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Film Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Turns Up His Power in ‘Stronger’

23 September 2017 7:55 AM, PDT

Chicago – The second major film about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing (after last year’s “Patriots Day”) is “Stronger,” and it wisely focuses on one individual rather than the bigger event. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Jeff Bauman, a spectator near the explosion that lost both his legs.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

There are two elements that position this film above Lifetime-Movie-of-the-Week territory… the unflinching look at a man recovering from losing both his legs while not having the resources that other people might have, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s interpretation of that situation. Gyllenhaal is an actor’s actor, using his instrument as a means to communicate beyond the dialogue. I don’t know how Jeff Bauman is in real life, but if I had to guess based on Gyllenhaal’s portrayal, it would be accurate to the real guy. Gyllenhaal’s Jeff never panders, capitulates to false heroism or steps away from the negative parts of recovery, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: 'Battle of the Sexes' Parallels a Fight That’s Going on Today

22 September 2017 3:03 PM, PDT

Chicago – Since the time of early hominids, there has been a battle raging with your side being chosen before you’re even born. It all began when men claimed they were superior to women, forcing women to fight for the right at equality. Unfortunately, it remains as alive in the 70’s, when “Battle of the Sexes” takes place, as it is now.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

We all know what a battle of the sexes entails. Most people think that it is men against women, but they would be wrong. In most of the world, especially in the Us, we live in a patriarchy. Essentially, men hold most of the positions of power and therefore make most of the rules, usually to their direct benefit. What that translates into is that in America, a battle of the sexes is actually a one-sided battle with women fighting to prove to men that they are »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘American Made’ With Tom Cruise

22 September 2017 11:11 AM, PDT

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new film “American Made” starring Tom Cruise!

American Made,” which opens on Sept. 29, 2017 and is rated “R,” also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays from director Doug Liman and writer Gary Spinelli. Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.

To win your free passes to “American Made” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!

Deadline: »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ is High-Flying Spy Fun

22 September 2017 7:48 AM, PDT

Chicago – “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is a hard “R”-rated sequel with a thoroughly juvenile soul. It pairs silly wordplay, dirty jokes and a startling amount of bloody and gratuitous violence while its tongue remains thoroughly in cheek. This is a James Bond movie as made by an unusually sadistic 16-year-old under the influence of some not entirely legal substances.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Once upon a time the Coen brothers wood chipper scene in “Fargo” and the brains-in- the-backseat-scene in “Pulp Fiction” tested the limits of acceptability and bad taste, but that seems downright tame compared to all the slicing and dicing in this film. In one instance, there’s a magic lasso which is capable of slicing people in half. Additionally, there are not one, but two scenes of people being fed into meat grinders. They’re both so bonkers they’re actually played for sick laughs.

Director Matthew Vaughn keeps »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com Remembers Harry Dean Stanton

21 September 2017 10:50 AM, PDT

Chicago – Harry Dean Stanton didn’t just act. He created a screen personality all of his own. The actor died last week at the age of 91, but with a 60-year career, there are a slew of highlights and shades of the man. Spike Walters, Patrick McDonald and Jon Espino of HollywoodChicago.com spotlight three films in his career.

Harry Dean Stanton in a Recent Photo

Photo credit: File Photo

With his hang dog demeanor and distinctive voice, Stanton made a mark in his career, and appeared in character roles for notable films such as “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), “The Godfather Part II” (1974), “Alien” (1979), “Escape From New York” (1981), “Pretty in Pink” (1986) and “Last Temptation of Christ” (1988). He had bigger and more up front roles in “Repo Man” (1984), “Paris, Texas” (1984), “Wild at Heart” (1990), “The Straight Story” (1999), “The Green Mile” (1999) and the upcoming “Lucky” (2017). To read the rest of the HollywoodChicago. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film News: Reeling, Chicago’s Lgbtq+ Film Fest, Opens With ‘Hello Again’ on Sep. 21, 2017

20 September 2017 9:11 PM, PDT

Chicago – The second-oldest Lgbtq+ international film festival in America, Reeling (Reeling17), launches its 35th edition in Chicago at the historic Music Box Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The opening-night film will be the musical “Hello Again” with appearances by featured cast members Tyler Blackburn (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Jenna Ushkowitz (“Glee”) along with director Tom Gustafson and screenwriter Cory Krueckeberg.

Hello Again’ Opens Reeling2017 on September 21st at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago

Photo credit: Reeling2017

Hello Again” is a movie adaptation of Michael John Lachiusa’s celebrated 1994 Off-Broadway musical, which in turn was inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s stageplay “La Ronde” (written in 1897, with the first public performance in 1920). The 2017 film explores ten fleeting love affairs, across ten periods of New York City history, through ten lust-fueled episodes. It’s guaranteed to be saucy.

