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 – Watching Philip Seymour Hoffman perform, now that he has passed on, is a bittersweet reminder of his ability and power to embody his deeply felt characters. He does it again in one of his last roles, adding his special brand of acting to the messy story within the gritty noir drama, “God’s Pocket.”
CHICAGO – How do you make a Woody Allen style film? You hire Woody Allen to act in it. Writer, director and lead actor John Turturro channels the soul of Allen’s films by creating a strange and romantic scenario with different types of relationships, including one with Woody himself in “Fading Gigolo.”
CHICAGO – “You’re a sick f**k, Fink” is the movie quote I was tempted to throw at John Turturro, the actor who played the title role as “Barton Fink,” and dozens of other memorable movie characters. Turturro is breaking out again as a writer/director, producing a new film co-starring Woody Allen, delicately entitled “Fading Gigolo.”
CHICAGO – The mind boggles when attempting to comprehend the unmitigated disaster known as “The Nutcracker: The Untold Story,” which was titled “The Nutcracker in 3D” during its theatrical run. Other bad films have tried to adapt Tchaikovsky’s ballet classic for the big screen (remember Macaulay Culkin’s version from the ’90s?), but none have sunk to the depths of appalling ineptitude inhabited by this Christmas turkey.
CHICAGO – In our latest animated edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home release of “Cars 2” with Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer and other voices!
CHICAGO – What is truly astounding about “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is how overwhelming it is to take in – there is so much going on that sensory overload is a distinct possibility. Shia LaBeouf stars in the latest Transformers film, now on Blu-Ray and DVD.
CHICAGO – Touchstone Pictures have reached into the vault and pulled out two of their modest hits, a pair of films with little in common other than studio and that they’re both around ten years old. For teenagers, these films will be new again and the fact is that both have been a bit forgotten by history. “The Count of Monte Cristo” certainly has been more so than the Coen brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but you may want to revisit both now that they’re available in HD.
CHICAGO – Most Coen brother releases on Blu-ray are going to cause a ripple through the film-loving community. Who doesn’t want to own “Fargo,” “Miller’s Crossing,” and even less-beloved films like “The Man Who Wasn’t There” or “The Hudsucker Proxy” in 1080p? Joel and Ethan Coen have long been visually-gifted filmmakers and those gifts shine through brightly in HD. But the release of the massively-adored “The Big Lebowski” in a special Blu-ray edition? Well, that’s more of a wave than a ripple.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy/crime/cult classic edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs to the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “The Big Lebowski” starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Steve Buscemi!
CHICAGO – “Cars 2” is an unequal Pixar blend for adults and kiddies that never evolves into the storytelling success of its predecessor. The film, which draws thematic elements from “The Bourne Identity,” “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Transformers,” is a Honda needing a body shop as compared to the pristine Ferrari that was “Cars”.