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Billy Crudup

Film Review: Natalie Portman Embodies a Magnificent ‘Jackie’

CHICAGO – Capturing one of the most familiar woman of the last fifty years would seem impossible, except when focusing on one of the defining moments of her life. “Jackie” reveals Jacqueline Kennedy during the time of her husband John’s assassination, and when the nation lost a president.

Film Review: ‘Spotlight’ Offers a Relevant First Draft to History

CHICAGO – “Spotlight” is a movie which aspires to greatness and oftentimes just about gets there. It’s a movie that is thoroughly confident that the process of journalism and a great story provides all the excitement it needs to grab an audience’s attention. And what a great story it is.

DVD Review: William H. Macy’s Sappy Directorial Debut ‘Rudderless’

Rudderless, Billy Crudup Anton Yelchin

CHICAGO – Actor William H. Macy’s directorial debut “Rudderless” is a film of open mic songwriting that tackles a recovery from grief with neat lyrics and easy metaphors. Instead of standing out, Macy has provided another sap’s ballad that has the cuteness of “Kumbaya”, one that aims to please the crowd without challenging emotions, only showing them.

Film Review: Direction Proves a Problem For Open Mic Drama ‘Rudderless’

Rudderless, Billy Crudup Anton Yelchin

CHICAGO – Actor William H. Macy’s directorial debut “Rudderless” is a film of open mic songwriting that tackles a recovery from grief with neat lyrics and easy metaphors. Instead of standing out, Macy has provided another sap’s ballad that has the cuteness of “Kumbaya”, one that aims to please the crowd without challenging emotions, only presenting them.

Film News: New Chicago Film Critics Association Series ‘Film with a View’ Presents ‘Almost Famous’ on Oct. 3, 2012

Almost Famous

CHICAGO – The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) will begin their new series, “Film with a View,” on this coming Wednesday, October 3rd, at the Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton, Illinois, starting at 7:30pm. Admission is only one dollar. The first feature will be “Almost Famous” (2000), the rock movie directed by Cameron Crowe. CFCA member Erik Childress of eFilmCritic.com will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward.

Blu-ray Review: HBO’s Average ‘Too Big to Fail’ Stages Star-Studded Talkathon

Too Big to Fail Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Sometimes a film is so good that it casts a shadow over all the other pictures that have the misfortune of sharing striking similarities. HBO’s star-studded adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book, “Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves” does its titular subject matter justice—but not nearly as well as J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call.”

Film Review: Troubled ‘Thin Ice’ With Greg Kinnear Barely Works

Thin Ice
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Over a decade ago, Jill & Karen Sprecher made waves on the indie scene with “Clockwatchers” and “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” but then virtually disappeared. They’re back with another arthouse piece, a “Fargo”-esque black comedy called “Thin Ice,” starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, and more. The strong ensemble makes the relatively weak script (as presented…more on that later) easier to take as the film skates over some treacherous rough patches but never falls through.

Blu-Ray Review: Cameron Crowe’s ‘Almost Famous’ Stands Up a Decade Later

Almost Famous

CHICAGO – As the Oscars are almost upon us, several studios have been releasing Academy Award juggernauts of the past like “Raging Bull,” “Dances With Wolves,” and “The Color Purple.” Consider the re-release of “Almost Famous,” in its “Untitled” form exclusively at Best Buy, an ugly duckling cousin of these releases. Yes, it won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (well-deserved) but it missed out on nods it should have received in multiple other categories. Yes, I’m still angry. “Almost Famous” is one of the best films of the ’00s and has held up beautifully since its release just over a decade ago.

Film Review: Julia Roberts Learns How to ‘Eat Pray Love’

Eat Pray Love
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Despite its flaws, the often-beautiful “Eat Pray Love,” starring Julia Roberts, works because it refuses to talk down to its audience. This is the rare “chick flick” that treats its demographic with respect, never becoming the sentimental or manipulative dreck that so many other filmmakers would have delivered from Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoirs.

Blu-Ray Review: Give Johnny Depp, Michael Mann’s ‘Public Enemies’ Another Chance

Public Enemies

CHICAGO – On paper, Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” looked like it would be a clear contender for end-of-the-year consideration but it has been largely forgotten, only a few months after its release. The cold, dense film didn’t register strongly enough with critics or audiences and it looks like it could disappear without much fanfare. What I think is more likely is that Mann’s dark, complex film will slowly get the recognition it deserves on the home market and it starts with this Blu-Ray release.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Asylum, The Logo

    CHICAGO – Put in a dash of crazy, add a dash of funny and you are defining “The Asylum,” a catch-all name for a couple of show events in Chicago, playing at The Apollo Theater Studio through February 23rd, 2017. Behind the scenes of these showcases is producer Michael Sanow, a Chicago theater veteran. For “The Asylum” information regarding the “Atypical Musical Comedy Show” (Tuesdays) and “Access Comedy” (Thursdays), click here.

  • Baltimore Waltz, The

    CHICAGO – During the scourge of the AIDS epidemic, at its height in the late 1980s, a playwright lost her brother to the condition. Inspired by him, Paula Vogel wrote “The Baltimore Waltz,” a story about her and her brother’s travels through Europe – and filtered through the prism of fantasy and the movies. The Brown Paper Box Company presents a re-staging of the play in Chicago through February 19th, 2017.

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