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 – Here comes “The Judge,” here comes “The Judge.” That 1960s catchphrase gets new meaning in the film featuring Robert Downey Jr. and veteran Robert Duvall, in a angry generational face-off that makes little sense and provides a stiff courtroom drama that felt like bad TV.
CHICAGO – The theme of Season Two is ‘unraveling’. Lies unravel, best laid plans unravel, loyalties unravel and most of all Norma and Norman Bates unravel in increasingly spectacular fashion. This pulpy re-imagining of the Bates family history is easily one of the best things on TV and the premiere episode of Season two isn’t afraid to take advantage of how attached audiences have become to the Twitchy pair and their assorted and very troubled friends and neighbors.
CHICAGO – Since the world has been clamoring for a film about high school seniors touring a liberal arts college, “At Middleton” fills the bill, and throws in a symbolic midlife liaison between characters portrayed by Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga, tripping across their own “life campus.”
CHICAGO – The actor Andy Garcia has been known throughout the years as a tough-guy leading man, with memorable roles in “The Godfather: Part III” and the “Ocean’s Eleven” series. He latest role is a gentle and comic turn, as a father doing a college tour with his son, and discovering more than expected in “At Middleton.”
CHICAGO – James Wan’s “The Conjuring” is such a remarkable leap forward from the director of “Saw” and “Insidious.” I’ve always thought that Wan was talented but his use of sound, music, and forced perspective in this brilliant horror flick immediately propels him to the top of the list for the best genre directors. He’s reportedly leaving horror behind after this mega-hit ($300 million worldwide) behind (he’s filming “Fast & Furious 7” now). The genre will miss him but it’s understandable that he probably thinks he can’t top this truly great movie.
CHICAGO – True scary movies have a couple of things going for them – the source of the scare and the psychology of the scare. The source provides the “boo,” the audience provides the interactive psychology. “The Conjuring” is a true scary movie.
CHICAGO – Few characters in the history of pop culture are as well known as Norman Bates. In fact, if you don’t know who (or where) the title of A&E’s new show, “Bates Motel,” refers to then you probably won’t enjoy it, presuming you have cable below the rock under which you live anyway.
CHICAGO – In our latest action-packed thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – “Safe House” is so overly familiar that you not only will think that you’ve seen it before and know exactly where it’s going before it gets there, but you will also barely remember having seen it once it’s over.
CHICAGO – In our latest crime/mystery edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new film “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!