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 – One of the more emotionally stunning screenings at the Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) was a film about a comedian. Barry Crimmins is a beloved comic, with a stable of famous friends. But he also had a secret in his past, and it’s all explored in “Call Me Lucky,” directed by fellow comic traveler Bobcat Goldthwait.
CHICAGO – Raconteur, comedian and Twitter star Patton Oswalt has a new book out, entitled “Silver Screen Fiend.” In it, he chronicles his love for the movies and how it shaped his worldview. He appeared at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., at an event sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.
CHICAGO – It takes guts or stupidity to launch an entire night of new programing but that’s what ABC is attempting this evening, September 24, 2013. And they’re not even doing it consistently in terms of genre and quality. It starts strong with “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and ends on a whimper with “Lucky 7.” In between?
CHICAGO – We live in such a cynical world that when a film critic tells you a stand-up comedian is damn funny, it might not hold as much weight as it did in a universe before everyone had an opinion on everything online. So how can I convince you that Eddie Pepitone, the subject of Stephen Feinartz’s “The Bitter Buddha,” opening this weekend at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, is damn funny? Do you like Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Dana Gould, or the amazing Patton Oswalt? They think he’s hilarious. And if that doesn’t do it, the movie will. Just trust us.
CHICAGO – There are some undeniable comic talents in Todd Rohal’s “Nature Calls,” including two of the best stand-up comedians of the last decade—Patton Oswalt and the late, great Patrice O’Neal. Rob Riggle and Johnny Knoxville can work in the right material. This wasn’t the right material for any of the four as it’s just a mediocre, generally unfunny comedy that leads one to question what the cast saw in it in the first place.
CHICAGO – Nothing causes would-be lovers to fall into one another’s arms quite like a good, old-fashioned apocalypse. The nerve one lacks to pursue a romantic obsession tends to reemerge when faced with impending extinction. While Abel Ferrara’s “4:44 Last Day on Earth” and David Mackenzie’s “Perfect Sense” took a brooding look at last-minute romance, director Lorene Scafaria heads in quite a different direction.
CHICAGO – After wrapping up recently, the “Just for Laughs Chicago” comedy festival was a rousing success, as established and new comic performers entertained audiences all over the Windy City. Shows featured such diverse talents as Vince Vaughn, Patton Oswalt, Kevin Smith, TJ Miller and Janeane Garofalo.
Film Review: ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ with Steve Carell Can’t Find Honest EmotionSubmitted by BrianTT on June 22, 2012 - 4:21pm
CHICAGO – Lorene Scafaria’s “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is a manipulative mess that’s only slightly redeemed by yet-another engaging performance from one of the best actresses of her generation.
CHICAGO – If a collective chorus of guffaws is heard throughout the Windy City this week, blame it on the ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’ 2012 Festival. From June 12th-17th, stages large and small throughout Chicagoland will feature some of the hottest comedy acts, stars and the taping of the ‘Conan’ TBS chat show, featuring Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter.
CHICAGO – Patton Oswalt is one of the funniest stand-up comedians alive. You may not know the name but you almost certainly know who he is. He’s had such a diverse career, including scene-stealing work on TV (“King of Queens”), the lead role in a beloved Pixar film (“Ratatouille”), great indie flicks (“Big Fan”), cable series (“The United States of Tara”), and even a CFCA-nominated performance in last year’s “Young Adult.” As GREAT as all of that is, Patton Oswalt’s greatest gift (outside of perhaps being one of the people for whom Twitter was invented) may be on a stand-up comedy stage. Watch the Grammy-nominated “Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour,” recently released on DVD, and tell me I’m wrong.