CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
CHICAGO – “Fury” just might be Brad Pitt’s “Saving Private Ryan.” At its heart it’s a crowd pleaser, but it never shies away from the sheer brutality of war. While it doesn’t have anything quite so devastating as “Saving Private Ryan’s” D-day sequence, it depicts the everyday horrors of killing the enemy and the men who must force themselves to make their peace with the casualties that pile up in the muck. “Fury” is equally successful in its battle sequences and in its smaller moments among its crew inside the tank. Most surprisingly of all it coaxes a decent, dare I say good, performance out of none other than Shia LaBeouf – wonders never cease.
CHICAGO – The exploration of sexuality is a stark breakthrough in the “Nymphomaniac” film series by writer/director Lars von Trier. In the story of a woman interacting with her nature, there are shades of all physically active individuals. “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1” covered the younger days of the main character of Joe. Vol. 2 takes her to the next, and more brutal phase – challenging her life and her disposition.
CHICAGO – The release of the controversial new film from Lars von Trier, “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1,” took place on March 21st. This is part of a two volume “Nymphomaniac” film series, featuring Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Connie Nielsen. Photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com offers Exclusive Portraits of all three cast members from past appearances in Chicago.
CHICAGO – Director and writer Lars von Trier creates exposure through his film art. He is unafraid to explore the very nature of being human, while at the same time revealing the very foibles of barriers to our nature – social structures, economies, religion and our own conceits in life. Lars von Trier’s latest barrier breaker is “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1.”
Park City was abuzz on the final day with guesses as to what the secret screening known as “Film X” would be on Tuesday night. Could it be Wes Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel”? Maybe “Foxcatcher,” which was almost done in time for awards season and so may be now? “Snowpiercer”? The new Kevin Smith? “Star Wars, Episode VII”?
CHICAGO – What happens when you give people two months in Romania to make a movie about a lost soul dealing with grief, love, drug use, and general excess? You get a spoiled, bizarre, annoying piece of work like “Charlie Countryman,” starring talented people given absolutely nothing to do that proves that talent. It’s a film more in love with slow-motion shots of its abrasive lead running to electronic dance music than anything approaching character or plot. It’s like watching the travel video of the most annoying guy you know.
CHICAGO – Robert Redford has slowly become that grandfatherly figure who spends his time in the corner at family gatherings, lecturing nearby whippersnappers on the importance of challenging authority, while reminiscing about the war protests of generation’s past. He’s a well-meaning guy, but his crusty words of wisdom could use a shot of adrenaline.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “The Company You Keep” starring Robert Redford!
CHICAGO – John Hillcoat’s “Lawless,” based on Matt Bondurant’s “The Wettest County in the World,” is one of the most high profile disappointments of 2012, a film with an amazing cast that suffocates under the weight of an inconsistent script, a boring lead, and a complete lack of narrative drive.
CHICAGO – Ernest Hemingway said the best way to handle Hollywood film adaptations is to meet at the border, throw your book in, have Hollywood throw the money back, and then run from each other in opposite directions. How does that astute observation apply today? Matt Bondurant had his novel adapted into the new film “Lawless.”