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 – With the larger-than-life acting tics that have invaded most of Al Pacino’s performances in the last twenty years, it seemed inevitable that the actor was the only person who could possibly play a notable loon like Phil Spector. In tonight’s HBO movie named after the legendary producer, Pacino chews the scenery as one would expect but it’s Helen Mirren who steals the piece from the Oscar winner.
CHICAGO – The cast of NBC’s “Bent” is strong enough that it could easily pull that common sitcom trick of a shaky start that develops into something greater. I’m not trying to compare the programs directly in terms of quality but have you see the first 5-6 episodes of “30 Rock” now that it’s in syndication? They were awful.
CHICAGO – Ever since the final moments of the last episode of ‘Arrested Development’ (back in 2006), there have been rumors about a feature film being created for the TV series. Cast members and writers would be asked, “when is this movie coming out?” and responses would usually be “we are working on it” or “it’s coming.” Now, after six years, those responses may actually be true.
CHICAGO – Todd Phillips has huge balls. Never before has a sequel hit SO many of the exact same beats as its predecessor. More of a remake of the film that came before than most slasher franchises, “The Hangover Part II” is the definition of more of the same. You can see Phillips going through the motions — they liked the first one, let’s give it to ‘em again with a bit of Thai flavor and more Ken Jeong. The result is a film that feels remarkably familiar with a few laughs, some decent comedic chemistry, and some daring humor, but a work that just reeks of lazy filmmaking.
CHICAGO – Could this be the news fans of the old FOX series “Arrested Development” have been waiting for? Since the final episode of the canceled series aired on February 10, 2006, rumors and hope have swirled around that the comedy series would come back for a full length feature film. Now, the long wait may be over and fans could be getting more than just a movie.
CHICAGO – The best film of the first quarter of 2011 was a sublime little gem from the great Thomas McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”) called “Win Win.” The clever, character-driven dramedy with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan was recently-released on Blu-ray and DVD, and it deserves to find (and very likely will with word-of-mouth) a loyal audience on the home market. This is a great movie.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy/sci-fi edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, we have 10 DVDs up for grabs in advance of the home entertainment release of the “R”-rated comedy “Paul” with Seth Rogen and Simon Pegg!
CHICAGO – Pity the poor penguin making pictures. Their wings cannot fly, they have no script approval or agents, just a trainer bribing them with food to hit the mark. Their presence, their cuteness, even their flightlessness are exploited for a dreadful Jim Carrey film called “Mr Popper’s Penguins.” Somebody call PETA.
CHICAGO – Business and creative people go together as well as fine wine at a burger joint. Riding on the heels of the monumentally profitable “The Hangover,” the brass win out over the artists in “The Hangover Part II”.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Win Win” starring Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan!