CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – Director Jay Roach loves his work, heading into another phase of his successful career. The man who directed the first two “Austin Powers” films is now taking on movie and American history with “Trumbo,” featuring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as the 1950s blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
CHICAGO – It starts with the imagination, and the story that comes from that lightning inner creativity. Nobody, it seems, does it better than Pixar Animation, and they are taking it all to a new level. For your consideration, and in a perfect world a candidate for Best Picture, “Inside Out.”
CHICAGO – Place the Superman legend into the hands of director Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) and storyteller/producer Christopher Nolan (“Dark Knight”), and old Supes is bound for a makeover in “Man of Steel.” When it works, it’s adds to a legend’s richness. When it doesn’t, it is less than hero.
CHICAGO – From the CGI-heavy attack on Krypton that opens Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” to its soaring finale, I had the same reaction -– where’s the “Man half? Snyder’s attempt to reboot the Superman legacy with the loving assistance of David Goyer and Christopher Nolan of “The Dark Knight” fame gets the superhero part but misses the humanity at the core of this legendary character.
CHICAGO – My God, “Judge Dredd” is bad. I forgot how bad until I rewatched it in its recent Blu-ray edition, clearly timed to ride the wave of the release of “Dredd 3D” in theaters. The movie has been remastered well in HD but that’s about the last nice thing one can possibly say about it.
CHICAGO – HBO’s under-appreciated original movie recalls the moment when entertainment-seeking Americans averted their eyes from actors to their neighbors over the fence. Voyeurism had a new name, “cinema verite,” and one-time producer Craig Gilbert was determined to take it from art houses to small screens in homes across the country.
CHICAGO – Warner Bros. on Thursday released an official production picture for audiences to take a first look at the new Superman and his new suit, set to be appearing in the series’ next installment “Superman: Man of Steel.”
CHICAGO – How did we get here? How did the reality TV craze start? Some would have you believe that it is a modern trend and its popularity in the ’00s and ’10s has certainly been striking, but it’s much older than that.
CHICAGO – There are few things more unsightly than a small-minded film that pats itself on the back for being enlightened. “Secretariat” is no more about a horse than “The Blind Side” was about a football player. Instead, both films revolve around insufferable, blonde, finger-wagging, pontificating heroines who confuse bold feminism with extreme self-absorption.
CHICAGO – In real life, we cling to the notion that the inconceivable can happen, that magical probability can penetrate the mendacity of everyday existence, but it rarely if ever happens. That is what makes the new film “Secretariat” so appealing, that 37 years ago the impossible did happen, through the heart of a horse and his believers. Diane Lane and John Malkovich lead the charge.