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 Artist” is the kind of film for which a critic feels an added responsibility. The fact is that I know that a large number of readers won’t go anywhere near a movie that is described as “a black & white ode to silent films.” Eek. Sounds like torture. And yet, I also know for a fact that a vast majority of those same readers would LOVE “The Artist.” This is a stellar piece of filmmaking, one of the best of the year. Jump on the bandwagon early for what will surely be one of the major players of the upcoming awards season.
CHICAGO – It’s no mystery why the appeal of spy satires transcend the boundaries of time and culture. Clueless detectives with a bloated sense of self-importance are great comic punching bags. Everyone loves seeing a doofus get his head slammed in a door, whether that doofus be Inspector Clouseau or Lt. Frank Drebin or countless other law officers who could easily blend in with the Keystone Kops.