CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”
CHICAGO – There’s no television program that can be more simultaneously brilliant and frustrating as Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” returning tonight, July 14, 2013, to start an already-tumultuous second season.
CHICAGO – Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, drives me crazy. The HBO drama can be so thematically dense and brings up subjects too often missing from the national conversation but it can also be so frustratingly self-important and deluded in its vision of the way real people operate. Do you give it credit for the topics it raises or smash it for the heavy hand with which they’re delivered? I have high hopes that season two will iron out some of the problems (stories of reshot episodes indicate that Sorkin heard his critics) but I’m still torn on how to feel about season one.
CHICAGO – Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” is one of those films that was circling around my top ten when it came time to write it in December. Honestly I had about fifteen films that could have fallen anywhere between 6-20 (my top five was pretty set as I saw those films). I rewatched many of those movies to determine where they should be and one of the most rewarding second viewings in there was the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s. This is a great movie that only gets deeper the second and even third time (and ended up #7 on my list and #5 on Patrick McDonald’s before winning the CFCA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Don’t miss it.
CHICAGO – The announcements have been made and the nominees for the Writers Guild Awards for 2011 are set. Featuring six categories, two in film and four in television, the WGA award nominees range from first timers to names we have definitely heard before.
CHICAGO – The New York Film Critics Circle was the first major group to make their picks official for the best of film in 2011 when they announced their winners earlier today. After moving their awards from mid-December to late November, a move that many feel was just to make their pick more noteworthy in award season hype, the NYFCC picked the silent, black and white film “The Artist” as the Best Film recipient.
CHICAGO – So many recent films have been called “masterpieces” by critics that the word doesn’t have the power that it once did. And yet there’s sometimes no better way to describe a film. David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake is a masterpiece.