Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Aretha Franklin

SXSW Film Reviews to Come: Looking Back at One Year “Sheltering in Place”

“Lily Topples the World,” SXSW Online Film Festival, 2021.

Today is March 13th, Saturday, and it sticks in my brain pan as the day that my husband and I went out to see “The Way Back” at a local cinema. The place was deserted and, when I asked about upcoming films, the news was not good.

By that weekend, we were “sheltering in place” and we were going to be sheltering in place for one full year. My hair appointments became non-existent, My nails grew out and became a problem. I was giving hair cuts to my husband. I would not enter a movie theater for 7 months to see “Tenet” at the Regal Cinema (now closed) in Moline, Illinois.

During that long Covid-19 year my husband and I would contract the virus and be sick for two weeks (in October). We would venture out perhaps twice (once to a drive-in) to see movies, but the flow of new films would cease, so the sacrifice that no movies means, to me, as a bona fide movie buff, was slightly mollified by the realization that there were very few new good films coming out. All of us were glued to our respective television sets, and that is where I would cover the Chicago International Film Festival, the Denver Film Festival, Sundance, and, this coming week, SXSW, virtually, online.

I am Press at SXSW, again, and the films I will be seeing from March 16-20 will include the following, (with reviews here and on The Movie Blog.com and perhaps a few on QuadCity.com):

Tuesday- March 16th

“Demi Lovato: Dance with the Devil” (Credit: OBB Media @ the SXSW Online Film Festival 2021.)

“Hysterical – top female comics perform in a special.

“The Oxy Kingpins” – a documentary.

“Aretha” – a documentary about Aretha Franklin

“Lily Topples the World” – young girl sets up blocks to “fall.”

“Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” – the story of Demi Lovato’s close call with death from a drug overdose.

“The Thing That Ate the Birds” – horror

Wednesday, March 17

“Recovery” –

“The Return: Life After Isis”

“Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free” (documentary)

Waze & Odyssey” with appearances by George Michael et, al.

Not Going Quietly – feature film

United States vs. Reality Winner – a documentary about White House leaks


Thursday- March 18

“Swan Song” (Credit Chris Stephens, SXSW Online Film Festival 2021).

“Swan Song” – I actually have already seen this one, about a hairdresser called out of retirement in the nursing home to do a dead friend’s hair. The dead friend is Linda Evans (“Dynasty”). The hairdresser is German actor Udo Kier. The co-star is Stiffler’s Mom, from “American Pie,” Jennifer Coolidge.  Todd Phillips directs.

“The Lost Sons” – fascinating documentary about a boy kidnapped at birth from Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago only to be returned to his parents  2 years later. Or is the boy found in New Jersey really their son? A fascinating documentary with many twists and a Chicago setting.

“Cruel Summer” – Jessica Biel’s project; teen-aged cast.

“The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Mary Johnson – one of the few feature length films

“Violet” – a Justine Bateman project

“Alone Together” – a documentary about Charlie XCS

“Sound of Violence”

“The Spine of Night” – animated, with voices by Patton Oswalt and others. The last 2 are “midnight fare,” meaning scary films.

Friday, March 19th

“Late Night Girls Club” – Samantha Bee and Amber Ruffin

“Cruel Summer” Q&A”

The festival does not end until Saturday, but my husband and I are scheduled to get our second Pfizer shots on Saturday and Sunday, which is his birthday. We are making a true celebration out of it, staying at the VanZandt hotel downtown in a pricey room and dining out with the son and daughter-in-law, so no closing night film for me. Check back at WeeklyWilson.com for reviews of the above.

“Blues Brothers” Are Recreated at Universal Theme Park

BelushiOutofCarThe Blues Brothers (Jake and Elwood) arrived on the streets of Universal’s theme park that resembles a movie set in a souped-up cop car. They were, of course, on a mission from God…just as they were in the 1980 movie of the same name…the one that had them growing up in an orphanage in Rock Island, Illinois. The impersonators doing the honors were preceded by a wonderful female singer (the Aretha Franklin role in the film) and a Soul Man Saxophone player.

Jake and Elwood made the assembled crowd this day (January 27, 2010) shake their tail feathers and led a conga line in the cobblestone street as their set ended. They sang the “Rawhide” song from the movie, and Jake even broke out the whip, (although he didn’t do much with it.)

BelushiCloseUp-021It was 4 p.m. in the afternoon and they’d be back at 5 p.m. for an encore; the previous day the Blues Brothers act played to a crowd of about 100 tourists at 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. [The times are constantly changing, depending on the season].

Jake The John Belushi impersonator was by far the closer in appearance to the original Belushi but both sang well and put themselves into their role(s). The Dan Ackroyd look-alike was tall and thin. He danced around in the background, just as the original Ackroyd used to do, but not with as much demented fervor.

The show played at 12:30 and 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the day of Obama’s State of the Union Address.JEDancing

“Jake” winked at me, put his hand to an imaginary cell phone, and mouthed, “Call me” as he exited. It was a quick, fun show, well worth the price of admission, which was nothing. (You do have to stand throughout, however.)

A fun (and free) half hour of entertainment on the grounds of Universal Theme Park on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.SaxMan


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