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Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

The Chicago Horror Film Festival runs this weekend (9/25-9/27), prepping you for all the gory, slutty fun of the Halloween season with such features as a horror fashion show, “I Want to Hear You Scream” and “Zombie Pinup” contests, and of course, some deliciously disgusting horror films. Hosted by Mr. Willy and his beautiful minions, the festival promises to make good on its promise for “babes…blood…booze”.

300_Oktoberfest_logo_2006

But wait, you say, it’s not even October yet! St. Alphonsus’ famed Oktoberfest has got that covered. Their traditional celebration continues the heritage of the original German immigrants who founded St. Alphonus in 1882, updated with top local bands, activities for kids, and beer, beer, beer.

If that sounds a little too traditional for you, there’s always the No Pants Party at Crobar on Saturday… which is exactly what it sounds like. No pants (or skirts!) allowed. Attending in your  undies gets you in for free, no cover all night long.

NudeHippoNBC5

Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com with your favorite under-discovered events, and check out my reports with Nude Hippo  at NudeHippo.com and NBCChicago.com

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stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

This Labor Day Weekend, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Washington Park!  It is always a favorite and highly-anticipated way to end the summer and this year will be no exception!  Enjoy vendors with a variety of fabulous merchandise:  art, photography, clothing, accessories, body products, jewelry and so much more; delicious food; and, fantastic musical acts, including The Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, George Clinton and many more national and local artists, fashion shows and dance.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the whole day with plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of room to spread out, relax and regroup, and then continue to check out the vendors in the African Marketplace! 

Theres Something for All Ages!

There's Something for All Ages!

And don’t forget about the Pavilions where you will find activities to suit every taste!  At the Children’s Pavilion youth of all ages can learn and enjoy games, music, dance, storytelling, theater, arts and crafts all day long! Contributors include: Hyde Park Arts Center, the Field Museum and other family-focused institutions that offer fun, educational and interactive programs. Many social service agencies will be represented in the pavilion to provide answers to family, parental and children’s questions.

The ICE Theaters Film Pavilion presents daily screenings of short and full-length films that interpret the culture and experiences of peoples living in all parts of the African Diaspora.  They’ll also feature a showcase of films produced mainly by black filmmakers from around the world, including a section of works produced for and/or by black youth. Enjoy free popcorn, get free movie posters and learn more about Black World Cinema, an independent film series available only at your neighborhood ICE Theaters.

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

The Festival is world renowned for its assembly of artists from around the Diaspora featuring original paintings, sculptures limited editions, prints, photographs, and ceramics. This year, the Fine Arts Pavilion will include artists such as Stacey Brown (festival artist of the year), Emerson Williams, Uwa Hunwick, Bayo Iribhogbe, Frank Frasier, Melvin King, Rondell, Nii-Oti, Akosuah Bandele, Marvin Sims, Ousmane Gueye, Dana Easter, Dimali, Isodor Howard, Samuel Akainyah, and Dayo Layoe.

Visit the AFA Pavilion Page for more on the Chrysler Financial Pavilion, Author and Book Pavilion, Meet the Artists Media Tent, The Drum Village, Spirituality Pavilion, Health and Wellness Village, Cyberspace Pavilion, Quilting Pavilion and the HipHop Stage and Pavilion!  Visit the Festival Schedule Page for the full entertainment schedule, created by Soleil’s To-Dos and featuring the wonderful, interactive calendar features that you’ve grown to rely on!

Just Chillin

Just Chillin'

But wait – there’s more To-Do!!!  That’s right – be sure to visit the “All Chill Zone” at the Soleil’s To-Dos booth.  (You’ll find the booth number and location at www.so-LAZE.com, on the Facebook Page, through our Twitter Feed or by calling (773) 268 To-Do (8636).)  We’ll be stone cold chillin’ and giving you the perfect spot to catch up with friends, sit and eat, slap a few cards, wax poetic and groove to the beats – including live music!  Yes, thanks to Sam Martin, the Idea Doctor, you can expect some special guests to stop through and grace us with some mini-performances.  BYOChair, or cop a squat in one of ours, if available, and chill for a while!  We’ll also be doing some special giveaways including theater; concert tickets; dinners; and, for one lucky woman, a one-hour photo shoot with Lee Bey Photography!

So, whatever your plans this weekend, be sure to make a visit to the African Festival of the Arts!  The Festival runs from Friday through Monday, from 10am-10pm.  General Daily Admission, $10 in advance; $15 at the gate; Seniors and Children (Under 12 – over 65), $5; Daily Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children under 12), $30; Adult (4-day) Weekend Pass, $30.

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by April Lawson

NBC5me

It’s official. Hollywood has gone completely south… in the windy city, that is. They’re rolling out the red carpet on 87th street this Thursday with the premiere of the movie DEAD TONE.  In the tradition of Scream and When a Stranger Calls, Dead Tone is a horror slasher about a group of college coeds making a game out of murderous crank calls. Stars Rutger Hauer, (Blade Runner) Jud Tyler (Charlie Wilson’s War, That 70’s Show) and Antwon Tanner (One Tree Hill). The star studded affair starts with a red carpet at 6:30pm, and the show begins at 7:30pm at the ICE Chatham 14 Theater on 210 W. 87th Street. So, grab some popcorn and a friend to scream with.

