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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Unfinished Business’ With Vince Vaughn

17 hours ago

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new comedy “Unfinished Business” starring Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson!

Unfinished Business,” which opens on March 6, 2015 and is rated “R,” also stars Jil Funke, David Akinloye, Dennis Oestreich, Heidi Philipsen, Marc Zwinz and Jeffrey Corazzini from director Ken Scott and writer Steve Conrad. Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.

To win your free “Unfinished Business” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 5 p.m. (not 7 p.m.!) in downtown 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!

Preferably, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: ‘Wild Tales’ Boldly Catalogs the State of Civilization

18 hours ago

Chicago – Road rage, parking fines and weddings are unlikely subjects designed to showcase criminal inhumanity, but “Wild Tales” – from Argentina – takes those common themes and provides some lessons on the breakdown of our civilizaton, in a momentous prologue and five stellar stories.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Personally, this is the nominated film that should have won the Best Foreign Language Film, because of its commonality and recognizable expression. After the audacious prologue, the titles are shown over animals in the wild, which in actuality we still are, and still inhabit. The five “wild tales” (“Relatos salvajes” in its native title) highlight murder, deception, betrayal, ignorance and the bliss of “civilization” that results from all of these societal ills. Yet as a whole it’s not a downer, because writer/director Damián Szifrón adds the spice of dark humor and a strange hope at the end. We are the sum of all our parts, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Fascinating, Infuriating Injustice in ‘Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem’

27 February 2015 7:00 PM, PST

Chicago – The title event of “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” is a prison sentence with no predictable day of release. The prisoner is Viviane (a fascinating Ronit Elkabetz), a soft-spoken middle-aged woman well beyond the point of a content unhappiness. She is trapped to a farce, as the divorce laws of Israel demand that a husband agree to the divorce before it can be finalized, with three rabbis and a lawyer each to discuss the event.

Viviane’s desire to start a new life away from her current husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian) becomes a hell on earth as he proves an unmovable object, a warden with no empathy who refuses to show up for many of the hearings (he doesn’t really have to unless it gets really bad, according to law). It takes him about a year and a half to finally appear first time, and even »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Entertainment News: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

27 February 2015 12:16 PM, PST

Los Angeles – The actor who created one of the greatest pop-culture characters in TV and film history has passed away. Leonard Nimoy will always be known for the role of Mr. Spock, science officer for the USS Enterprise of the “Star Trek” TV and film series. He died of pulmonary disease on Feb. 27, 2015, according to his wife Susan. He was 83.

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in ‘Star Trek’ (2009)

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

The legacy of “Star Trek” had much to do with Nimoy’s approach to the character of Spock. The backstory of the half-human, half-Vulcan character was one of logic over conflict, yet his character could always be relied on when situations got confrontational. For three seasons in the 1960s and in rerun heaven, the voyage of the Starship Enterprise captivated viewers and was resurrected in a highly popular film series. Nimoy also was a photographer, director, writer and »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Olivia Wilde Resurrects Horror in ‘The Lazarus Effect’

27 February 2015 8:34 AM, PST

Chicago – Psychological horror films are the best tweaks, because they remind us of our fears, and where are fears are rooted. The strange combination of science, religion and a blockbuster performance by Olivia Wilde creates an atmosphere of dread and weirdness in “The Lazarus Effect.”

Rating: 4.5/5.0

This is also a bit of a spoof, as director David Geib adds the appropriate screaming soundtrack, and the characters – all scientists – are the usual horror film collection of goofballs and naysayers. But the use of death as a scientific phenomenon that could possibly be reversed, is as intriguing as the day Dr. Frankenstein opened his lab. There is also a quick side trip on the question of afterlife and religion, which consecrates a peculiar recurring scene, and it’s frighteningly appropriate to the consequence of the story. Is there stiff acting, a demonic dog and quality kills? Hells yes!

A team of research scientists, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Video Game Review: ‘Evolve’ Earns its Name

24 February 2015 7:10 PM, PST

Chicago – When I first opened Turtle Rock Studios’ “Evolve,” I was fully prepared to rage quit matches and yell at the screen. My gaming skill lies more in the realm of platformers and adventure games than strategic shooters. My first few matches following the short tutorial were exactly as I expected. I fumbled around the arena doing little to help my teammates.

Video Game Rating: 4.0/5.0


But as I played more, the tactical nature of “Evolve” surfaced. Something clicked in my brain, and I started to understand its complexities more and more with every match. After 10 hours, it changed from “generic shooter” to “strategic playground” – and it keeps getting better the more I play.

“Evolve” founds itself on a premise of imbalance that would fundamentally break any other multiplayer shooting game. One player takes the role of a monster while four others become hunters. The goal is simple enough in “Hunt, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview: Actor Colm Feore on Portraying ‘King Lear’

24 February 2015 1:59 PM, PST

Chicago – “Mend your speech a little, Lest it mar your fortunes…” is a fine piece of advice from the William Shakespeare play, “King Lear,” often cited as one of the greatest English language plays. Actor Colm Feore is the latest to portray the title role, which begins a film series by the Stratford Festival of Canada, to capture all of the Shakespeare plays.

The Stratford Festival is located in the province of Ontario in Canada, slightly south of Toronto, in the the town of Stratford. Under the umbrella Stratford Festival HD, the legendary theater organization aims to record every play by William Shakespeare in the next ten years – with full staging, live audiences, High Definition processing and enhanced sound design. The first play of this project – “King Lear” – screens in several locations around Chicago and North America on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015.

Colm Feore as the Title Character in William Shakespeare »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: New Twist to Inspiring Sports Story in ‘McFarland, USA’

23 February 2015 9:35 AM, PST

Chicago – Sports stories are made for the underdog, and it is the conduit for many immigrants and minorities to break through to the American Dream. “McFarland, USA” takes that idea and runs with it, as a high school cross country team of Mexican immigrants head towards the finish line.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Kevin Costner portrays the “coach,” with the same good vibes and unflappable air he has given all of his sports movie roles. This is based-on-a-true-story, so there actually is a cross country team in McFarland (north of Bakersfield, California), who kept winning because of the coach and the tradition established there. This is the origin story of that team in 1987, as the Mexican immigrant sons of “pickers” (field workers) become the core of the runners. The themes of poverty and wanting to belong to America run like a thread through the story, which per usual for sports stories involved second »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film News: ‘Birdman’ is Best Picture at 2015 Academy Awards

22 February 2015 10:19 PM, PST

Chicago – The Bird was the word at the 87th Academy Awards, as the film “Birdman” won Best Picture and Alejandro González Iñárrittu won Best Director for the same film. The stellar broadcast was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, and was highlighted by some passionate speeches and song performances.

Neil Patrick Harris Hosted the 87th Academy Awards

Photo credit: ABC

The other top categories contained few surprises, as Eddie Redmayne took Best Actor for “The Theory of Everything,” Julianne Moore won Best Actress for “Still Alice” and the Best Supporting trophies were taken home by Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” and J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash.” Several of the accepting speeches, including the ones by Patricia Arquette and director Alejandro González Iñárrittu, included some revolutionary style shout-outs to causes that go beyond the Awards. The performance of the Oscar winning song “Glory,” from the film “Selma,” moved several of the star-studded audience members to tears. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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