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 – “The Purge: Anarchy” is a cake-and-eat-it film. On one hand there is a monotonous display of firepower, courtesy of a suspension of laws for one night a year, but it also wants to temper this lawlessness with indictments of government, the rich and the law itself.
CHICAGO – Zach Gilford is a familiar face to fans of the TV series “Friday Night Lights,” where he portrayed Matt Saracen. The actor grew up around Chicago in Evanston, Ill., and has risen through the ranks of acting in his new home of Los Angeles. He currently is featured in the sequel film, “The Purge: Anarchy.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated horror sequel “The Purge: Anarchy” starring Frank Grillo and Carmen Ejogo!
CHICAGO – With enough hair plugs, bronzer and hormone injections to float a rejuvenation clinic, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back from his political meanderings and is an action star once again in the shoot-’em-up “The Last Stand.” Johnny Knoxville lends some comic relief.
CHICAGO – When the cliches of one genre aren’t enough, try two. Such seems to be the creative foundation of the awful new FOX series “The Mob Doctor,” a likely bet to be the first new show of the year to meet the axe of cancellation and not merely because it’s awful but because it’s in a brutal time slot up against “2 Broke Girls,” “The Voice,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
CHICAGO – Ensemble films, with their multiple stories and characters, can be a challenging delicate balance. Emphasize one story over another and an audience starts to wonder why the neglected subplot is even in the film. “Answers to Nothing” generates this reaction with all their narrative threads, in a movie that lacks any kind of cohesion.
CHICAGO – Regardless of its exotic locales, “Off the Map” may benefit from a few more diversions. Everything about this fresh-faced ABC drama feels instantly familiar.
CHICAGO – The saga of “Friday Night Lights,” the fourth season of which is now available on DVD, is not unlike that of an underestimated football player who most people thought wouldn’t make the team despite his obvious talent but who proved everyone wrong by changing the rules of the game.
CHICAGO – Why has a seemingly ordinary tale of an oil patch town in Texas and their high school football obsession conquered books, film and television? Because the folks telling the story continue a tradition of beautiful, significant truth.