Dead Tone

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Dave Leonard, NBC5 Street Team, (Video)

I recently got to talk to Vanessa Simmons ( of MTV’s “Run’s House”, “Daddy’s Girls”), Wesley Jonathan (“What I Like About You”, “Roll Bounce”) and producers La Monde Byrd and native Chicagoan, Mekita Faiye (who also plays one of the lead characters) about their hilarious new comedy “Speed-Dating: The Movie” which will be released in the coming months. Check out what they had to say…

DL: Tell us about the “SPEED-DATING” movie and the great ensemble cast you’ve put together…

MEKITA: Oh wow, “SPEED-DATING” will be the must-see movie of 2010! It’s about these three guys who come up with this scheme that involves speed dating to raise money for their club and to meet women. It’s kind of like “Wedding Crashers” and it takes you on a wonderful journey with a lot of laughs along the way. The cast includes Wesley Jonathan, Chico Benymon who many know from the show “Half & Half”, Leonard Robinson of MTV’s “Wild’n’Out”…we have Vanessa Simmons, of course, from “Run’s House”, Emmy award winner ChriPoster #4 of 9s ElliottHolly Robinson-Peete, Clint Howard (brother of Ron Howard) who was recently in “Night At The Museum 2”, rapper Chingy, Kelly Perrine…the list goes on and on.

DL: Where did you come up with the concept for the film?

LA MONDE: The writer and director Joseph Elmore originally came up with the idea and from there we took it, shaped it, developed it a bit and then the actors breathed life into it.

DL: Wesley, you play the lead character “TOO COOL” in this film and your career spans decades in film and television, what attracted you to this project?

WESLEY: I just read the script and it was funny to me. I originally wasn’t the first choice to play “Too Cool”, but time had passed and the project sort of came back around to me and I also found out that Chico and some my partners from the business were in it so that was an added plus because I like working with my friends.

DL: Vanessa, we got to see on the “Daddy’s Girls” show that you prepared for your role by going on an actual speed dating event. What was that experience like?

VANESSA: Oh man, I had a lot of fun! I like a lot of hands on experience to prepare for roles that I’m doing, so the fact that I got to go on an actual speed dating event for the first time was actually kind of fun, but weird at the same time because the guys thought they were going to go on a real date afterwards.

DL: The “TOO COOL” character was a bit of a ladies man/womanizer…were there any real life “players” you drew from to develop this character?

"Too Cool" (Wesley Jonathan) meets "Kiki" (Camille Mana) in "Speed-Dating"

"Too Cool" (Wesley Jonathan) meets "Kiki" (Camille Mana) in "Speed-Dating"

WESLEY: Nah, not really. I was able to play this guy pretty straightforward because he was just being cool. In films like “Roll Bounce” and other projects I’ve worked on, I’ve definitely borrowed from other characters. I did get to adlib and improv and be silly during the filming of some of the speed dating scenes.

DL: Vanessa, ironically your character ELIZABETH is the “church-going” girl who gets involved with the DOG character played by Chico Benymon. Everyone knows your real-life Dad is the legendary Rev. Run of Run D.M.C. , so do guys get intimidated by you having the “preacher’s kid” stigma?

VANESSA: Unfortunately, yes! I’m like, listen guys, if I love you and I like you and I’m bringing you home, my Dad’s gonna give you that benefit, I think, until I turn my back…so I’ve heard. I just usually have to prepare guys when they meet him, but he’s a Dad like any other Dad. As far as Elizabeth, I like the character a lot and can relate to her in a lot of ways because she’s the good girl and she’s not doing the crazy things the rest of the girls are doing.

DL: Mekita, you did double duty in this movie as Wesley’s love interest and producer for the movie. Were you nervous going into your first starring role and wearing hat as producer?

MEKITA: It’s funny you ask that. It was definitely a challenge and I look back on it amazed at how I got through it, but I owe that part to God.

DL: What’s next for everybody?

WESLEY: I’m in a new movie coming soon called “The Obama Effect” directed by Charles Dutton and another called “B-Girl” and I’m currently working on a new project “Four to the Floor” with Evan Ross.

Vanessa Simmons

Vanessa Simmons

VANESSA: As you know my sister [Angela] and I have the Pastry clothing line which is doing very well and we’re expanding right now and couldn’t be happier. “Daddy’s Girls” is in its second season and Vanessa’s making her way around Hollywood and has some upcoming projects on the horizon.

LA MONDE: Stay tuned for “SPEED-DATING” to be released soon. This film is testing well with men AND women in the preliminary screenings and I think we have an incredible project on our hands. I’ve got to give a quick thanks to Blacksingles.com and HurryDate.com as well!

