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 – Two of the performances most disturbingly missing from the line-up that will be read at the Academy Awards on Sunday are Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain’s in the stunning “Take Shelter,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. Jeff Nichols’ film is a stirring, moving drama about not just the potential end of the world but the impact of mental illness and the anxiety of the modern era in which our job, our family, and our friendships are more fragile than you might ever think.
CHICAGO – HBO brings back a few of their most larger-than-life personalities with the third (and final) season premiere of “Eastbound & Down” and the stateside premiere of “Life’s Too Short.”
CHICAGO – The sitcom format that began with and was perfected by “I Love Lucy” (with its set-up/joke/laugh rhythm) remains unchanged since “Babaloo” was a catchphrase.
CHICAGO – Danny McBride (“Pineapple Express,” “Land of the Lost”) gave one of the best TV performances of the last several years as the over-the-top anti-hero of HBO’s hysterical “Eastbound & Down,” a sitcom about a raging a-hole sports star brought back to Earth and forced to work as a gym teacher in the small town he grew up in, now available on DVD.