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Nick Offerman

Film Review: Terence Malick’s Feverish Dream in ‘Knight of Cups’

CHICAGO – I’ve been quoting Martin Scorsese over the years, that he said “movies are a psychotic’s feverish dream on display.” In searching for those words, I found he never said it. He did say they are “dreams with eyes open.” So let us combine the two quotes in analyzing Terence Malick’s “Knight of Cups.”

Film News: ‘Uncle John’ is Top Film at 2015 ‘Best of the Midwest’ Awards Night

Best of the Midwest 2015

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, December 1st, the Midwest Independent Film Festival gave out their 2015 “Best of the Midwest” Awards with a ceremony at Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago. Best Film honors went to “Uncle John,” directed by Steven Piet. Best Female Actor was Carisa Barreca of “Doomsdate,” Best Male Actor was Charles Whitcomb of “Full Frame,” and Best Director was Sonny Mallhi of “Anguish,” among other categories.

Film Review: Drac Pack Still a Drag in ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’

CHICAGO – For the younger set unable to experience the mystique of Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein in their original creations, “Hotel Transylvania 2” may prove to be an introduction to the legendary bloodsucker and his band of movie monsters – and for that Adam Sandler deserves a stake through his heart.

Film Review: Ever-Present Passion in ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

CHICAGO – There are feelings encoded in a film, imparted by the creators, which sometimes takes a while to become apparent. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is an example, with a deceptive surface story that contains an ocean of feelings and emotions within its passionate core.

Interview: Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon of ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Director

CHICAGO – In my second meeting with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, I was struck by his almost child-like wonder regarding his breakout film, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” Gomez-Rejon bleeds celluloid, and loves films in every fiber of his being. To be able to contribute to the cinema universe is his greatest reward.

Interview: Three Young Actors Are ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

CHICAGO – Every so often, a movie makes a huge splash in the ocean of releases, and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a prime example. Both the jury winner and the audience favorite at the Sundance Film Festival, the film features Thomas Mann (Me), RJ Cyler (Earl) and Olivia Cooke (Dying Girl) as the title characters.

Interview: ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

CHICAGO – It was a helluva festival. The third annual 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) presented films to packed houses, and also featured the stars and the directors from those films. Closing night on May 7th featured “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

Film Review: Imagine What Could Have Been for ‘Danny Collins’

Danny Collins

CHICAGO – “Danny Collins” is a shoulda-woulda-coulda film. It was inspired by the true story of a John Lennon letter acquired by a musician 40 years after he was suppose to to have received it, and then re-imagined as a cheap soap opera, punctuated by far superior John Lennon songs.

Interview: Director Dan Fogelman on Nurturing ‘Danny Collins’

CHICAGO – Dan Fogelman is a familiar behind-the-scenes creator, having wrote scripts and screenplays for “Cars,” “Fred Claus,” “Tangled,” “The Guilt Trip” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” He takes on his first directorial effort, the story of “Danny Collins,” a faded rock star who finds redemption through a lost letter from John Lennon.

Film Review: ‘22 Jump Street’ is a Proud Bargain Bin Blockbuster

CHICAGO – “22 Jump Street” is a big budget Hollywood sequel that actively comments on the diminishing returns of sequels. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller know that for every “Lethal Weapon 2,” that manages to surpass the original, there are a dozen “Another 48 Hours”.

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  • [Trans]formation

    CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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