CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
CHICAGO – There was a different kind of vibe coming from the thriller “The Boy Next Door,” different than what is expected when hearing “Jennifer Lopez as teacher caught in a scandal with a student.” But for every piece of original thinking, there was a fear of making it too different.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the thriller “The Boy Next Door” with Jennifer Lopez!
CHICAGO – It is with mixed emotions that one regards the tenth anniversary edition of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” On one hand, it evokes memories of the crowded theaters that guffawed in delight during the film’s year-long theatrical run. On the other hand, it serves as a bitter reminder of the failed career it had promised to launch.
CHICAGO – I’ve said for two seasons now that Showtime’s “United States of Tara” isn’t as good as it should be, partially because the writing and parts of the ensemble don’t live up to the Emmy-winning work by its stunningly talented star, Toni Collette, but I might have been wrong. The start of season three, debuting tonight, Mar. 28th, 2011 on Showtime, hints at a broader program with a deeper ensemble, but I’m not sure any more that this is a good thing.
CHICAGO – It’s difficult to think of a role better suited for the chameleon-like abilities of Toni Collette than Tara Gregson, a devoted wife and mother struggling with dissociative identity disorder. Every episode holds an element of surprise, since viewers are never quite sure which of Tara’s “alters” will emerge next. Will it be the perky ’50s housewife, the flirtatious teenager or the testosterone-oozing Vietnam vet?
CHICAGO – With junk like “Marmaduke” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” pitching themselves to children like bad fast food, it can be hard for an honestly-good and genuine family film to find an audience. “Ramona and Beezus” is the kind of family offering that will hopefully find a large audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s no classic and far from perfect but it’s definitely a success for its target audience that could surprisingly appeal to people outside of its demographic as well.
CHICAGO – “Ramona and Beezus” may not be the perfect film that Beverly Cleary fans hoped for when they fell in love with these characters but it is successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars. I admittedly have a soft spot for any film that places teachers on a higher pedestal than businessman and effectively teaches young viewers to stick to their creative visions. It’s flawed, but “Ramona and Beezus” works.
CHICAGO – In this edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, one lucky winner will clean up with three DVDs from Magnolia Pictures for “The Burning Plain,” “Two Lovers” and “Flawless” plus a full-size poster for “Ondine” signed by stars Colin Farrell and Alicja Bachleda!
CHICAGO – This 39-image slideshow features all the official press images for Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Sex and the City 2” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Catrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Willie Garson, John Corbett, Chris Noth, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, and Mario Cantone. It was written and directed by Michael Patrick King. It will open on May 27th, 2010.
CHICAGO – I personally think the show is slightly inferior to its hour-partner “Nurse Jackie,” but Toni Collette does such spectacular work on “United States of Tara” that her performance alone demands you tune in. Like Edie Falco on “NJ,” the incredibly talented Collette takes a challenging role that could have turned into caricature in the hands of a lesser actress and makes it genuine.