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2001: A Space Odyssey

Film Review: ‘Interstellar’ is Supposed to Mean Something, But What?

Interstellar 2

CHICAGO – It is most likely that movie goers were asking the same question of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968, but Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” belongs to its own category of what-is-the-meaning, because it tries to combine pseudo-science with psycho-babble, which clashes into meaninglessness. But the visuals are stunning, and there are moments of fulfillment, especially in a big screen IMAX format.

Film Review: Mystery of Stanley Kubrick Explored in ‘Room 237’

Room 237

CHICAGO – Every film buff remembers the first time they laid eyes on director Stanley Kubrick’s memorable horror classic, “The Shining.” In the film, Scatman Crothers’ character warns young Danny, “There ain’t nothing in Room 237…so stay out.” Filmmaker Rodney Ascher has ignored that warning in his documentary, “Room 237,” and takes us inside one of the most analyzed films in cinema history.

Interview: Director Rodney Ascher Opens the Door to ‘Room 237’

Room 237

CHICAGO – The mystery of Stanley Kubrick is one of his great attributes. He directed a scant 12 major films in a forty year career, each with its own genre-busting stamp. His work has inspired an overall passion for films, numerous analytical studies and a new documentary about the theories behind his 1980 masterpiece, “The Shining.” Rodney Ascher directs this strange and compelling film, “Room 237.”

DVD Review: Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Killing’ Features Early Work of Future Master

The Killing

CHICAGO – When film lovers hear the name of one of the great masters of the form — Stanley Kubrick — their mind usually races to one of his most famous flicks, whether it be “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Shining,” or even “Full Metal Jacket.” But where did one of our most beloved directors hone his craft? In a series of smaller films, two of which are now available in a single Criterion Blu-ray or DVD release — “The Killing” and “Killer’s Kiss.”

Blu-Ray Review: Stanley Kubrick’s Timeless ‘Paths of Glory’ Joins Criterion Collection

Paths of Glory

CHICAGO – “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” No film has as succinctly captured the truth of this brilliant Samuel Johnson quote as Stanley Kubrick’s masterful “Paths of Glory,” one of the best anti-war films ever made. It’s a work that often gets overlooked by the flashier projects like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” or “The Shining” that Kubrick would make later in his career, but it’s easily one the best works from one of history’s best directors and the Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of the film is another stunning beauty.

Film Review: ‘Enter the Void’ Takes Viewers on the Next Ultimate Trip

Enter the Void

CHICAGO – “Dying would be the ultimate trip.” This line is uttered early on in “Enter the Void,” the extraordinary new film from Gaspar Noé, a director who enjoys referencing his previous work almost as much as his hero, Stanley Kubrick. This line pays subtle homage to the “2001: A Space Odyssey” poster prominently framed toward the end of Noé’s previous film, “Irreversible.”

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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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