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 – Rarely have I played a game more frustrating than “Call of Juarez: The Cartel.” It’s far from the worst game of the year. It’s not even the worst game of the season. But it’s underdeveloped, disappointing, and sometimes plain broken when it could have been something truly great. This is a game that should have worked and there are elements that do but the overall title never quite comes together.
CHICAGO – Horror writers and directors have been afraid of the dark since the start of the genre. Sadly, that fear of blackness has never translated to film as successfully as one would hope. There’s an inherent problem in watching a movie about darkness in that it can never make that fear fully real unless it goes to complete black screen. The latest entry in this flawed subgenre is Brad Anderson’s “Vanishing on 7th Street,” a minor work from a major director.
CHICAGO – Shawn Ryan produced one of the best cop dramas of the ’00s in “The Shield” and has proven that he will be a creative voice in the medium worth watching with his work on “Lie to Me,” “Terriers,” and, most of all, the new FOX drama, “The Chicago Code.”
CHICAGO – FOX’s “Lie to Me,” the second season of which was just released on DVD, has fluctuated wildly in quality since the day it hit the air, a fact that was underlined when the great Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) came on-board and seemed to find the program’s personality, only to leave it and watch it drift again. Just when it seemed like “Lie to Me” would develop into must-see viewing, it would falter again and the incredibly-lackluster season two release doesn’t help.
CHICAGO – All seven season of the Emmy-winning, groundbreaking “The Shield,” easily one of the best programs of the ’00s, have been collected into one absolutely gorgeous set for “The Shield: The Complete Series Collection”. This time of year usually produces several complete series sets to essentially re-sell already available programs to holiday shoppers. This is one of the best.
CHICAGO – The 61st Annual Emmy Award Nominations were an interesting melting pot of smart, brave, new choices and old-fashioned, predictable, stale selections.
CHICAGO – Ballots for the 61st Annual Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy nominations are due on Friday, June 26th, 2009, and we’re here to offer some advice for all of you Emmy voters still holding a ballot in your hands and trying to make those tough TV decisions.
CHICAGO – There was no better show on television in 2008 than FX’s “The Shield” and the seventh and final season is now available on DVD.
CHICAGO – We were considering looking back at the best programming of 2008 when something dawned on us - a lot of it isn’t on the air right now and not yet available on DVD. We at HollywoodChicago.com believe in being productive and helpful, so why tell you something is great when you can’t even see the show?