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 – “The Wedding Ringer” is a Wedding Stinker. It’s a misogynistic trip through a barren land of hackneyed premises, stock characters, female stereotypes and strained physical gags that exemplifies everything that is wrong with big studio comedies today.
CHICAGO – Writer, director and lead actor Zach Braff has put it on the line for his latest feature, “Wish I Was Here.” He infamously used a crowd funding Kickstarter campaign to maintain creative control of the film, but he needn’t have bothered. The movie result is a sappy, high concept emotional manipulator with no basis in authenticity, and that might be the best thing that can be said about it.
CHICAGO – Zach Braff is an amiable personality, making his mark as “J.D.” on the TV sitcom “Scrubs” and the cult film “Garden State” (2004), which he wrote and directed. For his most recent project, he made show business headlines by using the website Kickstarter to “crowd fund” his latest film, “Wish I Was Here.”
Disney’s marvelous “Frozen” fits snugly in the lineage of princess stories that the studio has been crafting for decades while also looks forward to empower girls in ways that its predecessors never considered. It is a remarkably fun movie, especially in 3D, alive in ways that so many of its peers in this lackluster year for animation simply are not.
CHICAGO – The revolution in technology, that has allowed the world to change completely in just two generations, was led in part by dreamers in a garage. One of those “Edisons” was Steve Jobs – the creator of Apple Computers – portrayed with an inventor’s instinct by Ashton Kutcher.
CHICAGO – The new film about the founder of Apple Computers, “Jobs,” is a tour de force for Ashton Kutcher, in his portrayal of Steve Jobs. Opposite to him is familiar character actor Josh Gad, as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Creating the ethereal atmosphere in the film is director Joshua Michael Stern.
CHICAGO – We’ve got “Jobs” for you! Though not the career kind, we are hooking up our loyal readers in this HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with 30 pairs of advance-screening movie tickets to the highly anticipated “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple’s Steve Jobs!
CHICAGO – The families who get suckered into the truly horrendous “Ice Age: Continental Drift” should be angry. Not only does it fail when compared to the best animation of the year (“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits,” “The Secret World of Arrietty,” “Brave”) but it’s less entertaining than most children’s television.
CHICAGO – An unusual new theme in the American romantic comedy is the couple who starts with sex and ends with love a la “No Strings Attached” and the recent “Love and Other Drugs” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, now on DVD and Blu-ray. Critic Patrick McDonald HATED the film, putting it on his worst of the year, which I think may be a little harsh, but it’s a definite disappointment given the talent involved. Those of you looking for a romantic comedy can do better and so can the stars of this failed one.
CHICAGO – “Love and Other Drugs” celebrates everything that is wrong with America, wrapped in a package with two “it” stars doing a disservice to their emerging careers.