Reeling2017, the Chicago Lgbtq+ International Film Festival is in its 35th year, and has an incredible line-up of films, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Photo Gallery: Riot Fest 2017 in Chicago With Nine Inch Nails, Jawbreaker, A Day to Remember & More

20 September 2017 6:46 PM, PDT

Previous | Image 1 of 56 | NextHellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue

Chicago – HollywoodChicago.com photographer Adam Fendelman brings you front-row photos from all three days of Riot Fest 2017 in Chicago with Nine Inch Nails, Jawbreaker, A Day to Remember, Danzig, Gwar, the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, Prophets of Rage, Taking Back Sunday, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and TV on the Radio. The festival took place in Douglas Park from Sept. 15-17, 2017. Warning: Graphic images contained. Enjoy!

Photography by: Adam Fendelman, Publisher, HollywoodChicago.com

© 2017 HollywoodChicago.com LLC »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview, Audio: Director Mei-Juin Chen of ‘The Gangster’s Daughter’

20 September 2017 10:16 AM, PDT

Chicago – Opening Night of the fifth season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema is Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, and the first film is a doozy. “The Gangster’s Daughter” is a different take on the popular Taiwanese mobster movie, a relationship film as much as the pure crime. At the helm is director Mei-Juin Chen, with her first narrative film.

“The Gangster’s Daughter” is about the relationship between Keigo (Jack Kao) and Shaowu (Ally Chiu), as a father who practices organized crime in Taipei (the capital of Taiwan) is forced to take in his rebellious teenage daughter after her mother dies. The move creates a different direction for the gangster, and allows him to reassess his entire life of crime. Shaowu, in the meantime, is flexing her adolescent freedoms, which includes a deep Daddy Complex. This clash disrupts both paths for the father and the daughter.

‘The Gangster’s Daughter,’ Directed »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Video: The World’s Most Dangerous Stunts: Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow at Riot Fest 2017

19 September 2017 7:20 PM, PDT

Chicago – The Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue combines circus freaks like you’ve never seen before performing the world’s most dangerous and record-setting stunts.

The vaudeville freak show includes fire eating, fire breathing, sword swallowing, illusions, drill bit swallowing, lawnmower balancing, a half-man who walks his bare hands on shards of glass and much more.

I stood on stage to film the 60-minute show at Riot Fest in Chicago on Sept. 17, 2017 and edited it down to the very best 9 minutes. Performers include Bryce “The Govna” Graves, Short E. Dangerously, illusionist and conjuror Dan Sperry and sword swallower Ryan Stock. Watch now below!

Warning: Extremely Graphic Imagery

Filmed and edited by: Adam Fendelman, Publisher, HollywoodChicago.com

Still thumbnail photo by: Adam Fendelman

© 2017 HollywoodChicago.com LLC »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Live Performance Video: ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails with Trent Reznor at Riot Fest 2017 in Chicago

19 September 2017 9:52 AM, PDT

Chicago – This is a live performance of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails and frontman Trent Reznor at Riot Fest 2017 in Chicago on Sept. 15, 2017. Note: Contains graphic language.

Watch now!

Filmed by: Adam Fendelman, Publisher, HollywoodChicago.com

© 2017 HollywoodChicago.com LLC »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Blu-ray Review: ‘Wonder Woman’ Continues to Be an Inspiration

19 September 2017 9:46 AM, PDT

Chicago – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

At this point, you either liked the film or you didn’t. If you didn’t, all I can do is recommend that you watch it again. With the release of “Wonder Woman” on DVD/Blu-ray, I was more than anxious not only to rewatch the film but to take a look at the special features. The film itself is unchanged, but seeing it on blu-ray reminded me how gorgeous and vibrant the visuals are, and made me wish I had the setup to see its splendor in 4k. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film News: Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Announces 2017 Fall Season & Opening Night

17 September 2017 9:41 PM, PDT

Chicago – On September 20th, 2017, Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema will kickoff their Fall 2017 film series, their Season Five. “The Gangster’s Daughter,” a Taiwanese drama about a rebellious teen reunited with her gangster father, will begin the series on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, at the AMC River East Theatre in downtown Chicago, with director Chen Mei-Juin will be in attendance. For complete details and to purchase tickets, click here.

‘The Gangster’s Daughter,’ Directed by Chen Mei-Juin, Kicks Off Season Five of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Photo credit: AsianPopUpCinema.org

Season Five will continue with “That’s Not What I Expected” (September 27th), a Hong Kong romantic comedy about a uptight hotel executive and a ragged sous chef. “Youth” (September 29th), a Chinese film right from its World Premiere the Toronto International Film Festival, features a performing art troupe who each face their own trials and tribulations after escaping a family scandal. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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