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Kristen Connolly

Barry Levinson Jumps Into Found Footage Genre with ‘The Bay’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Perhaps the last person I would have expected to leap into the found footage genre made so popular in films like “Paranormal Activity” is the director of character-driven pieces like “Diner” and “Avalon” and yet here’s Barry Levinson’s “The Bay,” opening today, November 9, 2012 at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Levinson’s understanding of character elevates what could have been an absolute disaster but can’t save the film from its genre failures and lack of tension. It’s interesting but forgettable and sometimes frustrating.

Take a Trip to Drew Goddard’s Brilliant ‘The Cabin in the Woods’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Drew Goddard’s “The Cabin in the Woods” is a brilliant dissection of not just the clichés of the horror film genre but how they have played a role in the darkest corners of our society for centuries. It’s also a damn blast, as fun a time as you’ll have in a movie theater this season (and probably next). It’s one of those rare films that’s just pulsing with energy on so many levels — as genre-loving comedy, as straight-up horror, and as something you’ve simply never seen before. “The Cabin in the Woods” is a great film.

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  • Happy Christmas

    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.

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    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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