Richard LaGravenese

Film Review: Hidden Gem ‘The Last Five Years’ Launches Anna Kendrick as a Serious Singer

CHICAGO – Perhaps you’ve heard Anna Kendrick dabble in that thing called “singing” with her cutesy “Cups” on the radio, her runaway princess role in “Into the Woods” or “Pitch Perfect”.

Interview: ‘The Last Five Years’ Director Richard LaGravenese

CHICAGO – The movie musical seems to revive every year, and writer/director Richard LaGravenese puts his spin on the genre with a modern touch. A couple, portrayed by Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, goes through the ups and downs of a relationship while belting out appropriate tunes in “The Last Five Years.”

Film Review: Dull Story of Extraordinary Survival in ‘Unbroken’

CHICAGO – Olympic runner, plane crash survivor, and WWII POW Louis Zamperini had an extraordinary life of defeating even more profound conditions from cruel nature and fellow man. His is a tale of grandiose cinematic potential, especially considering our desire for beat-down underdogs and their gauntlets of adversity, but such gets a surface-level treatment from director Angelina Jolie’s underwhelming tribute “Unbroken.”

Slideshow: Exclusive Red-Carpet Portraits at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

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Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore introduced ‘Roger and Me.’

CHICAGO – As the 2014 edition of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival ends on October 23rd, HollywoodChicago.com spotlights the Red Carpet events with a collection of Exclusive Portraits from photographer Joe Arce. Directors are highlighted, as filmmakers ranging from Oliver Stone to Michael Moore are featured.

Blu-ray Review: Old-Fashioned Melodrama of Effective ‘Water For Elephants’

Water For Elephants

CHICAGO – Given my general aversion to modern soap operas, I was understandably nervous about reviewing Francis Lawrence’s “Water For Elephants,” an over-heated romance based on the best-selling book. Much to my surprise, this is an effective drama that should remind viewers of “the kind of movies they don’t make any more.” It would have been right at home in the Hollywood of the ’40s and ’50s and should make a satisfying rental for nearly any audience willing to go for the cheesy ride.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Chicago Party Aunt

    CHICAGO – The funny meter of Netflix went off the scale last week, as the animated series “Chicago Party Aunt” made its debut on September 17th. What began as a Twitter account by comic actor Chris Witaske (who also provides his voice talent) has morphed into the cartoon adventures of Aunt Diane Dumbowski, her nephew Daniel, and an array of familiar Chicago-isms and characters.

  • Factory Theater, The

    CHICAGO – It’s time again for live theater in Chicago, and The Factory Theater – in anticipation of their 2021-22 Season – is launching “Quiet Please! It’s A Silent Auction,” an online silent auction through the month of August (the 1st-31st). An amazing array of goods and services are available for bidding, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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