Hey, guys! Weekends are the perfect time to catch up with loved ones and on Saturday, April 20, the On Cinema Family got together to celebrate movies and more during a pair of On Cinema at the Cinema live presentations at Chicago’s Thalia Hall.
Host and patriarch Tim Heidecker was on hand to lead discussions of the latest movie releases and, of course, everyone’s favorite film buff Gregg Turkington joined him to provide in-depth analysis and expertise. Before handing out a new collection of five-bag reviews, Heidecker – and a few special guests – explored the outer reaches of the On Cinema Universe during the 7:30 p.m. show.
“Every song tells a story,” Heidecker said as his Dekkar bandmates Axiom and Manuel accompanied him for an intimate acoustic set. One part MTV Unplugged, two parts Springsteen on Broadway and a dash of This Is Spinal Tap, the musical interlude tugged at every heartstring with tributes to a pair of great men.
Heidecker – who earlier doubled down on his bid to become San Bernardino District Attorney with an electric campaign rally – effortlessly eked every ounce of emotion from his ballads. He also showed-off his incomparable range by getting the party started with an intricate rendition of “Empty Bottle,” the number one download of all time. Wielding his guitar to create a cacophony of percussive elements, Heidecker set a playful tone before rising from his stool to unleash a face-melting solo as Axiom seized the vocal lead of the infectious hit.
Gregg-heads found a lot to love during the two-hour experience as well. Treasures of the VFA (Victorville Film Archive) spotlighted the film-buff’s vast knowledge of all things cinema as he explored the labyrinth of connections between films like Oh, God!, Cliffhanger and Walking Thunder. Turkington also shared a regional edition of “On Cinema, On Location” – featuring Chicago’s own Bernie Mac – and revealed a fun fact about Thalia Hall itself.
“This used to be a movie theater,” said Turkington. “And it’s my dream that it will be again.”
Joe Estevez reprised his role of President Jason Davidson during Decker the Play which Heidecker hopes will hit Broadway later this year. Fans were on the edge of their seats throughout the suspenseful production starring Heidecker and Turkington as their special agent counterparts, Jack Decker and Jonathan Kington.
On Cinema has developed into a multimedia juggernaut, but at its heart it’s still the premier film review series of today. Heidecker and Turkington dedicated the bulk of the post-intermission show to critiquing a few recently released movies. Drunk Parents, The Curse of La Llorona, Breakthrough and Penguins – the latter of which generated a lively discussion – were all awarded five bags of popcorn and several cups of soda from the critics.
Stump the Buff, an “Our Values Are Under Attack” sing-along, a Dekkar listening booth and a mobile VFA gift shop – featuring a variety of Julia Roberts VHS tapes – added to the evening’s entertainment.
On Cinema Live! will continue to tour across the country through mid-May. Check out photos from the Chicago stop below and click here to pick-up tickets to see Heidecker, Turkington and friends in a city near you.
(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)