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Alexander Payne

DVD Review: Criterion Release of 1960s Italian Road Trip Film ‘Il Sorpasso’

Il Sorpasso, Criterion Collection

CHICAGO – With the recent popularity of road trip movies in both mainstream films and the art house, it is a fitting pleasure that the Criterion Collection has released Dino Risi’s “Il Sorpasso,” a jazzy road trip movie that takes the story structure to its basics. Two opposing types meet unexpectedly, travel to random exotic locations, and interact with people who are rest stops in themselves.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bad Words

    Looming over “Bad Words” is the potential it could have had, as is, were it released ten years ago. With its focus of R-rated behavior poking at the projected innocence of children, along with the couple of chromosomes that keep Bateman’s Trilby from being a Vince Vaughn character, this movie is certainly a product of the comedies that have sculpted out the manchild story in the past decade.

  • Winter's Tale

    The theatrical poster for “Winter’s Tale,” after promising that “It’s not a true story, it’s a love story,” made a large demand from its viewers at the bottom: “This Valentine’s Day, Believe In Miracles.” While there is indeed a difference between filmmaking and marketing, it is hard to not imagine writer/director Akiva Goldsman whispering “believe in miracles” into the ear of every executive who helped “Winter’s Tale” come to life, immediately after throwing glitter on them.

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