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 – TNT’s “King & Maxwell” fits squarely in the TNT brand, shows built around the charisma of its stars. Whether it’s the popular gents at the center of “Franklin & Bash,” Kyra Sedgwick on “The Closer” or the likable pair who headline “Rizzoli & Isles,” the brand has worked (and didn’t exactly for ensemble shows like the now-canceled “Monday Mornings” and “Southland.”)
CHICAGO – I was hoping that the practically straight-to-Blu-ray “Apartment 143,” written and produced by “Buried” and “Red Lights” director Rodrigo Cortes, would be a clever horror alternative that just didn’t find the right path to mainstream success but was truly worth your time. My hopes were dashed against the rocks of cliched storytelling, awful acting, and generic direction about ten minutes into this mess. A few decent ideas in an interesting climax save it from complete disaster but you’re likely to have turned it off by that time and visited a scarier location.
CHICAGO – Melissa Leo is a familiar face to admirers of the TV show “Homicide: Life on the Street”.