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Alexander Payne

Film Review: Quiet Desperation Gets Louder in ‘Nebraska’

CHICAGO – Bruce Dern is an actor who has turned in some indelible performances in his over 50 year film career. He saves one of the best for now, as he breathes life into an old man who wants one more time in the sun. So begins a journey with his son, portrayed by Will Forte, in “Nebraska.”

Interview: Tapping Bruce Dern for His New FIlm ‘Nebraska’

CHICAGO – Veteran actor Bruce Dern is now up to bat. That is how he describes what is at stake in his role as Woody in director Alexander Payne’s new film, “Nebraska.” But this film icon – with an over 50 year career – also has plenty other stories to offer, regarding Jack Nicholson, his family, his life and performing a “Derns-ser.”

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of ‘Nebraska’ Passes with Bruce Dern From ‘The Descendants’ Director

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new drama “Nebraska” starring Bruce Dern from the director of “The Descendants” and “Sideways”!

Blu-ray Review: Oscar-Winning ‘The Descendants’ with George Clooney

The Descendants

CHICAGO – Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” was one of my favorite films of 2011 and, no, nothing has changed in the last 12 weeks. The window between theatrical release and Blu-ray has become so small that there’s not even time really to allow a film to age or change between a film review and a Blu-ray review. “The Descendants” was great a few months ago. And it’s still great.

Film News: ‘The Descendants,’ ‘Midnight in Paris’ Win Writers Guild of America Awards

Midnight in Paris

CHICAGO – The Writers Guild of America announced their selections of the top writing for film, television, news, radio, video games, and new media last night, and the top prizes went to some familiar faces from this award season.

Film News: Directors Guild Awards Announces Feature-Film Nominations

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

CHICAGO – Nominees in the Feature Film category for this year’s Directors Guild Awards were announced this morning and featured very familiar names, with one that may come as a surprise. While four of the five nominees were also nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes this year, David Fincher got the nod from the Directors Guild Awards.

Film News: Writers Guild of America Announces Award Nominees

Midnight in Paris

CHICAGO – The announcements have been made and the nominees for the Writers Guild Awards for 2011 are set. Featuring six categories, two in film and four in television, the WGA award nominees range from first timers to names we have definitely heard before.

Film News: ‘L Train’ From Chicago Filmmaker Anna Musso Selected For 2012 Sundance Program

Anna Musso, photo by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – The Sundance Institute announced their selections last week for the Short Film Program as part of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and among the 7,675 submissions, Chicago filmmaker Anna Musso made the cut with her stellar break-out effort, “L Train.” The 2012 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 19th-29th.

Film News: ‘Hugo’ Named Top Film of 2011 By National Board of Review

Hugo from Martin Scorsese

CHICAGO – The National Board of Review made its announcements for the winners of their favorite films and performances of 2011 earlier today, and the winner came as a bit of a surprise. After “The Artist” won the New York Film Critics Circle pick for top film on Monday and the film also tied “Take Shelter” for the most nominations for this year’s Spirit Awards, the National Board of Review named Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” as its top film of 2011.

Film Review: George Clooney Stars in Stunning ‘The Descendants’

CHICAGO – If one looks solely at the central male characters, it can seem remarkably easy to classify Alexander Payne’s movies under the subgenre heading of “mid-life crisis comedies”: Jim McAllister (“Election”), Warren Schmidt (“About Schmidt”), Miles (“Sideways”), and now the memorable protagonist of his stellar new dramedy “The Descendants,” Matt King.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • The King of Comedy

    Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

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