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Mayor Announces Festival of the Lakes Main Stage Lineup

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Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and Hammond Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce the 16th Annual Festival of the Lakes music talent lineup for the main stage at Wolf Lake Memorial Park Pavilion, 2324 S. Calumet Avenue:

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Toy Story 4 continues the family fun

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 Rating 8/10

Overview

Toddler Bonnie and her family are going on a road trip and obviously our favorite collection of toys must join her along the way. A newly constructed toy named Forky has questions about the world and his place in it. Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Bonnie’s toys must now keep an eye on Forky and make sure they all make it home safe.

What Worked

The main thing that worked in this new Toy Story movie is the fact that our filmmakers stayed true to this franchises formula. Pixar has always been a company that tests their limits and these computer animated characters look gorgeous. Details of the toys down to the polyester look authentic and realistic. Director, Josh Cooley of “Up”, knows first-hand how to handle an animated...

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Memories and melodies created at Sheridan Plaza featuring the Crawpuppies

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Hello, Summer! The City of Whiting rocked out with the Crawpuppies, a Region favorite cover band, to welcome the first day of summer. The family-friendly event kicked off their concert series at Sheridan Plaza. Concert-goers came prepared with chairs and blankets for the all ages concert, featuring classic rock. Even passersby were pulled into the experience, creating an atmosphere of fun, dancing, and making memories of a downtown summer night. On top of this, the memories and melodies created at Sheridan Plaza are free of charge.

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Jon Anderson of Yes to Perform at Silver Creek Event Center, Four Winds New Buffalo

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The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ Four Winds® Casinos are pleased to announce Jon Anderson of Yes will perform at Silver Creek® Event Center on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET. This concert is part of Anderson’s 1000 Hands World Tour. Ticket prices for the show start at $29 plus applicable fees and can be purchased beginning Friday, June 21 at 10 a.m. ET by visiting FourWindsCasino.com, or by calling (800) 745-3000. Hotel rooms are available on the night of the Jon Anderson performance and can be purchased with event tickets.

Jon Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in progressive rock as the lead vocalist and creative force behind Yes. Anderson was the author and a major creative influence behind the ground-breaking album...

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Men In Black: International brings nostalgia and fun

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Rating 6/10

Overview

Since she was a child, Molly (Tessa Thompson) has wanted to become a member of the Men In Black. After finally finding the agencies hidden base, she succeeds in being accepted into the secret organization. Paired with the Men In Black’s Top Agent: H (Chris Hemsworth), the two of them must keep a powerful weapon out of the hands of the evil alien race: The Hive.

What Worked

The main aspect of Men In Black: International that worked well was the overall production and feel. This movie looks and sounds like it definitely belongs in this universe. Director F. Gary Gray makes sure that all of the classic elements of the original trilogy are reintroduced for the new generation. This includes all of the cool weapons such as the classic neutralizer....

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X-Men: Dark Phoenix flies into theaters as a curtain call to this story arc

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Rating 6/10

Overview

The X-Men find themselves on a mission to space in order to save a collection of Earth’s astronauts. However, During the expedition, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) becomes merged with an intergalactic entity known as Phoenix. This results in Jean experiencing a new height in abilities. Unfortunately, these new powers have also caused negative effects on Jean’s mental state. The X-Men must now decide if the villain they must protect Earth from is one of their own.

What Worked

To begin, Dark Phoenix starts off on a good note. The opening act is taken directly from the source material and looks spectacular on screen. Every individual X-Man gets an opportunity to showcase his powers in order to save the astronaut crew. In fact, the visual effects...

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Festival of the Lakes hosts Polka Party at Hammond Marina

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The 16th Annual Festival of the Lakes invites all polka enthusiasts to stop by when it hosts its popular Polka Party on Sunday, July 21. Musical guest Tri-City Drive will bring a traditional Polish sound to accompany an afternoon of great food and dancing.

Tri-City Drive is Chicago’s newest polka band led by Tim Okrzesik (drums). The band members include Ted Okrzesik, Jr. (trumpet), Craig Marsolek (concertina), Steven Futa (bass), A.J. Okrzesik (trumpet and Andrew Okrzesik (accordion). Tri-City Drive formed in 2015 and has performed at multiple Blazonczyk/Bel-Aire Enterprises functions as well as dances sponsored by other polka promoters and polka organizations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. The music of Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones, Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push, The Brass Connection, Windy City Brass and the Dynatones are some of the...

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Jason Mraz's tour will make a stop at Four Winds New Buffalo

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Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Jason Mraz has announced plans for a very special North American tour set to kick off this fall. The multiple Grammy award-winner will be joined by longtime collaborators Raining Jane for the run, dubbed “Ladies & Gentleman, An Evening with Jason Mraz & Raining Jane.” Set to kick off on October 23 in Modesto, California, the tour finds Mraz bringing his exuberant live show to theaters and performing arts centers, wrapping with a two-night stand at the Chicago Theatre on November 23 and 24 (see itinerary below).

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Movie Review: Rocketman, a truly beautiful story of the highs and lows of Elton John's career

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Rating 9/10

Overview:

Rocketman is a musical fantasy based on the highs and lows during the breakthrough points of Elton John’s career.

What Worked:

Going into Rocketman, I was initially curious to see what route the filmmakers would take. Copying the Bohemian Rhapsody angle with a straightforward biopic seems to be the popular routine in film over the years. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that this movie was completely different.

Director Dexter Fletcher does an amazing job of twisting the life of Elton John into a more fantasy-driven adventure. It’s refreshing and extremely fun to immerse yourself in Rocketman. Fletcher also showcases his talent with scene transitions throughout the movie. One minute we are...

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Aladdin Movie Review

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Overview: Young urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) along with his monkey Apu, steal and slither their way through life. Although Aladdin is a thief, he still has a good heart and puts others needs before his own. Aladdin’s luck seems to change however when he inherits a magic lamp containing a Genie (Will Smith). He must now decide what to wish for, and to ensure that in the end he stays true to himself.

Aladdin is rated PG for action/peril

What Worked: Guy Ritchie is the latest Director to tackle a Disney remake and he passes the test with flying colors. He did a great job of overseeing all components gelling together perfectly.

Animated characters like Abu, Rajah and the Magic Carpet are brought to life right before our eyes. They bring heart and great comedic moments to the film. Aladdin (Massoud) and Jasmine (Naomi Scott)...

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John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum Review

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Overview

Immediately following the events of John Wick 2, our favorite assassin (played by Keanu Reeves) is now on the run from New York City’s “High Table” of the crime underworld. With a huge bounty on his head, John Wick has every assassin in New York City after him. Wick must survive by any means and make sure he can take out as many enemies as possible in the process.

John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum is rated R for pervasive strong violence, and some language

What Worked:

From the opening scene to rolling credits, fans are flooded with what make this franchise so entertaining. The film is basically two hours of non-stop action. The fight choreography and stunt work of the last two films continues to improve with each entry. Keanu Reeves does an amazing job...

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