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.
CHICAGO – Michael Peña is a serious guy – dedicated to his career direction, acting craft and perspective on a life in show business. But that is not all he is, as he has dedicated a new role for his young son. It is the new animated film called “Turbo,” and Peña portrays the voice of Tito, the owner of the world’s fastest snail.
CHICAGO – Two equally ignored Oscar bait contenders from 2010 centered on the same basic question: to what extent would you go to free your beloved from prison? Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction” and Paul Haggis’s “The Next Three Days,” are less interested in the characters behind bars than they are about those on the outside looking (and breaking) in. While neither film is Best Picture material, both are certainly worth a look.
CHICAGO – The expansive and intuitive prose poetry of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” comes to life in Tyler Perry’s film adaptation “For Colored Girls.” Thandie Newton portrays Tangie (color Orange) and saturates the character with a precise truth.
CHICAGO – Nominating Cherien Dabis’s “Amreeka” for an Independent Spirit Award is sort of redundant, since the film has, in a sense, been nominated many times before. The film will only seem original to audiences unfamiliar with “The Visitor,” “Real Women Have Curves,” and “Crash” (and no, I’m not referring to the one about James Spader’s fetish for car accidents).
CHICAGO – In our latest romance/drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 35 admit-two passes up for grabs to the Chicago screening of the new film “New York, I Love You” from an eclectic group of some of today’s most imaginative filmmakers.
CHICAGO – In a special edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: TV, we have 25 admit-two passes up for grabs to the exclusive Chicago VIP screening party of the new TNT drama “Saving Grace” starring Academy Award-winning actress Holly Hunter (“Crash,” “The Firm”) with cast member Kenny Johnson in attendance.
CHICAGO – Adi Refaeli, who’s currently touring the U.S. with her short film debut “Empathy,” has taken a circuitous route to the finished project. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, she spent three years in Toyko to start a family. All the while, she never let go of her interest to pursue filmmaking.