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Slideshow: Comedian Richard Lewis on His New Book ‘Reflections From Hell’

22 hours ago

Previous | Image 1 of 4 | NextThe new book from Richard Lewis is ‘Reflections From Hell.’

Chicago – The “Prince of Pain” was in Chicago recently. Richard Lewis, the overtly introspective and hilarious stand up comedian, has written a new book – “Reflections From Hell” – and appeared at Chicago’s City Winery, plus sold out two shows at the legendary Zanies comedy club.

The Brooklyn-born Lewis began performing stand-up comedy in late 1970s. After making numerous appearances on David Letterman in the 1980s, he landed on the sitcom “Anything But Love” in 1989, which ran for four seasons. Other TV projects include “Daddy Dearest,” Showtime’s “Rude Awakening,” and a recurring role (as himself) on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Films include “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” “Once Upon a Crime” and “Leaving Las Vegas.” He popularized the phrase “The _____ from hell,” which contributed to the title of his new book, “Reflections from Hell.”

Photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Life is Never Over in ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’

23 hours ago

Chicago – Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re the main character in “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Blythe Danner portrays a long-time widow whose routine is set, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. The series of extraordinary events are life lessons, at a point in life where class is dismissed.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

The film rises and falls on the shoulders of Ms. Danner, and she wavers on how much she is up to the challenge. The film is a bit of a tease, dangling the pool boy in front of the still sultry Ms. D., but it essentially is a slice of life, with more ordinariness – sometimes to its disadvantage – than show-off drama. It’s the type of story that when it works best, it really works, but when it doesn’t, it’s not that annoying. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 60 Pairs of Passes to ‘San Andreas’ With Dwayne Johnson

23 May 2015 4:24 PM, PDT

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 60 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new action film “San Andreas” starring Dwayne Johnson and Paul Giamatti!

San Andreas,” which opens on May 29, 2015 and is rated “PG-13,” also stars Kylie Minogue, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Colton Haynes, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi, Vanessa Ross, Will Yun Lee and Matt Gerald from director Brad Peyton and writers Carlton Cuse and Andre Fabrizio.

To win your free “San Andreas” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 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, use your computer to enter rather than your smartphone. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview: Writer/Director John Maclean of ‘Slow West’

22 May 2015 6:27 PM, PDT

Chicago – Now playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theater and on VOD (but best seen on the largest screen possible), “Slow West,” is a tight genre journey pic that invigorates the western while confirming that its territory remains open, despite the many who have passed through.

It’s a progressive western; recognizable for Fassbender’s Clint Eastwood impression, but offering something new with its ideas of gender and violence. Not for nothing, it also features “The Place Beyond the Pines” actor Ben Mendelsohn in a coat that will change the way you look at fashion.

The story follows a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee), as he ventures across 19th century America in search of a woman (Caren Pistorius) that he loves. He receives some help from independent traveler Silas (Fassbender), while encountering unpredictable forces of nature (played by Mendelsohn) and brutal inhumanity.

Before his debut film, director John Maclean was in »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: ‘Poltergeist’ Remake Has a Soul of Its Own

22 May 2015 3:30 PM, PDT

Chicago – Whether it’s the 1982 original or the remake just released in theaters today to the wrath of numerous fans, the lesson of “Poltergeist” remains the same: Don’t do a half-assed job when relocating skeletons for corporate greed, or suffer the supernatural consequences.

Fear not, however, as this is one remake that doesn’t just dress up a nostalgic skeleton for the modern horror crowd, but one that reminisces, and looks forward, with a mostly intelligent, genuine heart.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Produced by Sam Raimi and crediting its story to the one made Steven Spielberg, this remake of the 1982 Tobe Hooper film involves a new family, the Bowens, as they move into a house with its own bad mojo. There’s a weird electric air in their new home, which husband Eric (Sam Rockwell) and wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) have brought young Madison (Kennedi Clements), son Griffin (Kyle Catlett), and older daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino) into. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Theater Review: People History is Revived in American Theater Company’s ‘The Projects’

22 May 2015 9:01 AM, PDT

Chicago – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (Atc) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

Play Rating: 4.0/5.0

The company of actors in the play, in a range of ages, tell the sad truth of survival in these homes, with a history built upon misguided Utopian ideals, but all suffering from the neglect of abject poverty and a sense of abandonment, as the crime and violence became rampant while the city officials watched them smolder. But there were real human beings there, and as the voices rise from the stage participants, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Awe Factor is Sorely Lacking in ‘Tomorrowland’

21 May 2015 6:37 PM, PDT

Chicago – For a movie all about the awesome power of inspiration, innovation and wonder, “Tomorrowland” has precious little of its own. “Tomorrowland” the title promises a kind of retro futuristic world where anything is possible, but “Tomorrowland” the movie rarely delivers anything approximating joy.

