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Film Review: Humdrum Documentation of Bigfoot in Found Footage Horror 'Exists'

3 hours ago

Chicago - Director Eduardo Sánchez has found one bizarre way to commemorate the rogue nature of his horror film “The Blair Witch Project” for its 15-year-anniversary - by crafting an analogously lesser movie with the very rulebook he defied in 1999. In turn, his new Bigfoot found footage film “Exists” becomes a minimal horror project for the GoPro camera era that doesn’t have much of a life of its own outside of its “Blair Witch Project” context.

Rating: 1.5/5.0

The text from the very beginning of the “Exists” clues audiences into the number of recorded sightings regarding Bigfoot, a statistic that could be as fudged as when “Blair Witch Project” actor Joshua Leonard was reported as “missing, presumed dead” on his IMDb page. Sanchez has a generic batch of attractive and camera-savvy twenty-somethings (Dora Madison Burge, Denise Williamson, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Chris Osborn) encounter this woods creature pretty quickly in the movie, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview: Oliver Stone on the Red Carpet at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

10 hours ago

Chicago – Love him or not, Oliver Stone is one of the most important directors of the last generation. The creator of “Born on the Fourth of July,” “JFK,” “Platoon,” “Nixon” and “Any Given Sunday” was at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival to introduce his director’s cut for “Alexander” and “Natural Born Killers.”

Oliver Stone at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywoodChicago.com was on the Red Carpet – with photographer Joe Arce – to get a few questions with the amazing Mr. Stone, and as usual he delivers the goods.

HollywoodChicago.com: What is it about Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival that is ideal to showcase your director’s cuts of ‘Alexander’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’?

Oliver Stone: The festival idea from [Founder] Michael Kutza means that Chicago was the forerunner of other big city film festivals, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interviews: Short Film Directors at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival

23 hours ago

Chicago – The opportunity to sample new filmmakers is one of the true pleasures of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival, and this year’s crop of City & State short films, made in either Chicago or Illinois, was no exception. Directors Lonnie Edwards, Joel Benjamin, Meghann Artes and Robert Carnilius represented the area.

Lonnie Edwards, Director of “Parietal Guidance

Parietal Guidance

Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

Parietal Guidance” was a shot across the bow of the difficulties facing certain neighborhoods in Chicago told through the filter of a young girl just trying to walk home without harassment.

HollywoodChicago.com: What was the incident, or series of incidences, that inspired your film?

Lonnie Edwards: I’m a single father, and take my kids to school every morning. I just started to observe interactions between them and other kids. And while my kids and I are close, there are some things »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 20 Pairs of Guaranteed Anytime Passes to ‘The Conjuring’ Prequel ‘Annabelle’

21 October 2014 7:33 PM, PDT

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 20 pairs of guaranteed anytime movie tickets up for grabs to “The Conjuring” prequel “Annabelle”! Pick your own local movie theatre and time throughout Chicago(land)!

Annabelle,” which opened on Oct. 3, 2014 and is rated “R,” stars Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton and Alfre Woodard from writer Gary Dauberman and director John Leonetti. The film is produced by James Wan (“Saw,” “The Conjuring,” “Insidious: Chapter 2”) and Peter Safran and is executive produced by Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter and Hans Ritter. Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated film.

These anytime Hollywood Movie Money passes are valid now at Chicago(land) theaters through Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. These passes are valid at most commercial chains (excluding AMC) and some independent cinemas. These passes will be snail mailed to our winners. Directions are on the back of the passes where »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Blu-ray Review: Bowling Comedy ‘Kingpin’ Rolls Onto Blu-ray

21 October 2014 11:24 AM, PDT

Chicago – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.

Rating: 2.5/5.0

The occasion of “Kingpin” is related less to marking a point in American cinematic history than to note the upcoming release of “Dumb and Dumber To,” the next film from the Farrelly brothers and their bizarre set of Hollywood gross outs. This bowling movie was a followup to “Dumb & Dumber,” and certainly saw the filmmaking duo following some of the same course (by literally making a buddy road movie), with the gross-out humor that became huge of them. With films like “There’s Something About Mary” and “Me, Myself & Irene” coming after it, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Direction Proves a Problem For Open Mic Drama ‘Rudderless’

20 October 2014 7:37 PM, PDT

Chicago – Actor William H. Macy’s directorial debut “Rudderless” is a film of open mic songwriting that tackles a recovery from grief with neat lyrics and easy metaphors. Instead of standing out, Macy has provided another sap’s ballad that has the cuteness of “Kumbaya”, one that aims to please the crowd without challenging emotions, only presenting them.

Rating: 2.0/5.0

Rudderless” is indeed the story of a man finding his direction, albeit through the music and lyrics of his late son Joshua (Miles Heizer). Two years after losing his son to a school shooting, disillusioned father and ex-husband Sam (Billy Crudup) lives alone on a boat that indeed does not have a rudder. He has abandoned his fancy corporate job to become a house painter. When his ex-wife Emily (Felicity Huffman) gives him the remaining items belonging to their son, Sam discovers a batch of demos made by Josh that no one has ever heard before. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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