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Diablo Cody

Film Review: Diablo Cody Loses Tone in Awful ‘Paradise’

CHICAGO – Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, “Paradise,” now available everywhere On Demand and released this Friday in some markets theatrically, is an unmitigated disaster. It’s the most tonally inconsistent film of 2013, a flick that fluctuates wildly from broad satire to manipulative drama to something altogether indescribably bad.

Blu-ray Review: Flawed Satire ‘God Bless America’ Has Moments of Brilliance

God Bless America Blu-ray

CHICAGO – How does one attempt to review a picture that has a 5-star opening act, a 2-star finale and several flashes of brilliance amidst a middling midsection? Are the good parts worth savoring despite the overarching flaws? In the case of Bobcat Goldthwait’s scathing yet softhearted satire on American idiocy, the answer is a resounding yes..

Interview: Bobcat Goldthwait Shoots Idiocy in the Face in ‘God Bless America’

CHICAGO – Embarrassments both mortifying and tragic are viewed through a cathartically hilarious and disarmingly humanistic lens in the cinema of Bobcat Goldthwait.

Blu-ray Review: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt Deliver in ‘Young Adult’

Young Adult with Charlize Theron (review)

CHICAGO – Jason Reitman took more risks with “Young Adult” than any film in his career. The fact that those risks paid off with a film that’s ultimately less satisfying than “Juno” or “Up in the Air” is not the point. I love to see such a talent as Reitman trying something as risky as a film with a completely loathsome protagonist for which no redemption is asked or offered. And Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt simply rock in two of the best performances of their individual careers. I think Diablo Cody’s script lets all three of them down to a certain degree, but “Young Adult” is worth at least a rental for the performances alone.

Interview: ‘Young Adult’ Director Jason Reitman on Open-Ended, Non-Message Directing

CHICAGO – Instead of trying to fill giant shoes in the shadows of his legendary filmmaker father Ivan Reitman (“Ghostbusters”), Jason Reitman has been successfully blazing his own path of films without message that are designed to incite your thoughts and question your actions.

Film Review: Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody Sway Us to Like the Unlikable in ‘Young Adult’

CHICAGO – Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) isn’t a girl you’d Facebook like. She’s got one too many dark passengers, she’s a repugnant drunk, she likes too much pink, her white dog is too puffy and most would consider it less than Usher cool that she’s throwing herself at a married man she couldn’t bag back in high school. Or is she? And is Mavis so different than you?

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Young Adult’ With Charlize Theron

Young Adult with Charlize Theron

CHICAGO – In our latest dramedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “Young Adult” from the director of “Up in the Air” (Jason Reitman) and the writer of “Juno” (Diablo Cody) starring Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson!

TV Review: Torturous ‘Suburgatory’ Ineptly Imitates Diablo Cody

CHICAGOABC reaches a new low with “Suburgatory,” one of the least funny comedies of the fall TV season. It’s only appropriate that the pilot premieres after ABC’s other torturous suburban sitcom, “The Middle,” since neither show seems to have been conceived by a writer willing to step foot outside of the L.A. city limits. Yet while “The Middle” was admittedly likable during its first season, “Suburgatory” tanks in its opening moments.

TV Review: ‘United States of Tara’ Offers Showcase For Toni Collette

United States of Tara 3

CHICAGO – I’ve said for two seasons now that Showtime’s “United States of Tara” isn’t as good as it should be, partially because the writing and parts of the ensemble don’t live up to the Emmy-winning work by its stunningly talented star, Toni Collette, but I might have been wrong. The start of season three, debuting tonight, Mar. 28th, 2011 on Showtime, hints at a broader program with a deeper ensemble, but I’m not sure any more that this is a good thing.

DVD Review: Toni Collette, Diablo Cody Shine in ‘United States of Tara: The Second Season’

United States of Tara Season 2 DVD

CHICAGO – It’s difficult to think of a role better suited for the chameleon-like abilities of Toni Collette than Tara Gregson, a devoted wife and mother struggling with dissociative identity disorder. Every episode holds an element of surprise, since viewers are never quite sure which of Tara’s “alters” will emerge next. Will it be the perky ’50s housewife, the flirtatious teenager or the testosterone-oozing Vietnam vet?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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