To check out the trailer and find out more regarding “Speed-Dating: The Movie” you can go to www.speed-datingmovie.com

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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team
Have you ever been so excited about a movie? I mean really excited? Having read The Time Traveler’s Wife cover to cover a few years ago, I have been anxiously awaiting the premier of the film version for months. This time travel romance is essentially my summer’s Harry Potter or G.I. Joe.

The film tells the story of Clare (Rachel McAdams) and Henry (Eric Bana) as they attempt to overcome the challenges brought on by Henry’s genetic disposition, which sends him through time, sometimes for months, even years.

While McAdams and Bana are cast as the leads, the real star of The Time Traveler’s Wife is Chicago itself. Locals watching can appreciate how lucky the characters are to live in such a magnificent and versatile city, while doomed to endure its unforgiving weather. At one point, the fierce freezing temperatures prove to be a detriment to even Henry’s time travel, as he winds up in the hospital. That’s timeless Chicago: cold.

Familiar Windy City sights featured in the film include the Lakeshore, Newberry Library, the El, Lincoln Park Zoo and one of those charming “vintage” one bedrooms we’ve all experienced at least once while living in the city. Additionally, you can also visit Clare and Henry’s movie home yourself in Lincoln Square.

The film is based on the novel written by Audrey Niffenegger, a Chicago native and professor in the MFA program at Columbia College. The novel is a page-turner, and it’s disappointing to watch the on-screen adaptation with omitted scenes and characters (as well as complex character struggles), which might have strengthened the story’s climax. On The Today Show, Rachel McAdams concluded that as it’s a long book, the movie is “definitely distilled down,” but that the core of the on-screen relationship is true to the original story. If you’re a fan like me, the thought will likely cross your mind that “the book was better than the movie.”

But who doesn’t love Rachel McAdams? Her smile and acting talent is worth paying to see, as is Eric Bana’s performance in a serious, sentimental and romantic role. It only took one glance at Clare’s childhood home and the famous meadow, for me to think, “That’s just how I pictured it while reading the book!”

But it’s Chicago that steals the show. The seasons of the city alone make The Time Traveler’s Wife a timeless film. It’s a delight to see Chicago’s fall and winter, with such a short glimpse of warm weather, and wonder — as in real life — whether the city’s spring or summer actually exists.

Check out the trailer below or watch Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana featured on The Today Show.

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adrienenAdrienne Irmer, NBC Chicago Street Team

Thursday, July 23rd, Sharon King, Chicago Casting Director extraordinaire, hosted the first in her Focus on Filmmakers Series at Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema. Emceed by Johnny “Koolout” Starks from WVON radio, four Chicago film directors showcased their short films and participated in a Q & A afterwards. This go-round featured Morocco Omari’s (Mis)Leading Man, J. David Shanks’ Trespass, Aaron Wallace’s The Fall and Barbara Allen’s Morning Due. Some heavy-duty material was covered in these films, but I won’t give any of it away, you can check these out on your own. I will, however, recommend coming to the next installation when it comes around sometime next month (date TBD).

Chicago is one of the largest cities in the nation, and events like this are meant to highlight local filmmakers of both the short and feature length and showcase the art emerging out of Chicago. Sharon also aims to help guide up-coming industry-related individuals with their art and then provide networking opportunities with established like-minded creators in their own city. Her next co-sponsored event is with the multi-Emmy winning Craig J. Harris: Breaking into the Entertainment Industry Seminar, Saturday, September 12th, 11:00 AM at Encore Talent Agency, 2635 W Grand, Chicago. If you didn’t know, now you do, because this is sure to be a worth-while investment for any aspiring artisits out of our fair city!

For more information about this event and to register, check out: http://www.craigharris.com

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Janelle Rominski, NBC Chicago Street Team

Christmas is coming this weekend to Chicago’s Union Station as Disney’s A Christmas Carol Train Tour arrives.

July 24 – 26, get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the all-new motion picture, Disney’s A Christmamas Carol, starring Jim Carrey and directed by Robert Zemeckis.ACCTT Logo lo-Res

The best part, it’s all FREE!

A five-car train will be on Track One and will feature an entirely interactive experience. Visitors will enter through the first car, and proceed through the length of the train where they will enjoy many exhibits.

Those exhibits include a digital portrait gallery, a model shop featuring actual models used in the filming of the movie, the Tunnel of Technology where people will learn about the motion-capture techniques used in theChristmasCarol1 film, an HP TouchSmart PC Face-Morph station where kids & and adults can age themselves and alter their photos (like Jim Carrey does to create the seven characters he plays in the film) and more.

The world’s largest inflatable state-of-the art 3-D theatre will be located in the Great Hall, and will feature exclusive clips from the film.

Throughout Union Station, the halls will be decked, snow will be on the ground (yes, snow in Chicago in July) and carolers will sing Christmas favorites.

Website: www.ChristmasCarolTrainTour.com
Tour Dates: Friday, July 24 – Sunday, July 26, 2009
Opens 9 am Daily
Chicago’s Union Station
225 Canal Street
Free Admission

Want more Rominski reads? Read more right HERE!

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