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Jim Rash

Blu-ray Review: Sweet, Sentimental ‘The Way, Way Back’

The Way, Way Back

CHICAGO – “The Way, Way Back” made a solid $21 million domestically but I kind of expected it to be an even bigger hit when I saw it back in January at the Sundance Film Festival. I saw several dozen films at this year’s fest and nothing produced a response like Nat Faxon & Jim Rash’s sweet, sentimental comedy. The audience I saw it with LOVED it. And now that it’s on Blu-ray and DVD, I expect it to reach an even bigger audience through word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s a fun, clever movie with some great performances, including a supporting turn by Sam Rockwell that stands with the best of the year.

DVD Review: Frustrating Fourth Season of ‘Community’

Community S4

CHICAGO – The fourth season of NBC’s “Community” was its most controversial by some margin. The program was barely renewed, its showrunner (Dan Harmon) was unprofessionally fired, and the on-set feuds with co-star Chevy Chase continued. To start the fifth season, Chase is gone and Harmon is back. No one has made out well in the court of public opinion and the fourth season was sometimes unwatchable. You would never know any of this from the recently-released DVD set.

Film Review: For a Real Summer Movie, Go ‘The Way, Way Back’

CHICAGO – Nothing evokes the time, sights and smells of summer like the getaway resort. The long days, the mystery of night, the first crush and the summer job are all brought back in the soapy yet fun “The Way, Way Back,” featuring Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney.

Interview: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash Direct ‘The Way, Way Back’

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash TWWB Interview

CHICAGO – Nat Faxon and Jim Rash are nothing if not spontaneous beings. Upon accepting their Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, which they shared with Alexander Payne for the 2011 critical darling, “The Descendants,” they struck a comical pose, satirizing presenter Angelina Jolie’s leggy posture. It was a small moment, but it provided the dreary telecast with its biggest laugh.

DVD Review: Third Season of NBC Critical Darling ‘Community’

Community S3 Mid

CHICAGO – The third season of “Community” was more inconsistent than the brilliant second but it still featured some of the smartest writing and best performances on network TV. I think the writers lost sight of some of their characters in pursuit of concept over substance at times but has there been a modern show that was more unpredictable than this one? You never know where they’re going to go, what they’re going to reference, or how far they’re going to take their concepts.

Blu-ray Review: Oscar-Winning ‘The Descendants’ with George Clooney

The Descendants

CHICAGO – Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” was one of my favorite films of 2011 and, no, nothing has changed in the last 12 weeks. The window between theatrical release and Blu-ray has become so small that there’s not even time really to allow a film to age or change between a film review and a Blu-ray review. “The Descendants” was great a few months ago. And it’s still great.

TV Review: ‘Community’ Returns with Hysterically Self-Referential Episode

CHICAGO – Leave it to the writers of “Community,” one of the best shows on television, to take TV lemons and make a tasty comedy beverage out of them. After being forced into hiatus by a network that has never known how to support or promote it, “Community” is finally back on Thursday nights, pushing “30 Rock” to the spot formerly occupied by the done-for-the-season “Up All Night.”

TV News: Comedy Central Adds ‘Community’ Off-Net Rights to Network

Community

CHICAGO – It was only a few weeks ago when the cult favorite “Communtiy” didn’t have a home at all. Through two and a half seasons on NBC, the show was put on hiatus as the network decided what to do. Now, the hit comedy is returning to the NBC Thursday night lineup tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CST and it has also found a new home.

Film News: ‘The Descendants,’ ‘Midnight in Paris’ Win Writers Guild of America Awards

Midnight in Paris

CHICAGO – The Writers Guild of America announced their selections of the top writing for film, television, news, radio, video games, and new media last night, and the top prizes went to some familiar faces from this award season.

Film News: ‘Hugo’ Named Top Film of 2011 By National Board of Review

Hugo from Martin Scorsese

CHICAGO – The National Board of Review made its announcements for the winners of their favorite films and performances of 2011 earlier today, and the winner came as a bit of a surprise. After “The Artist” won the New York Film Critics Circle pick for top film on Monday and the film also tied “Take Shelter” for the most nominations for this year’s Spirit Awards, the National Board of Review named Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” as its top film of 2011.

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