CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – This upcoming Halloween will give you dozens of options in theaters and on Blu-ray to choose from for your scary dollar. You may have dismissed Wes Craven’s latest entry in the most influential franchise of the last twenty years. Don’t. Sure, the “Scream” movies are over the hill, more so than I think The Weinstein Company expected as evidenced by the pathetic box office returns (less than 50% of the last “Scream” movie and less than $100 million worldwide (the first three broke $150), but this is a fun genre flick. If you wrote this movie off in theaters, you might be surprised to learn that it’s worth a rental.
CHICAGO – In our latest sports edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the original Cinderella story “The Mighty Macs” about women’s basketball!
CHICAGO – Wes Craven’s legendary franchise returns this weekend with a decade since its last installment and to a genre that has been almost entirely bereft of creativity since its director started to lose his prominence as one of its best. Can “Scre4m” rejuvenate the slasher genre like the first film did or will it fall victim to the rule that horror sequels almost always suck?
CHICAGO – Sebastian Gutierrez is the sort of filmmaker who thrives best on the festival circuit. His work is just quirky and distinctive enough to garner overenthusiastic praise from jaded festival goers in the mood for markedly lighter fare. Yet when screened out of the celebratory atmosphere at SXSW, Gutierrez’s films fail to register as anything more than mediocre trifles.
CHICAGO – One of the great overlooked films of 2009 was the slyly titled “(Untitled).” Jonathan Parker, the writer/director of the film, fashions a sharp yet human tale about the world of art galleries and the next-big-thing. The (Untitled) DVD and Blu-Ray is being released on September 21st, 2010.
CHICAGO – The best thing about this alleged comedy is its title, evocative of David Lynch’s signature premise: “A woman in trouble.” Yet while Lynch has been accused of misogyny by some filmgoers, Sebastian Gutierrez’s “Women in Trouble” purports itself to be an empowering portrait of strong female characters. Their strength is often demonstrated by their ability to cuss and talk about sex. Boy, how far we have come.
CHICAGO – One of the best and most exciting surprises of the 2009 film year is a smaller, claustrophobic film starring Adam Goldberg and set in the art gallery world of New York City. “(Untitled)” is an honest, uncompromising character study.
CHICAGO – The Adam Goldberg character is well known to fans of TV’s “Friends” and the movie’s “Saving Private Ryan.” With his heart-on-his-sleeve persona, he takes that character to rarified heights in the new film “(Untitled).”
CHICAGO – There simply wasn’t space on television for both “Fringe” and “Eleventh Hour”. As soon as I saw them, I knew one or both of the fall 2008 shows would have to go. With the strong lead performances by the great Rufus Sewell and beautiful Marley Shelton, I thought “Eleventh Hour” had the edge, especially after it did pretty well in its first season.
CHICAGO – We’ve been working our way through the schedule for the upcoming 45th Annual Chicago International Film Festival, kicking off tonight with the premiere of “Motherhood,” starring Uma Thurman, Anthony Edwards, and Minnie Driver.