing in common with the bedtime stories of old…it may lull you to sleep in the first 30 minutes. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is a special effects extravaganza where the effects aren’t special, the story is thin, and almost all the actors seem to have been allowed or even encouraged to indulge their worst impulses.

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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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