Will Smith

Flashback Interview: Jada Pinkett Smith on Her Life and Times

Jada Pinkett Smith, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The person in the middle of The Slap seen around the world – upon Chris Rock by Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards – was Will’s wife of 24 years, the actor and musician Jada Pinkett Smith. She had shaved her head due to a diagnosis of alopecia, and Chris Rock raised Will Smith’s ire by making a joke about Pinkett Smith appearing in “G.I. Jane 2,” a reference to her military grade style. Jada Pinkett Smith was photographed in 2008 by Joe Arce and interviewed in 2015 by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.

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.

FINALE: ‘King Richard’ at 57th Chicago International Film Festival CLOSING NIGHT, Oct. 24, 2021

King Richard

CHICAGO – It’s CLOSING NIGHT of the 57th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF), and the fest will wrap with “King Richard, the based-on-truth journey of Richard Williams (Will Smith), the father of Serena and Venus (click KING RICHARD for details).

Flashback: Daphne Maxwell Reid, Aunt Vivian of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion’

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

CHICAGO – On November 18th, 2020, the streaming service HBO Max premiered “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion.” 30 years after the popular sitcom debuted, the primary cast got together to talk about the joys and foibles of developing family ties while creating and performing their characters in the show.

Film Review: ‘Bad Boys for Life’ Are Just Too Old For This

CHICAGO – “Bad Boys For Life” shows that maybe Will Smith isn’t too old for this kind of sh*t, but Martin Lawrence certainly is. This third installment comes 17 years after “Bad Boys II,” and 25 years after the original film unleashed director Michael Bay on an unsuspecting public.

Film Review: Boot This Reboot of ‘Men In Black International’

CHICAGO – “Men in Black International” is less a reboot than a frantic attempt at CPR for the once viable franchise … which never should have made it to a fourth installment. That’s not to say this is totally unwatchable. But it’s a kind of okay not-that-great-not-that-awful iteration which neither reminds us why we liked the series in the first place nor has much of a reason to exist.

Film Review: ‘Aladdin’ Remake Doesn’t Live Up to Animated Source

CHICAGO – The Walt Disney Studio (cash) obsession with turning their animated film hits to live action movies continues this Memorial Day weekend with “Aladdin,” which adapts the 1992 classic. What worked in 2018 with “Beauty and the Beast” falls flat with this title, because the animated version plays better.

Interview: Daphne Maxwell Reid from MLK Jr. to the Fresh Prince

CHICAGO – This week marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and funeral, but locally it was one month later – May 3rd, 1968 – that a “sit-in” took place at Northwestern University near Chicago, as protesting African American students sought change. Future actor Daphne Maxwell Reid was a participant.

Film Review: There is Little Beauty to Be Found in ‘Collateral Beauty’

CHICAGO – Charles Dickens once said, “Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Seeing the trailer for “Collateral Beauty,” it’s obvious this is the theme of the film, but it is also the theme of this review. My “blessing” to you is the foresight not to waste your time with this film.

Film Review: Freaky Villains is Where ‘Suicide Squad’ Works Best

CHICAGODC Entertainment, feeling the heat from Marvel Studios and the tepid response from “Batman v Superman,” comes back stronger with “Suicide Squad,” an overblown yet psychological comic book film about sociopathic villains who somehow have to save the world.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com audio review of the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” the first film of one of the most successful film franchises in movie history, spun off from the original breakthrough sci-fi TV series of the 1960s. Beam me up.

  • A League of Their Own 2022

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on The Eddie Volkman Show with Hannah B on WSSR-FM (Star 96.7 Joliet, Illinois) on September 2nd, reviewing the new TV series “A League of Their Own,” a parallel universe adaptation of the popular 1992 film, now streaming on Prime Video.

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