CHICAGO – William Friedkin graced Chicago with his presence at a special event during the 2013 Chicago Critics Film Festival and it’s an evening that I’ll never forget. Not only is the director of classics like “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” recently released in a lavish 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition, one of the most important filmmakers of his era but he’s also incredibly funny, smart, and well-spoken. Fans of film owe it to themselves to read “The Friedkin Connection,” released earlier this year and even sampled in this release. And his heavy involvement in this release, including interviews, featurettes, and a commentary, make it a must-own for classic movie fans. That and it’s still one of the scariest movies ever made.
CHICAGO – USA’s mini-series “Political Animals” should have been one of the TV events of 2012. Instead it was just one of its biggest disappointments. That cast! That subject! In a political, election season! Zzzzzzz. Sadly, the creators of “Political Animals” delivered a program more like “Dallas” than “The West Wing” and viewers tuned out to the degree that the potential second season was canned. Now we can see what went wrong in one lackluster DVD set.
CHICAGO – When I heard that A&E was airing a remake of Michael Crichton’s wonderful slice of ’70s health care paranoia “Coma” (based on the book by Robin Cook), I thought, “That makes perfect sense.” With our current national focus on what’s going to happen to us when we get sick along with the continued health issues of the aging Baby Boomer generation, a “Coma” remake was a great idea.
CHICAGO – I’m a political junkie who naturally loves to follow the world of journalism as well and so I was psyched about the premiere of USA’s mini-series, “Political Animals,” a star-studded affair about how a powerful Washington family deals with a headstrong reporter and the secrets they still hope to keep.
CHICAGO – “Another Happy Day” is essentially the inverse of “Rachel Getting Married.” Instead of an unstable, self-pitying girl wreaking havoc on an otherwise pleasant wedding, we have a sensitive, otherwise pleasant woman driven mad by her unstable, self-pitying family…at a wedding, no less. I’ve seen war enemies with less animosity than this group of miserable basket cases.
CHICAGO – In our latest sports edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the original Cinderella story “The Mighty Macs” about women’s basketball!
CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, two lucky winners will win three DVDs each from Magnolia Pictures for the movies “Ira & Abby,” “The Great Buck Howard” and “The Answer Man”!
CHICAGO – As the credits for the premiere of the fifth and final season of “Big Love” started, I wondered exactly what I wanted from this year. Like Chloe Sevigny and most fans of the show, I agreed that season four was a serious disappointment, especially after the spectacular third outing.
CHICAGO – Ever since Tommy Wiseau declared that his masterpiece of ineptitude, “The Room,” was “filmed with the passion of Tennessee Williams,” I’ve become considerably more weary of any film that makes such an inflated claim. Of course, “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond” has a better defense, since it’s actually the adaptation of a long-forgotten work from the legendary playwright.
CHICAGO – Linda Blair trades her celebrity for activism. Her WorldHeart Foundation is a literal pet project, as it rehabilitates neglected and abandoned animals on the streets of Los Angeles. Blair, best known for her unforgettable role as Regan in “The Exorcist,” recently appeared in Chicago at the Hollywood Celebrities & Memorabilia Show.