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.
Carice van Houten
CHICAGO – Millions of viewers will return this week to a land of dragons, swords, magic, and characters that are difficult to tell apart when HBO’s “Game of Thrones” premieres its third season tonight, March 31, 2013 at 8pm CST. What is it about “Game of Thrones” that has engendered such incredible loyalty?
CHICAGO – I know what you’re saying — how can a show that ended with as much death as the first season of “Game of Thrones” return even darker? Watch the season premiere of HBO’s brilliant (and, currently, best) series — “The North Remembers” — and tell me I’m wrong.
CHICAGO – Clive Owen is a fantastic actor, one of the best of his generation in films like “Children of Men” and “Trust.” His co-star in “Intruders,” Carice Van Houten, generally makes everything she does more interesting (and memorably appears in the new season of “Game of Thrones”). And yet neither of these talented thespians can do a thing to save “Intruders,” an inert, boring supernatural thriller, a flick that joins the crowded subgenre of childhood boogeyman scare-fests that fail to find the spine-tingling power of what we think may be under the bed.
CHICAGO – Reminiscent of vastly superior work by David Cronenberg and Paul Verhoeven but with none of the directorial skill apparent in the work of those two talented men, “Repo Men” with Jude Law and Forest Whitaker is a total disaster possibly unmatched in the careers of its talented stars.
CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray release of “Valkyrie” is another case of a disappointing movie being elevated by an excellent home release. With its miscast lead and mediocre screenplay, “Valkyrie” was a near-miss in theaters, but the film looks and sounds great on Blu-Ray and comes accompanied by informative commentaries and featurettes. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.
CHICAGO – Tom Cruise can be a powerfully vibrant actor in the right material but he’s horrendously miscast in Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie,” a casting decision amplified by poor direction that drains this true story of an assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler of its inherent power.
CHICAGO – This 13-image slideshow contains official press images for “Valkyrie,” which stars Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp, and Eddie Izzard from director Bryan Singer. The film opens on Dec. 25, 2008.