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Bob Odenkirk

Blu-ray Review: Teen Movies Don’t Get Better Than ‘The Spectacular Now’

The Spectacular Now

We are surrounded by fiction about teenagers that treats both its subjects and its target audience like idiots. So few filmmakers understand the problems and emotions of young people that when a film as great as “The Spectacular Now” comes along (my #13 of 2013), it’s a small miracle. Reminiscent of the best of Cameron Crowe, James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel (from a script robbed of an Oscar nod by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber) is a fantastic drama about a kid realizing that he may be peaking in high school. The Blu-ray is well-accompanied by a fantastic commentary from Ponsoldt, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, and featurettes.

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.”

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”!

TV Review: AMC Begins Final Arc of Beloved ‘Breaking Bad’

CHICAGO – Walter White is back. Those four words mean more to loyal fans of “Breaking Bad” than any other this Summer.

Film Review: Jeff Garlin Directs Inconsistent ‘Dealin’ with Idiots’

Dealin' with Idiots

CHICAGO – Jeff Garlin has created a good “character” in TV and films – a gruff but affable schlemiel that ambles through life as if distracted. He amplifies that role in his latest comedy, “Dealin’ with Idiots,’ but the loose improvisation style has too many unfunny stretches and an unpleasant spirit.

Interview: Jeff Garlin Gives Advice on ‘Dealin’ with Idiots’

CHICAGO – Jeff Garlin is what he is. He wants to emphasize that characteristic over any in the formation and development of his many characters – most famously as Jeff Greene on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and The Captain in the animated classic film “Wall-E.” Garlin also co-wrote and directed his latest film, “Dealin’ with Idiots.”

DVD Review: Chris Elliott’s ‘Get a Life: The Complete Series’ is Finally Here

Get a Life

CHICAGO – Charlie Kaufman (“Adaptation,” “Being John Malkovich”) once wrote for a TV sitcom so odd that its network and most of the U.S. had no idea what to make of it. Without question, “Get a Life” was ahead of its time. So much of the twisted comedy of 2012 owes a debt to this true oddity from two decades ago, a unique gem that is finally getting a complete series release years after fans started clamoring for it.

TV Review: ‘Breaking Bad’ Picks Up Right Where it Left Off

CHICAGO – One of my favorite things about “Breaking Bad,” the best drama on television by quite a critical distance, is the way writers play with time. One episode can take place over a few days while another very important week on the calendar may take up half a season just to get through its intense action.

Film Review: Jenna Fischer Stars in Sweet ‘The Giant Mechanical Man’

CHICAGO – Don’t let the awful title fool you — “The Giant Mechanical Man” is not sci-fi. This cute dramedy tackles well-trod ground in the world of indie film but Lee Kirk conveys enough honest affection for his well-crafted characters that the piece works.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 10 Pairs of Anytime Passes to ‘Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’

Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 10 admit-two run-of-engagement (almost) anytime movie passes up for grabs to the new film “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” from the cult-status comedy duo of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim!

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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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