CHICAGO – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?
Philip Seymour Hoffman
CHICAGO – One of the more surprising choices this week by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was to cite the Adapted Screenplay for George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” recently released on DVD and Blu-ray. The Ryan Gosling-led drama has some strengths, but it’s script is the weakest element of the film. The sheer force of talent of the people who bring it to life may have led some to believe it’s better than it actually is. See for yourself.
CHICAGO – Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” is one of those films that was circling around my top ten when it came time to write it in December. Honestly I had about fifteen films that could have fallen anywhere between 6-20 (my top five was pretty set as I saw those films). I rewatched many of those movies to determine where they should be and one of the most rewarding second viewings in there was the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s. This is a great movie that only gets deeper the second and even third time (and ended up #7 on my list and #5 on Patrick McDonald’s before winning the CFCA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Don’t miss it.
CHICAGO – George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” is a star-studded political thriller of the variety that was made much more commonly in the ‘70s and would therefore seem like a perfect vehicle to restart for today’s controversial times.
CHICAGO – Using sports, especially baseball, as a metaphor for life can get dicey – sometimes the symbolic pieces don’t fit universally for everything. But “Moneyball, ” starring Brad Pitt, hits a grand slam with this old allegory, and educates regarding the true nature of modern large dollar sports.
CHICAGO – Most Coen brother releases on Blu-ray are going to cause a ripple through the film-loving community. Who doesn’t want to own “Fargo,” “Miller’s Crossing,” and even less-beloved films like “The Man Who Wasn’t There” or “The Hudsucker Proxy” in 1080p? Joel and Ethan Coen have long been visually-gifted filmmakers and those gifts shine through brightly in HD. But the release of the massively-adored “The Big Lebowski” in a special Blu-ray edition? Well, that’s more of a wave than a ripple.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy/crime/cult classic edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs to the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “The Big Lebowski” starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Steve Buscemi!
CHICAGO – There are few character actors in the history of cinema more mesmerizing and fearless than Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s created some of the most memorable characters ever to grace the screen: from the sexually arrested Allen in “Happiness” and the obsessed playwright Caden Cotard in “Synecdoche, New York” to the electrifying title role in “Capote.”
CHICAGO – One of the best working actors takes his skills behind camera in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Jack Goes Boating,” a character drama about one couple forming as another relationship falls apart at the same time. This gentle story of modern relationships is a subtle, slow-moving drama of moments and repercussions that works due to the talents of its cast and quality of its source material despite a few notable flaws.
CHICAGO – When Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz were working on Bob Glaudini’s dramatic play “Jack Goes Boating,” they mentioned the cinematic potential of the project to each other on multiple occasions. Through a series of events, “Boating” would become Hoffman’s directorial debut, opening in Chicago this Friday, September 24th, 2010.
CHICAGO – A disturbingly small number of people were given the chance to see Adam Elliot’s brilliant and moving “Mary and Max,” one of the most notable releases in arguably the best year in the history of modern animation. While “Coraline,” “Up,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and even “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” made headlines, a beautiful little film about an unusual friendship went under the radar. Don’t miss it.