Joel Murray

Via Zoom: Bobcat Goldthwait New Film Takes a ‘Joy Ride,’ Part Three

CHICAGO – The career of comedian Bobcat Goldthwait is a wild roller coaster of hilarity and passion, so it stands to reason that his latest film is called “Joy Ride.” The film, one of the funniest stand up docs you’ll ever see, also features Bobcat’s comedy partner Dana Gould on a stand up tour right before the pandemic. It’s available through VOD and iTunes, click JOY RIDE for details.

Via Zoom: Filmmaker Jack C. Newell on His New Film ‘Monuments’

CHICAGO – The evolution of the “local filmmaker” always seems to be defined through where that person is. Jack C. Newell appears to not be measured by time and place, but as a filmmaker of artistic vision with a basis in love. His latest film, “Monuments,” opens June 4th, 2021, through the Gene Siskel Film Center virtual cinema.

Podtalk: Christopher Biewer of ‘Vendors,’ Screening at iO Theater Chicago, Sept. 14, 2019

Vendors, Christopher Biewer

CHICAGO – With the major league baseball playoffs on the horizon, there is no better way to celebrate than a screening of the ballgame-themed TV pilot “Vendors,” created by Christopher Biewer, directed by Joel Murray and featuring Biewer, Kim DeJesus, Tim Kazurinsky, Emo Philips and former Chicago Cub Ryan Dempster.

Slideshow, Audio: Red-Carpet Portraits from The Second City Roast of George Wendt

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Honoree George Wendt gets ‘roasted.’ Norm!

CHICAGO – On September 9th, 2017, it seemed like the whole of The Second City theater on Wells Street in Chicago let out a collective cry of “NORM!” The favorite barfly of TV’s “Cheers,” George Wendt, came back to his old comedy stomping ground at The Second City to participate in “I Can’t Believe They Wendt There: The Roast of George Wendt.”

Interview: ‘Joel Murray & Friends’ at the New iO Chicago Venue

CHICAGO – iO Chicago continues the Grand Opening at its new venue with one of its most famous alumni – the illustrious Joel Murray. Besides opening the seventh season of “Mad Men” with a brilliant monologue as Freddy Rumsen, Murray brings his “Joel Murray & Friends” show to the new iO Chicago on August 30th.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell on the Chicago Set for ‘Open Tables’

Jack Newell

CHICAGO – You know you’re on a Jack C. Newell film set when his producer, Steve Tobiasz, offers you the best empanada you’ve ever eaten, from the Gourmet Food Truck that is crucial to the upcoming scene. “Open Tables” is director Jack C. Newell’s second feature film, coming in right after 2012’s “Close Quarters.”

Film Review: Pixar Scores Again With Delightful ‘Monsters University’

CHICAGO – Let’s everybody say it together, “the key to great animation is a great story.” This has to be the motto for Pixar Animation – now part of Disney. Their latest, “Monsters University,” is a prequel with a heart, soul and attention to what makes this type of entertainment work.

Blu-ray Review: Flawed Satire ‘God Bless America’ Has Moments of Brilliance

God Bless America Blu-ray

CHICAGO – How does one attempt to review a picture that has a 5-star opening act, a 2-star finale and several flashes of brilliance amidst a middling midsection? Are the good parts worth savoring despite the overarching flaws? In the case of Bobcat Goldthwait’s scathing yet softhearted satire on American idiocy, the answer is a resounding yes..

Film Review: Bobcat Goldthwait’s ‘God Bless America’ Takes Aim at Stupidity

God Bless America
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – While I’m writing this, a commercial for “My American Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” is playing on TV. It seems appropriate to kick off writing about a film that takes satirical aim at the bottom-feeding world of reality TV and the cult of personality that has devolved the 15-minute fame cycle into a 15-second one. I wish I could say that Bobcat Goldthwait’s “God Bless America” is a complete success because there’s a lot to like here but there are a few disappointing elements and the final act is a near-disaster dramatically. Still, star Joel Murray is SO good and Bobcat finds the sharp edge of his satirical gift often enough to warrant a look.

Interview: Joel Murray Takes No Prisoners in ‘God Bless America’

CHICAGO – Joel Murray, as most people know, comes from the Murray clan of Wilmette, Illinois, which includes his fellow actor brothers Brian Doyle and Bill. He has established himself as a memorable TV and movie character actor, and portrays a man gone wild in the Bobcat Goldthwait-directed “God Bless America.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Offer, The

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on May 5th, reviewing the new miniseries “The Offer,” about the creation of the classic film “The Godfather,” currently streaming on Paramount+.

  • Murder on Horizon

    CHICAGO – Time to get back to live stage shows! The Otherworld Theatre of Chicago (Wrigleyville Neighborhood) presents an immersive sci-fi experience – AKA audience participation – on a space station, enticingly titled “Murder on Horizon.” The audience is part of solving the mystery as a futuristic gumshoe goes from suspect to suspect to find the killer of a prominent scientist.

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