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.
CHICAGO – There was a day not that long ago when it felt like Nick Stahl was the next rising star. He delivered nuanced performances in films and on HBO’s “Carnivale” that led one to believe there was potential for stardom. “The Thin Red Line,” “In the Bedroom,” “Bully” — he was going somewhere in the early ’00s, but he was derailed into basically nothing but straight-to-video junk like “Mirrors 2” since 2005’s “Sin City.”
CHICAGO – When done improperly, there’s nothing more embarrassing than actors playing against their type or social class. There is a subtlety to channeling the lower middle or the working class beyond dressing down or developing a bad hairstyle. “Sleepwalking” is the type of film that gets it wrong and just gets worse as it tries harder.