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?
Tim Blake Nelson
CHICAGO – One of the finest film fest gathering places in Chicago is the Midwest Independent Film Festival, a year-long event that meets every first Tuesday of the month. The festival’s 10th year kicks off on Tuesday, February 4th, with the comedy “Adventures in the Sin Bin.”
CHICAGO – Alexandre Moors’ “Blue Caprice” presents no easy answers to a situation that likely doesn’t have any. I get that. I don’t need a traditional, TV-movie dissection of the D.C. sniper.
CHICAGO – Whale of a tale (chuckle), no other headline writer has thought of that. “Big Miracle” is a family movie with Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and the voice of Ronald Reagan, that will not have adults seeking the emergency exits. It’s about whales.
CHICAGO – After the not-so-surprising success of the heavily marketed farce “The Hangover,” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have quickly become Hollywood’s most overrated screenwriters. They specialize in injecting high concepts with frat-boy vulgarity, mean spirited gags and entirely superficial warmth. If Zach Galifianakis hadn’t bolstered “Hangover” with his deadpan genius, the film almost surely would’ve flopped.
CHICAGO – “The Big Year” is advertised as a comedy. The subject is bird watching, or as the new film likes to express the proper term, “birding.” It stars comic legend Steve Martin, and funnymen Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It is both not funny and is ACTUALLY, seriously about birding. Time to fly away.
CHICAGO – Touchstone Pictures have reached into the vault and pulled out two of their modest hits, a pair of films with little in common other than studio and that they’re both around ten years old. For teenagers, these films will be new again and the fact is that both have been a bit forgotten by history. “The Count of Monte Cristo” certainly has been more so than the Coen brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but you may want to revisit both now that they’re available in HD.
CHICAGO – The main problem with reviewing television is that we’re often sent only the premiere and asked to judge a show overall. And yet we’d all agree that programs regularly improve or slide in quality after week one.
CHICAGO – As special effects technology continues to become more advanced, filmmakers have found increasingly convincing ways of allowing actors to give dual performances in the same movie, and often in the same frame. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, from the exquisite trick photography in “Moon” to the seamless digital creation of the Winklevi in “The Social Network.”
CHICAGO – In a previous interview, director Tim Disney of the new film ‘American Violet’ called his film one where “change begins, and change is possible, when individuals make choices and stand behind them.”
CHICAGO – In his third film, “American Violet,” director Tim Disney tackles the subject of unfair incarceration laws involving a poor African-American housing project in a rural Texas town.