CHICAGO – Few figures have had less of an exciting domination of the world than Kevin Hart. In the past few years, the comedian has skyrocketed to leading fixture in the comedy scene, creating hit scripts out of films like “Think Like A Man” and “About Last Night,” while taking victory laps in his lacking stand-up features like “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain”. The big problem is that these projects don’t justify his comic potential.
CHICAGO – When I saw the ensemble assembled for Martin McDonagh’s very funny “Seven Psychopaths” and realized it was from the creator of the brilliant “In Bruges,” personal expectations were set pretty high. In fact, higher than this film achieves, but don’t let the fact that it’s not quite as solid as “Bruges” overwhelm your response to this flick, recently on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s still smart, funny, dark, twisted, and unlike anything else on the New Releases shelf.
CHICAGO – Three actors, with three Oscars and an astounding 14 nominations between them, obviously have lost the ability to read a script late in their careers. That or the producers had dirt on them. There is no other reason why Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken would be the “Stand Up Guys.”
CHICAGO – Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate” remains one of the most controversial films of the modern age. Some would go as far as to say that the film’s financial failure in 1980 ushered in an era of studio control in that decade that killed the American auteur movement of the ’60s and ’70s that so redefined the form. It’s not much of a stretch given the historical reputation of a movie that got out of control in the hands of a director who couldn’t manage his own vision. Or is history wrong? Is it an underappreciated classic? Check out the gorgeous new Criterion Blu-ray and decide for yourself.
CHICAGO – Movie theaters have rarely appeared as depressingly airless as they do in Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse.” Rather than confront his adult responsibilities, pathological man-child Abe (Jordan Gelber) storms into the nearest multiplex for his daily consumption of media-fed inspirational escapism. He quietly mouths the answers to pre-movie questions projected in the otherwise vacant theater, as his words fall on nonexistent ears.
CHICAGO – Those who know the language of music at its highest levels seemingly know the secret of the world. But as “A Late Quartet” demonstrates, they also possess the same human foibles as the rest of us. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken portray maestros at an emotional crossroads.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “A Late Quartet” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken!
CHICAGO – Is there room for vengeance if you believe in Heaven and Hell? How do we suppress our need for moral and even physical justice if we believe that violence leads to damnation? Is there a chance to…oh, never mind. Let’s just blow someone’s brains out. That’s essentially how “Seven Psychopaths,” the clever new action comedy from Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) works in that it has a number of interesting ideas that aren’t fully developed even if the movie is fun enough to be considered a sin.
CHICAGO – Playwright Martin McDonagh really broke into the film world in a big way with his Oscar-nominated script for the stellar “In Bruges.” He defies the sophomore slump this week with the release of “Seven Psychopaths,” starring Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, and Woody Harrelson.
CHICAGO – Todd Solondz has always been prone to making films about people that most filmmakers wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. His characters crave love but are the opposite of lovable. They inspire the sort of laughter spawned not from amusement but from discomfort, sadness, and occasionally, recognition. It’s refreshing to see characters utterly devoid of pre-packaged, studio-approved appeal.