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Film News: Chicago’s ‘Asian Pop-Up Cinema’ Screens ‘Hamog’ on Sep. 25, 2016

24 September 2016 2:59 PM, PDT

Chicago – The Asian Pop-Up Cinema Series, spotlighting a variety of diverse Asian films, continues its 2016 Fall Season with a Filipino film, “Hamog,” directed by Ralston Jover. The film, making its Chicago premiere, will screen at 2pm on Sunday, Sep 25th, 2016, at the Wilmette Theatre in Willmette, Ill.

Hamog” is a gritty drama, about a gang of street kids in Manila who encounter some unexpected events, in the midst of their daily routine of crime and survival. Teri Malvar’s performance in the film won the Best Actress Award at the 38th Moscow Film Festival, and director Ralston Jover won over the Russian Film Critics’ Jury with a Best Film award. Variety lauded the film’s “unorthodox structure and detours into magical realism,” and praised Jover’s craft as a “powerful essay on social inequity and child endangerment.”

Chicago Premiere: ‘Hamog’ at Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Photo credit: AsianPopUpCinema.org »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Funny, Spontaneous ‘Storks’ Really Delivers

23 September 2016 10:19 AM, PDT

Chicago – I’ve waited all week to write that headline, and I will be joining the 100,000 other similar headlines out there. Hey-ooh! “Storks” is a lot of fun, without the dire need for any “message” or heavy handedness that is too familiar in the current animation environment. It’s just funny.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Much of the credit has to go to writer/co-director Nicholas Stoller (“Get Him to the Greek”), doing his first animated film. He has a light touch with comedy, pressing the accelerator when he needs to, but also getting laughs from wacky dialogue and strange asides. Staying close to the roots of the story (storks no longer deliver babies, but packages), and employing a great voice cast, combined for “Storks” to join “Sausage Factory” as the funniest full-length cartoon of the year.

The old days of storks delivering babies has gone the way of the rotary phone. The new delivery model is packages, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film News: Reeling2016, 34th Chicago Lgbtq+ Film Fest, Opens Sep. 22 with ‘Hurricane Bianca’

21 September 2016 1:03 PM, PDT

Chicago – The second oldest Lgbtq+ International Film Festival in America, Reeling2016, is about to launched its 34th edition in Chicago at the historic Music Box Theatre on Thursday, September 22th (details below). The Opening Night film will be “Hurricane Bianca,” featuring famed comedian Roy Haylock, and his outrageous alter ego Bianca Del Rio. Haylock/Del Rio will walk the Red Carpet with writer/director (and Chicago native) Matt Kugelman.

Richard (Haylock) is a teacher from New York City, who finally lands a job in small town Texas. He makes no attempt to hide his gay orientation, which forces the vice principal (Rachel Dratch) to fire him. But the story does not end there. To exact revenge, Richard returns as his alter ego Bianca Del Rio, and wreaks her brand of havoc on the small minded attitudes of tiny town America. The film features cameos from a host of queer icons – Alan Cumming, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview: Director Steve Chan Hits a Home Run with ‘Weeds on Fire’

21 September 2016 8:51 AM, PDT

Chicago – The most American game of baseball gets a new spin in the film “Weeds on Fire,” directed by Steve Chan. The story explores a youth team in the 1980s whose exploits coincided with a renaissance in Hong Kong. The film is screening on Sep. 21st, 2016, at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, part of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series (details below).

“Weeds on Fire” is the second film of the Fall Season in the 2016 Asian Pop-Up Cinema series. This year-round film festival, based in Chicago, is a revolving showcase of diverse Asian films, highlighting Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean offerings with English subtitles. Screenings occur at the AMC River East 21 in downtown Chicago and at the Wilmette Theater in Wilmette, Illinois. For full schedule of the 2016 Fall Season, click here.

The Hong Kong Boys of Summer in ‘Weeds on Fire,’ directed by Steve Chan

Photo credit: AsianPopUpCinema.org

Filmmaker »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: History & Pure Fun in ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years’

20 September 2016 8:32 AM, PDT

Chicago – They were the greatest show on earth, for what it was worth. But what they also were was one of the most fascinating show business stories in history. Director Ron Howard encapsulates John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr during their initial meteoric rise in the descriptively titled ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years.’

Rating: 5.0/5.0

The Beatles history, in ten short years, continues to intrigue and delight rock music scholars and admirers. Ron Howard does a spectacular job of focusing on three crucial years, the years that The Beatles were a traveling road show. Beginning with their conquering of America in February of 1964, through their last organized live concert in San Francisco on August 29th, 1966, the four boys in the band became men, and faced a tsunami of adoration, backlash, surreality and collective joy. This is a love fest by Ron Howard, dedicated »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ a Lesson for Our Times

18 September 2016 5:32 PM, PDT

Chicago – The experience of director Oliver Stone, to look underneath the slimy rocks of government secrecy and bureaucracy, produces an excellent history lesson in “Snowden,” an overview of Edward Snowden, a whistleblower against the government who is still in exile.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Stone is clear on his position on Snowden, who essentially told the world that their privacy rights were being violated through government access into their technology, he is a patriot. How he became that way is fascinating, with the complexities of spying on chilling display. Get your band-aids or masking tape out and tape that camera hole on your computer, or maybe you’re next on the CIA/Nsa “candid camera.” That is what the film warns, and again Oliver Stone is the agent provocateur who leads the way to teaching us something through his role, as he puts it, as a dramatist.

The story is told in flashback. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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