CHICAGO – With a lazy, over-plotted story, and a cast that are desperately going through the motions, “The Hangover Part III” is the latest example of a contract obligation disguising itself as a movie. Writer/director Todd Phillips sluggishly pounds out another one, with simply no originality.
CHICAGO – Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” tells such a ridiculous story that it has to be true. Based on the infamous case of the Sun Gym Gang, a trio of bodybuilders who committed some unspeakable, bizarre crimes, “Pain & Gain” nearly works through the sheer charisma and talent of its A-list cast.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly recommended “Pain & Gain” (based on a true story!) with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson!
CHICAGO – Rarely has a low-rated show survived as much off-screen drama as NBC’s “Community,” returning tonight to the network bruised, battered, and slightly damaged but still funnier and smarter than most of the alternatives. Where do we begin?
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.
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.”
CHICAGO – Todd Phillips has huge balls. Never before has a sequel hit SO many of the exact same beats as its predecessor. More of a remake of the film that came before than most slasher franchises, “The Hangover Part II” is the definition of more of the same. You can see Phillips going through the motions — they liked the first one, let’s give it to ‘em again with a bit of Thai flavor and more Ken Jeong. The result is a film that feels remarkably familiar with a few laughs, some decent comedic chemistry, and some daring humor, but a work that just reeks of lazy filmmaking.
CHICAGO – The second season of “Community” was a daring display of creativity without concern. It really felt like the producers of the show had been so freed by the fact that the nearly-canceled comedy was still on the air that they completely gave up on trying to please anyone but the program’s loyal fans. It was a show that didn’t “play” to anyone, never going for the easy, predictable joke as is common in the world of the sitcom. It was dark, clever, edgy, and unpredictable. And it was one of the best sitcoms of 2010-2011. Where does it go now? What will the third season of “Community” be like? Will it slide in quality? Maintain? Could it possibly get better?
CHICAGO – The program most unforgivably missing from Sunday’s Emmy telecast is NBC’s brilliant comedy “Community.” It’s almost as if the Academy decided there were too many NBC shows at the party (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock”) and so left out arguably the best of the Thursday night bunch. See the second season, now available on DVD, and see the level of Emmy injustice for yourself.
CHICAGO – Not being familiar with the Kevin James filmography really helped in assessing his latest, “Zookeeper.” His appeal is very evident, and the filmmakers do some funny bits with the old “talking animal” routine.