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Interview, Audio: Matthew Strauss, Video Services Evp at Comcast

20 hours ago

Chicago – It’s difficult to keep up with the choices for television these days, and what if it was your job? Matthew “Matt” Strauss of Comcast is Executive Vice President and General Manager of their Video Services, and oversees a division where innovation and technology has reinvented TV watching, and how it is delivered.

Matt Strauss is the steward of one of the nation’s largest pay-tv distributors of video and entertainment services. Under his leadership, he became one of the pioneers of video-on-demand (VOD) development within Comcast, including the Xfinity X1 Entertainment Operating System, which is a cloud-based set top. Xfinity on Demand now has one of the largest programming catalogs in the world, and drives more that 3 billion views per year. Strauss graduated from New York University, and cut his teeth on VOD with Rainbow Media. He also worked on the network side, holding several management positions with Disney/ABC-tv, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: ‘Baby Driver’ Runs on the Fast Track of Movieland

28 June 2017 6:28 AM, PDT

Chicago – While it may seem that we’ve seen this type of tough-guy robbery gang film before, “Baby Driver” lives in its own universe, that of the movieland of movies. It is rich in squealing tires, bang-bang guns synched to the soundtrack, and a mystery cool boy creating his own star-crossed romance.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

What distinguishes “Baby Driver” from the other Quentin Tarantino-type attempts is the building of its environment. The atmosphere gets more dense as the film goes on, the feeling more fantasy like and idyllic as the story of the expert getaway driver unfolds. The film is specifically cast to take advantage of that build-up, including simply great performances from Ansel Elgort as the title character, supported by a different-looking Jon Hamm, a bombastic Jamie Foxx and the amped-up boss image of Kevin Spacey. Writer/director Edgar Wright (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) combines his snarky comedic style »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Slideshow: Chicago Premiere for the Fourth Season of Starz Network’s ‘Power’

27 June 2017 11:38 AM, PDT

Previous | Image 1 of 4 | NextJ.R. Ramirez is Julio in ‘Power.’

Chicago – On Sunday (June 25th, 2017), the fourth season began for the popular Starz Network crime drama “Power,” which was created by Courtney A. Kemp and produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The Sunday night broadcast was right on the heels of a special appearance of the cast at the Chicago premiere showcase on June 13th, which was co-presented by Starz and Xfinity. Cast members J.R. Ramirez, Rotimi Akinosho and Chicago’s own Joseph Siroka were at the event.

HollywoodChicago.com photographer Joe Arce was also there, and captured these Exclusive Portraits of the threesome. Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos © Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

POWER1: J.R. Ramirez is Julio in ‘Power.’ POWER2: Rotimi Akinosho is Dre in ‘Power.’ POWER »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Slideshow: Chicago Red-Carpet Premiere of ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

26 June 2017 1:50 PM, PDT

Previous | Image 1 of 10 | NextMark Wahlberg is Cade in ‘Transformers: The Last Knight.’

Chicago – The Windy City became the “transforming” city on June 20th, 2017, as the major cast members and director Michael Bay walked the Red Carpet for the premiere of their new film “Transformers: The Last Knight.” The special Red Carpet event was on a barge on the Chicago River, behind the legendary Civic Opera House. Mark Wahlberg, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel and Laura Haddock were among the cast members that were there.

And HollywoodChicago.com photographer Joe Arce was also there, and captured these Exclusive Portraits of the cast as they walked the Red Carpet. Click “Next” and “Previous” to scan through the slideshow or jump directly to individual photos with the captioned links below. All photos © Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

TRANSFORM1: Mark Wahlberg is Cade in ‘Transformers: The Last Knight.’ TRANSFORM2: »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Glaring Lack of Originality Handicaps ‘The Bad Batch’

25 June 2017 6:03 PM, PDT

Chicago – Dystopia has been dissed out. Mining the negative vibe future world can’t seem to touch the rich creative vein any more and the reserves seem dry. Writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour may have an element within her interpretation that is hard core, but it’s not enough to understand the overall vision of her tomorrow world, except that we’re all part of “The Bad Batch.”

Rating: 3.0/5.0

A vision of the future world, explored in films as diverse as (just the B’s) “Battlefield Earth” (2000), “Blade Runner” (1982) and “A Boy and His Dog” (1974), always had the desolation, the strange/mean characters and oddball counter-nirvana that develops as a reaction to the dread. “The Bad Batch” does not sway from this formula, and in fact embraces it, but its lack of original feeling is fairly apparent. However, it does have an interesting female protagonist, horror situations that are uniquely stomach-turning, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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