Rating: 2.0/5.0

So what exactly is “Tomorrowland”?  The answer is more than a little convoluted and confusing. It involves essentially an interdimensional gated community where the best and the brightest of the scientific cognoscenti have been allowed to let their inspirations and dreams run wild and create a better world. There are flying cars, jetpacks, giant swimming pools in the sky and the usual suspects, but there’s also something a little off. It’s less a recognizable, or even an inspiring future, than yet another blur of hyperkinetic CGI that’s shiny, slick and completely devoid of anything distinctive. But I guess you run the risk »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview: Actor David Dastmalchian on His Remarkable Film ‘Animals’

21 May 2015 11:42 AM, PDT

Chicago – Sometimes you just need a break, that small window of opportunity to burst through and make the mark. Actor David Dastmalchian knows all about that phenomenon, as he produced and starred in his semi-autobiographical film “Animals,” and got the break of a lifetime landing a role in the film, “The Dark Knight.”

Dastmalchian is a consummate and enthusiastic gentleman, a performer who works hard, but has a humble and appealing attitude of gratitude. His star is ascending further this summer as he scored another role in a superhero epic, this time for Marvel Films, alongside Paul Rudd in “Ant-Man.” David Dastmalchian and director Collin Schiffli will also make a Chicago appearance this week (Friday, May 22nd, 2015) for the Chicago Opening Night screening of “Animals,” part of a limited nationwide release. Click here for details and ticket purchasing information for the Chicago screening.

David Dastmalchian of ‘Animals’ at the 2014 Chicago »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Exclusive Portraits: Brad Garrett of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

21 May 2015 7:01 AM, PDT

Chicago – The six foot, eight inch Brad Garrett is used to towering over the competition, but it is his comedic chops that got him the part of Robert Barone in the popular sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Garrett was at Hollywood Palms Cinema, on behalf of Anderson’s Bookshop, both in Naperville, Ill., to promote his new book, “When the Balls Drop.”

Brad Garrett at the Hollywood Palms, May 8th, 2015

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

Garrett was born Brad H. Gerstenfeld in Woodland Hills, California. He attended UCLA, but dropped out to pursue a comedy career. One of his earliest gigs was as a model on the Electric Light Orchestra album back cover of “Discovery.” He eventually won the top comedy prize on “Star Search” in 1984, which led to an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” After a series of TV spots and appearances, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Interview: Stage Director Gary Griffin on the Stratford Festival HD Movie ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

20 May 2015 7:17 PM, PDT

Chicago – The romance of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, has fascinated sensibilities for centuries. William Shakespeare, no slouch when it comes to cultural commentary, wrote his version of the pairing in “Antony and Cleopatra,” the latest in the Stratford (Ontario) Festival of High Definition cinema adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Chicagoan Gary Griffin directed the stage production, that was rendered to HD. The screenings of “Antony and Cleopatra” will take place on May 21st, 2015, in various movie theaters across the country, including Chicago.

Griffin is a professional theater veteran, originally from Rockford, Illinois, who cut his teeth in the Chicago theater scene. For the Stratford Festival – besides this version of “Antony and Cleopatra” – he has directed the musicals “42nd Street,” “Camelot,” “Evita” and “West Side Story.” Locally, he has worked with the the Lyric Opera of Chicago, among other area theatrical venues, and he has won eight Joseph Jefferson Awards for direction. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Video Game Review: ‘Broken Age’ is Tricky, Whimsical & Outstanding

19 May 2015 6:57 PM, PDT

Chicago – Double Fine Productions delves into the deepest, most repressed parts of the imagination and brings the wonders it finds into our reality. I took a long while to play and review “Broken Age,” the company’s Kickstarter darling, not because it was long or overly difficult, but because I was left thinking about the game constantly once I finished.

Video Game Rating: 4.5/5.0

Crushed!

“Broken Age” follows Shay, a disenchanted teen trapped in a spaceship, forced to complete mundane missions, and Vella, the subject of a morbid ceremony turned status-quo-challenger. I’d feel guilty giving more detail simply because the character’s stories are absolutely wonderful. They intertwine exquisitely, and the ability to switch between the two at any time both satisfies narrative desire and quells frustration.

Speaking of frustration, boy, is this game a treat. I played a small portion of it on my Vita, but the loading screens were too much to handle. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film News: Chicago Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava of ‘Patang’ Dies at 42

18 May 2015 3:07 PM, PDT

New York – He was a Chicago-born director who explored his culture with a delicacy and poignancy that set his debut feature film “Patang” apart from any other experience, and within that art he sought to understand the world beyond his American birthplace. Prashant Bhargava passed away suddenly in New York City on May 16th, 2015, of undisclosed causes. He was 42 years old.

Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava

Photo credit: Kushi Films

I first met Prashant not through a face-to-face happenstance, but through his mother. It was at the opening night reception at the 2011 Chicago International Film Festival that this smallish women approach me, out of the blue, and asserted that she thought I was someone who was “important.” When I described what I was doing there, she thrust a flyer into my hand promoting “Patang,” making its Chicago debut at the festival. I attended the screening, and secured a interview date with Prashant. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Poltergeist’ With Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt

18 May 2015 8:38 AM, PDT

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new horror “Poltergeist” starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt from producer Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man”) and writer Steven Spielberg!

Poltergeist,” which opens on May 22, 2015 and is rated “PG-13,” also stars Jared Harris, Kennedi Clements, Saxon Sharbino, Nicholas Braun, Jane Adams, Kyle Catlett and Susan Heyward from director Gil Kenan, writers Steven Spielberg and David Lindsay-Abaire and producer Sam Raimi.

To win your free “Poltergeist” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6 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, use your computer »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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