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 – When journalists were heroes and exposed those in power for their sins, movies were made like “All the President’s Men.” Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News was one of those journalist heroes during the 1990s, but he wasn’t celebrated in his time. The indictments, induced paranoia and outright lies against him are distinctly chronicled in the luminary “Kill the Messenger.”
CHICAGO – What happens when too much truth is exposed, and those who will feel the backlash from that exposure are too powerful? The new film “Kill the Messenger,” directed by Michael Cuesta, seeks an answer to that question through the true story of journalist Gary Webb, a victim of his own investigative reporting.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new dramatic thriller “Kill the Messenger” starring Jeremy Renner based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb!
CHICAGO – In our latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Combo Pack giveaway, we have 10 free Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of the new comedy “Chef” starring Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.!
CHICAGO – By the time of his 2011 box office blitzkrieg otherwise known as “Cowboys & Aliens,” the product that indie director-turned-Hollywood habitue Jon Favreau had been hocking as a “popcorn salesman” had gone stale – to use a showbiz term from Nicholas Ray’s” In A Lonely Place”.
CHICAGO – The so-called “legend of Oz” will cease to be legendary if they keep producing lame re-engineerings of the 1939 classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Close on the heels of last year’s dud, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” comes the dully rendered “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.”
CHICAGO – “The Oranges” suffers from a common problem in these suburban comedies of error in that it assumes we care about these characters who are essentially less interesting than your actual neighbors. Infidelity, bad parenting, friendships collapsing – they’re happening every day on your street. Films like “The Oranges” may think they’re tapping a vein of picket fence peculiarity like “American Beauty” but the result actually plays more like a Showtime sitcom pilot that never got picked up because it was too boring to maintain week to week.
CHICAGO – Showtime’s “The Big C” is a sporadically brilliant show that somehow still has not clicked into place as the truly great comedy it could have been. Despite my issues with the often-pretentious, self-aware writing, there’s one thing that no one can complain about regarding this Emmy-nominated show — the cast rules. Laura Linney gives easily one of the most engaging performances on TV and she’s ably assisted by a truly strong ensemble.
CHICAGO – Emmy-winning “Nurse Jackie” starts its fourth season and the highly-acclaimed “The Big C” joins it for its third on Sunday nights starting tonight, April 8, 2012.
CHICAGO – In many ways, “X-Men: First Class” is the most loyal film yet to the Marvel aesthetic in the way director Matthew Vaughn and the film’s multiple screenwriters capture the tone, spirit, and themes of one of the most legendary comic books of all time. It is a spectacular mix of great performances, well-choreographed action, and cleverly-revised history. It is crowd-pleasing to action fans and yet intellectually complex at the same time. It is what more producers of superhero movies should strive to accomplish and it deserves mention with the best of the genre (“Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men,” and even “The Dark Knight”).