CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
CHICAGO – The 2013 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, leading to the natural hand-wringing and chest-beating over who missed the cut. Before we get to the most egregious snubs of the year, a few places where the Academy unexpectedly, happily got it right:
CHICAGO – The more one is familiar with the art of improv, the more one is bound to fall head over heels in love with the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest. Working from a mere scene outline, Guest and his ensemble of top-drawer comedians bring a colorful assortment of richly eccentric oddballs to life. Their ad-libbed dialogue is infinitely funnier than scripted punchlines since it emerges organically from their character’s own warped worldview.
CHICAGO – I’ve seen a lot of TV in the decade-plus I’ve been covering the medium (much less the decades before that when I was purely a fan) and I can very rarely say something like this — you’ve never seen anything like “Louie.” The FX hit returns tonight on the network and reclaims its title as the best comedy on TV.
CHICAGO – It pains me to say this — HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn” is a complete mess, a film littered with awful directorial decisions, built on a misguided screenplay, and featuring performances that range from mediocre to downright horrendous. I’m as big a cheerleader for HBO and their line of original films as you’re likely to find but this is one of the worst.
CHICAGO – Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” is not just a fun comedy, not just a clever slice of nostalgia, and not just a stoner movie. It is, without question, one of the best films of the ’90s. It passes through nostalgia to something more like a time machine, in a way not that dissimilar to George Lucas’ “American Graffiti.” A deeply personal project from one of our best modern writer/directors, “Dazed and Confused,” recently released on Criterion Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD, gets better with each passing year.
CHICAGO – Is there something special about 8/9/11 like 4:20? The notorious smoke-down time is well-known but I ask about August 9th because it’s a date with a massive influx of pot-themed movies, including new hits like “Paul” and “Your Highness” (which we’ll cover with full reviews soon) and re-releases of classics like “Dazed and Confused” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” both hitting the HD format tomorrow. It’s a stoner free-for-all!
CHICAGO – When Tina Fey made the jump from “Saturday Night Live” to “30 Rock,” she was planning on taking her talented co-star and friend Rachel Dratch to the award-winning show. Before the season began, Dratch was replaced by Jane Krakowski and the rest is history.
CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com is giving out 15 admit-two movie passes for Jessica Alba’s “The Eye”. Movie posters and buttons can also come in the movie pack, which will be awarded to users who submit images of the most “standout eyes” taken, created or found elsewhere.