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 – Jason Bateman and an all-star cast got me there. The unfunny copycat story left me regretting it. If you don’t start with a solid plot that’s at least somewhat new, it doesn’t matter how many “A”-listers you throw into an ensemble. They’re just individuals doing the best they can with weak material.
CHICAGO – There will be inevitable comparisons to the Pulitzer Prize winning stage version of “August: Osage County” from the thousands of people who have been touched by the stage play. But in giving the film version a chance, there is the same passion, drama and heat of family dysfunction within it, with a dream cast.
CHICAGO – Gathering an ensemble cast for a film version of a Pulitzer Prize winning stage play is a tricky assignment. Some of the actors selected for “August: Osage County” – play and screenplay by Tracy Letts – are a mix of veterans (Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale) and relative newcomers (Julianne Nicholson).
CHICAGO – Highly anticipated! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening passes up for grabs to the darkly searing “Tracy Letts” comedy “August: Osage County” starring Meryl Streep!
CHICAGO – William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe” is one of the most underrated films of 2012. Sure, it has its fans, but the movie made almost nothing in theaters (around $3.5 million worldwide) and didn’t make enough year-end lists for my tastes. The cast rules, the script from Tracy Letts’ play is stellar, and the design is perfect. If you can handle your noir with a heavy dose of greasy malevolence, it’s a definite rental you’ll want to make.
CHICAGO – William Friedkin’s film of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” takes no prisoners. One of the central characters is introduced from the waist down and to say that the film climaxes in violent, sexual oddity would be like saying “The Avengers” features a few superheroes. However, it would be a mistake to allow the controversy or the shock value to become the story of this excellent noir comedy that takes black humor to a new level of darkness.
CHICAGO – Now that I’ve seen William Friedkin’s stunning adaptation of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” with Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple, I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience its intensity in a small theater in Evanston nearly twenty years ago.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “Killer Joe” (rated “NC-17”) starring Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch from playwright Tracy Letts!
CHICAGO – The characters of “Superior Donuts” – as brilliantly interpreted by the cast in this production at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre – feel as though they’ve stepped from a Chicago neighborhood and began to perform their lives in the theater.
CHICAGO – In the middle of an Oscar race where their film “The Artist” is favored to win the top prize, The Weinstein Company announced news about a future film today. Co-Chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein announced two big names that they have signed for one of their next films: Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.