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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Get Out’ From Jordan Peele

19 February 2017 2:28 PM, PST

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new horror film “Get Out” from the mind of Jordan Peele!

Get Out,” which opens on Feb. 24, 2017 and is rated “R,” stars Jordan Peele, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Bradley Whitford, Erika Alexander, Betty Gabriel, Lyle Brocato and Marcus Henderson from writer and director Jordan Peele and Blumhouse Productions horror producer Jason Blum (“The Visit,” “Insidious” series and “The Gift”). Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.

To win your free passes to “Get Out” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 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 »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film News: Spertus Institute’s Sunday Cinema Series Concludes on Feb. 19, 2017

18 February 2017 2:55 PM, PST

Chicago – The Spertus Institute, Chicago’s leading center for Jewish learning and leadership, concludes a two-month film series at their downtown location, featuring a documentary entitled “Torah Treasures and Curious Trash,” preceded by the short film “Hannah Cohen’s First Communion.” The screenings begin at 2pm within the Institute’s Feinberg Theater, located at 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago…click here for more details.

Feature Documentary at the 2017 Spertus Institute’s Sunday Cinema Series on February 19th

Photo credit: Spertus Institute

“Torah Treasures and Curious Trash” follows an 87 year-old artist in Jerusalem named Jo Milgrom, who scavenges dumpsters for usable junk media, and then combines these finds with the worn-out ritual objects from synagogues and funeral homes. She juxtaposes the sacred and the mundane, and challenges religious establishment by using the artwork as commentary on the Jewish faith. The short film, “Hannah Cohen’s First Communion,” set in Ireland, involves »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Odd Times at the Cinema with ‘The Great Wall’

17 February 2017 5:20 PM, PST

Chicago – Taking a concept higher than the Wall that inspired it, and mostly succeeding, “The Great Wall” gets a nod as one of the oddest stories in a long time. Pre-supposedly based on a “legend,” it brings Matt Damon into ancient China to help battle lizard monsters at the Great Wall. Book it.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

What makes it work is that it has a “Treasure of Sierra Madre” element to it, that the white European mercenaries are there to get the “black powder,’ the just invented and explosive gunpowder. The raid by the lizard monsters is something out of 1950s sci-fi – they are Creature-from-the-Black-Lagoon like – and would have been better if they didn’t look so cartoony. When I see 10,000 of those beasties coming at me down the valley I don’t care what Great Wall is protecting me, I’m outta there. Matt Damon, however, stays, and despite his character »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Provides a Much-Needed Temporary Fix

17 February 2017 9:56 AM, PST

Chicago – Gore Verbinski is no stranger to the spooky. He always creates these tense, terror-filled scenes that effectively frighten us. His films, from “Ring” to “Rango”, each are compelling enough to keep our attention, not matter how absurd they transform into. Boy, does he ever deliver in the gorgeously grotesque “A Cure for Wellness.”

Rating: 3.0/5.0

I grew up in what can easily be considered the golden era of fucked up cartoons. My formative years were filled with outrageous, absurdist shows like “Ren & Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog.“ Each of them probably has something to do with my macabre sensibilities and Gore Verbinski perfectly mirrors my own predilections. The most powerful part of any Verbinski is the visual storytelling and “A Cure for Wellness” proves that he works best when the camera tells the story for him. The best way to describe his »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Report Card on ‘Fist Fight’ is a Failing Grade

17 February 2017 9:13 AM, PST

Chicago – “Fist Fight” is such a thin premise it can’t even sustain its own two minute trailer, much less a feature length film. That premise, what there is of it, is simple – English teacher (Charlie Day) and History Teacher (Ice Cube) get involved in an altercation with a student on the last day of class, at a failing high school known for senior pranks.

Teacher Ice Cube gets fired, and blames Charlie Day. So they act like children and settle their differences with a fist fight outside.

Rating: 0.0/5.0

And that’s it. The entire running time is spent with Ice Cube glowering, and Charlie Day sputtering about trying to avoid the impending beatdown. There have been a lot of crappy studio comedies over the past few years, but this one stands out as something you can imagine even Adam Sandler turning down because of its shoddiness.

The film has no basis in reality, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Adds Artistry to Mass Murder

16 February 2017 6:08 AM, PST

Chicago – It takes a special kind of film that enthralls the audience so much that they stop caring about the body count and are more concerned with the main character running out of bullets. “John Wick: Chapter 2” offers the same cathartic effect as watching a Nazi get punched but in an infinitely more picturesque package.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

John Wick: Chapter 2” came, saw and slaughtered the entire sequel game. This film has set the standard for how action film sequels should be more ambitious than their predecessors. More than that, “John Wick” has become a case study on what elements are needed for successful and fulfilling franchise building. Director Chad Stahelski has spent his career building up to this glorious point. As a stunt coordinator on several major action films, many starring Keanu Reeves (“Point Break”, “The Matrix Trilogy”, “Constantine”), Stahelski has both the action and Keanu experience to create a decent action film. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Rotating Perspectives Converge in ‘Train Station’

15 February 2017 11:11 AM, PST

Chicago – Taking on the variance of choice in a very unique and compelling way, “Train Station” was interpreted through 40 filmmakers in 25 countries, following a character – The Person in Brown – in a singular story that flexes and changes as the role is exposed. Chicago was one of those filming locations, and “Train Station” will screen here at the Music Box Theatre on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

The film begins in a train station, the scheduled stop delayed due to an unforeseen accident outside the station. So begins a jumble of different takes on the character who is waiting, and the stories that occur based on their choices. In one scenario “The Person in Brown” is a young man, another older, another a child, another a woman, with lovers, life partners, friends and total strangers interacting with the person-in-brown on the journey. The result is hypnotic, and highly philosophical – who are we but »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Great Wall’ With Matt Damon

14 February 2017 9:51 AM, PST

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new film “The Great Wall” starring Matt Damon!

The Great Wall,” which opens on Feb. 17, 2017 and is rated “PG-13,” also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Hanyu Zhang, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Kenny Lin, Junkai Wang, Zheng Kai, Cheney Chen, Xuan Huang and Andy Lau from director Yimou Zhang and writers Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro.

To win your free passes to “The Great Wall” courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 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! »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Film Review: Discover the 2017 Oscar Short Film Nominees

14 February 2017 9:02 AM, PST

Chicago – One of the more overlooked set of nominees at Academy Awards time is two categories for Best Short Film – Live Action and Animated. The 2017 nominees are packaged as two presentations that are currently screening in Chicago at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Historically, the short film – both in live action and animated forms – were part of the early tradition of movie exhibition. In the days before television, movie theaters would show the newsreel, the short film and of course “cartoons” before a main feature, and that tradition only petered out when audience tastes shifted around the 1950s, and television took over the exhibition of cartoons. The live action short languished in near anonymity, banished to film festivals and rarely shown to the general public. The age of the internet has revived the form substantially (in both categories), and their availability have garnered enough interest to exhibit the presumed »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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