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 – Every decade, the legendary “Sight & Sound” magazine polls some of the most important film historians, critics, and artists in the world (including Roger Ebert) for a list of the best movies ever made. They released the first list since 2002 today and “Vertigo” topped the list, dethroning “Citizen Kane.” Full top ten below, followed by the top tens from 2002 and 1992.
CHICAGO – Are you a movie buff that considers Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” to be one of greatest movie ever made? Are you too young to have seen it in theaters when it was released in 1972, or missed your chance to see it in theaters? Well, you are in luck my friend, because Cinemark and Paramount Pictures are teaming up to bring “The Godfather” back to the big screen.
CHICAGO – If Robert K. Elder’s book, “The Film That Changed My Life,” is indeed providing a blueprint for the screening series continuing this month at the Music Box, then cinephiles have every right to rejoice. Elder’s book interviewed a wide variety of filmmakers about the films that left a permanent impact on them, and the series reunites Elder and the filmmakers for screenings of their favorite films.
CHICAGO – The amalgamation of big time unions and organized crime in post-WW2 industrial America is as enlightening as any struggle for power. Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1950s thru the ‘70s was both on the waterfront and had the East Coast influence of New York City’s most notorious crime families. That history is wasted in “Kill the Irishman.”
CHICAGO – Matteo Garrone’s revelatory crime picture joins the esteemed group of worthy foreign film Oscar contenders (like “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) inexplicably snubbed by the Academy. But such accolades are meaningless compared to the reaction it has received, breaking box office records in its limited release, while acquiring the passionate support of film icons like Martin Scorsese.
CHICAGO – Now that he is widely recognized as one of the best filmmakers of all time, it’s almost hard to believe that there was a period in the career of Akira Kurosawa when he couldn’t get financing to make a film. Kurosawa went through a very dark time in the ’70s, punctuated by his disastrous experience with “Tora! Tora! Tora!,” and needed the weight of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas to help with his comeback, “Kagemusha,” now available in a beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release.
CHICAGO – For audiences increasingly accustomed to watching movies at home instead of at the multiplex, it was an interesting year for DVDs and Blu-rays.