Tag Archives: mccarten

New World War II Drama ‘Darkest Hour’ Brings Churchill’s Perseverance and Leadership To Modern Audiences

Despite the new World War II drama Darkest Hour now playing in theaters nationwide, “Who was Winston Churchill?” still sounds like a question you’re likely to find on one of those ‘the dumbing down of America has happened’ videos. While Churchill may not have been American, himself, his influence and importance in the events of the mid-20th Century cannot be overstated. Winston Churchill was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in 1940, a position he held throughout the remainder of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Before his career in politics he had worked as a writer and served as a member of the British Army. His election in 1940 came at a time when Britain’s, and indeed the future of the whole of Western Europe was uncertain. Hitler had been elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, by the time of Churchill’s election, was already marching across France, pushing British forces to the shores of the English Channel, where the famous evacuation at Dunkirk took place (if you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, I highly recommend it!).

With the United States still hesitant to enter the war effort in either Europe or the Pacific, the newly appointed Prime Minister was faced with the choice of either regrouping and rallying national support to continue the war effort against Nazi Germany, or agreeing to sign a peace accord with Hitler and the Axis Powers. As the United Kingdom stood at the brink of invasion, it was up to Churchill to persuade Parliament, King George VI, and the people of Britain that the war could be won and that it was worth fighting, an extremely difficult prospect considering the ever-growing influence of Nazi Germany and the reluctance of the United States to enter the war. Continue reading

New Queen Biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Filling Out Cast For December ’18 Release

For some time now, there has been talk of an upcoming biographical drama surrounding the legendary rock band Queen, though no such film has shown up anywhere on the Hollywood film circuit. Now, however, it looks like fans will finally be able to enjoy a new biopic surrounding the events leading up to and including the band’s legendary rebirth at the Live Aid Festival in 1985. The performance was not expected to be anything special: Queen had lost a good deal of momentum by the early 1980s, and the band was just another group of performers scheduled alongside acts like Elton John, The Who, Dire Straights, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney. But when Queen finally took the stage in-between U2 and David Bowie, the crowd had no idea they were about to witness rock-history in the making.

Lead singer Freddie Mercury, who later died of complications with AIDS, took command of the stage and delivered an awe-inspiring set that even his band mates had never imagined. Through 25 minutes, Mercury jumped from the piano, to the guitar, to front stage with his sawed-off mic-stand, leading the band through a suite of their musical catalogue that included older classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” to recent singles like “Hammer to Fall”. It was all backing members Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor could do to try and keep up with Mercury, whose passionate and energetic performance ignited the crowd and which is remembered as the definitive highlight of the Live Aid festival. Continue reading

Stephen Hawking Biopic ‘The Theory Of Everything’ Is Now Playing In Theaters


The new biographical drama about the relationship between Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane, titled The Theory of Everything, can now be seen in limited release in a theater near you. Adapted by screenwriter Anthony McCarten from the novel Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking, the film is a dramatic depiction of the couple’s 30-year relationship, beginning in the early years and following along as they have children and as Hawking’s physical health deteriorates as the result of his battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The film stars Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn, Les Miserables) and Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Stephen and Jane Hawking and is directed by James Marsh (The King, Shadow Dancer). According to Hawking the film is mostly on par with the reality of their lives, give or take a few minute details and the actual amiability of their relationship, but as I mentioned before you won’t be able to find it in every theater in the area. Here are a few theaters in the Chicago area that are showing the movie:

AMC River East 21 (322 E. Illinois Street)
Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark Street)
Century 12 Evanston (1715 Maple Avenue)

Enjoy!