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 – They have now officially run out of places in which to terrorize beautiful people on film with the release of the bizarre and unfulfilling “ATM,” a new thriller with three talented actors nonetheless caught in an ineffective film that stretches to meet its running time and then ends with a final act that destroys suspension of disbelief. There are brief glimpses here of the movie that could have worked but there’s a reason it’s only opening in limited release for now and playing On Demand through most of the rest of the country. It’s not a successful transaction.
CHICAGO – Filmmaking simply doesn’t get much more riveting than Kathryn Bigelow’s incredible “The Hurt Locker,” a cinematic experience unlike any other that you will have this year. Building and releasing tension better than her peers have in a long time, Bigelow has made not only the best Iraq War movie to date but the best film of 2009 at just over the halfway point.