WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading →
The 2018 Sundance Film Festival kicked off yesterday in Park City, Utah, at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Every year the festival plays host to an impressive array of independent films, both foreign and domestic, and has featured such successful films as Blood Simple, Hoosiers, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Memento, 28 Days Later, SuperSize Me, Boyhood, and more recent notables like Dope, Mudbound, and Wind River (just to name a few!). Sundance not only presents feature-length films but also shorts and documentaries, and presents awards in such categories as acting, cinematography, screenwriting, directing, and short-filmmaking. The 2018 celebration will showcase 110 feature-length films from 29 countries; 47 of those films come from first-time filmmakers, out of a pool of 13,468 total submissions, including features, shorts, and documentaries. Some of this years more anticipated entries include Juliet Naked, Wildlife, Heart Beats Loud, The Catcher Was a Spy, and documentaries like Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, and Our New President. The 2018 celebration, however, comes at the helm of the whirlwind that was 2017. Continue reading →
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
When I first arrived in Chicago at the back end of 2008 i had absolutely no clue who Hebru Brantley was. I remember cruising along Milwaukee Avenue and seeing huge graffiti style murals of futuristic looking children wearing goggles, and wondering to myself “who the hell makes these?”. One day a friend of mine put me on to an art show and boom the connection was made, i now knew his name but the research had just began. A few years later and the man, the myth continues to be an internationally acclaimed artist with backing from some very prestigious people/companies: Jay Z, Nike, Lollapalooza and Life+Times to name a few. The South side native most recently was involved with a Nike sponsored pop up shop featuring his clothing line in conjunction with Lollapalooza weekend. One of the coolest things about Hebru is that he’s so in tune with the streets of Chicago and what’s going on in his city, i still have no idea how many of his pieces are sprinkled around the city; but it’s still amazing every time i stumble upon one. If you’ve never heard of Hebru Brantley click the link below and check out his website and stay tuned for his next event.
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 →
Those of you not dying of nostalgia over the release of Power Rangers this weekend should check out a new indie drama titled The Levelling, which is also opening in select theaters. The film is the first feature-length presentation from writer/director Hope Dickson Leach (Ladies in Waiting, Morning Echo), following a woman named Clover who returns home after her brother’s death by suicide to find the family farm devastated by a recent flood and her father hardly recognizable to the man she left behind all those years ago. As she becomes reacquainted with her home town and learns of the goings on in the years of her absence, she and her father begin to develop a mutual understanding as they come to terms with her brother Charlie’s death and the events that drove him to take his own life. The film first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and received award nominations at both the British Independent Film Awards and the London Film Festival. Ellie Kendrick (An Education, Game of Thrones) and David Troughton (Sharpe’s Rifles, Dance with a Stranger) lead the cast as Clover and her father Aubrey.
In addition, the new comedy with Woody Harrelson (Zombieland, True Detective) and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, Wild) titled Wilson, about an estranged husband and wife who set out to find and connect with their long lost daughter, is also opening in select theaters this weekend. Be sure to check your local listings for showings near you. Enjoy the weekend!
Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
You can go anywhere in the world and still recognize those two golden arches silhouetted against a solid red background. McDonald‘s is not only a name, it’s a brand. It’s one of the most renowned brands in the history of America, and by extension, the world. Despite the fact that we live in a post-Supersize Me society, McDonald’s is still one of the most daily-visited restaurants globally. In fact, McDonald’s has been around for so long that its name and label are now simply embedded in the American conscious. This weekend, however, fans of the fast-food-fav can see how it all began. Director John Lee Hancock’s The Founder is now playing in theaters nationwide. Starring Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, Birdman), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, 22 Jump Street), John Carroll Lynch (Gran Torino, Crazy Stupid Love), Linda Cardellini (Grandma’s Boy, Avengers: Age of Ultron), BJ Novak (The Office, Inglorious Basterds), and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, The Master), The Founder tells the tale of Ray Kroc, the passionate salesman who took the McDonald brothers’ small burger shack and turned it into the internationally known conglomerate we know today. Continue reading →
Every January we get to start off the new year with the world-renowned Sundance Film Festival. This year’s celebration takes place between January 19th and 29th at the in Park City. Sundance is known for introducing an array of independent films that provide provocative, yet unique glimpses into the human experience. Famous titles including Blackfish, Little Miss Sunshine, Swiss Army Man, Fruitvale Station, and Whiplash, to cite some examples from the last few years, have all premiered at Sundance. The Competition and Next film line-up for 2017 have already been announced. That list can be found by clicking here. In addition to the competition line-up, Sundance also plays hosts to a number of feature and documentary premiers, including special midnight showings, spotlight features, Sundance Kids, and other special events. To see the full list of premiers and additional line-ups, just follow the link!
With the winter season upon us, it’s time for the snowboarders to start hitting the slopes again. The 1817 crew recently unveiled their new park at Buck Hill christening it with a solid session. Peep the video above and stay tuned for more snowboarding clips as winter sets in.