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.
The Rolling Stones
CHICAGO – Greg Camalier’s “Muscle Shoals” is a robust, entertaining piece of work that captures the power of a place that has produced some of the most remarkable music in the history of the recorded form. It’s a testament to power of the “Muscle Shoals sound” that so many music legends sat down for Camalier to discuss it but the director wisely doesn’t turn this into cavalcade of stars, keeping the focus as much on the man who built this hotbed of creativity and the musicians who played behind the household names.
CHICAGO – It was one of the most famous endings in TV history. Tony Soprano, the patriarch of “The Sopranos,” waiting at a restaurant for his family while “Don’t Stop Believin’” was blaring on the soundtrack. It is that rock sensibility that permeates “Not Fade Away,” the new film by the creator of “The Sopranos,” David Chase.
CHICAGO – We all know the Super Bowl is all about predictions. Just as it’s about to happen in 2011, many handicappers have already gotten one wrong. The Super Bowl halftime show has been a classic rock lover’s scene over the last half decade. While many expected the same to continue in early 2011, the organizers have thrown us a curveball.
CHICAGO – If the 1969 U.S. tour of The Rolling Stones had gone smoothly, David Maysles, Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin’s “Gimme Shelter” would still be one of the best music documentaries ever made. Of course, as everyone who knows anything about music or pop culture history knows, the tour did not go smoothly, ending in the infamous concert at Altamont Speedway that’s often pointed to as the end of the era of love.
CHICAGO – In The Beatles versus The Rolling Stones debate (which no one under 40 would have), I’m decidedly in the corner of the Fab Four. I do acknowledge, however, the sheer stamina and staying power of The Rolling Stones.