CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – It’s original, it’s off-kilter, it’s different – it’s the new film “Entertainment.” Rick Alverson has fashioned a road picture, with an offbeat stand up comic trying to get home. The director has some fiery talent behind that journey, including Gregg Turkington as The Comedian, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera and Tim Heidecker.
CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.
CHICAGO – I suppose it was only a matter of time before Sebastián Silva delved into the brooding waters of psychodrama. There are countless moments in his previous pictures—from Catalina Saavedra’s piercing Bette Davis stare in “The Maid” to Michael Cera’s hallucinogenic agony in “Crystal Fairy”—that threaten to spiral into horrifying derangement.
CHICAGO – It’s a sad day in modern American distribution when a film as highly praised and perversely intriguing as Sebastián Silva’s “Magic Magic” fails to acquire a theatrical release. The very notion of a Sundance darling co-lensed by Christopher Doyle getting unceremoniously dumped on DVD is too maddening to contemplate. At a time when Disney labels a formulaic misfire like “The Lone Ranger” as a “risk,” it’s depressing to see a company like Sony Pictures follow suit.
CHICAGO – 12 years ago, Sebastián Silva went on a road trip with his friends. Their goal was to experience the hallucinogenic ecstasy of the San Pedro cactus. Along the way, he encountered a hippie named Crystal Fairy who ended up giving him a more transformative experience than any drug ever could. An evening of soul-bearing confessions caused Silva to have great compassion for the damaged women beneath the eccentric surface.
CHICAGO – Acclaimed film critic and writer Martha P. Nochimson gave an exclusive interview to Indie Outlook, the independent film blog and podcast founded by Hollywood Chicago staff writer Matt Fagerholm. Her book, “David Lynch Swerves,” reveals how the titular director’s interest in quantum mechanics and the Holy Vedas of the Hindu religion provide a key to understanding his later work on an exhilaratingly new level.
CHICAGO – Ever since the final moments of the last episode of ‘Arrested Development’ (back in 2006), there have been rumors about a feature film being created for the TV series. Cast members and writers would be asked, “when is this movie coming out?” and responses would usually be “we are working on it” or “it’s coming.” Now, after six years, those responses may actually be true.
CHICAGO – Could this be the news fans of the old FOX series “Arrested Development” have been waiting for? Since the final episode of the canceled series aired on February 10, 2006, rumors and hope have swirled around that the comedy series would come back for a full length feature film. Now, the long wait may be over and fans could be getting more than just a movie.
CHICAGO – It takes a man born in Puerto Rico to really understand the Midwest, and director Miquel Arteta proves it in his stellar “Cedar Rapids.” Given an all-star cast including Ed Helms, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver and John C. Reilly, Arteta formulates a comedy that feels like the heartland.
CHICAGO – Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” may have been (incorrectly) perceived as a box office bomb but a large cult grew around the film before it was even released and it’s a following that will only grow stronger with the fantastic Blu-ray release, a disc filled with more special features than even the most hardcore fan of the movie could have hoped for. The movie is still a bit flawed but it plays well at home and I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is when a top-notch studio like Universal treats a loyal film following with the respect they deserve.