CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).
CHICAGO – If there is any genre of film that needs a good blasting, it is the romantic comedy. These silly fantasies practically seem like satires anyway, so when the comic genius of writer/director David Wain ponders them, and casts Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as the “couple,” the funny will fly.
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CHICAGO – When traveling on a Nicolas Cage trip, it’s best to buckle up. Director David Gordon Green collaborated with Cage on the new film, “Joe,” and actor Tye Sheridan (“Tree of Life,” “Mud”) was Cage’s teenage co-star. Cage portrays the title character, a reformed hellraiser who can’t help but have sympathy for a lost soul.
Comedy sequels are SO rarely worthwhile. Most good comedy is dependent on being fresh, new, and unpredictable – words not commonly uses to describe sequels. For every “Wayne’s World 2,” there are a dozen films of the caliber of “Ghostbusters 2,” “Arthur 2,” and “Caddyshack II” – movies that are so bad that they almost diminish the legacy of their predecessors.
CHICAGO – The comedy juggernaut of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell is about to descend on the holiday movie season with “Anchorman 2,” the sequel to the popular first film. McKay is the behind-the-scenes partner with Ferrell, producing hilarious favorites like “Talladega Nights,” and co-founding the “Funny or Die” website.
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CHICAGO – Take actors Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, make them highway line painters, put them in a fire-ravaged woodland and the makings for a savory two character portrait is realized in “Prince Avalanche.” David Gordon Green adapted and directed this appealingly offbeat art film.
CHICAGO – Director David Gordon Green has created a variety of popular and revered movies – from his breakthrough “George Washington” (2000) to his latest, the uniquely titled “Prince Avalanche.”
CHICAGO – “Admission,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, contains a protagonist so generally unlikable that one has to assume that she was an engaging character on the page who just didn’t quite make the jump to the screen when this book was adapted. Tina Fey & Paul Rudd are two of the most likable actors in Hollywood. Which makes the absolute failure of “Admission” that much more remarkable.
CHICAGO – Why should Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham have to apologize for making films about white upper-class people, considering they are indeed members of the white upper-class? Does their whiteness make their voices any less worthy of being heard? Is it the painstakingly intimate nature of their comedy that rubs some viewers the wrong way? Would these viewers prefer impersonal formulaic retreads populated by token representatives of every race on earth? I can’t imagine anything more dull.