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Drinking Buddies

Exclusive Portrait: Anna Kendrick in Chicagoland for New Book ‘Scrappy Little Nobody’

Anna Kendrick, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – After conquering the movie business, it makes sense that popular actress Anna Kendrick would take on the best seller list with her new book “Scrappy Little Nobody.” The book is a series of personal essays about her life in moviedom, and she appeared in Chicagoland last month in Naperville, Ill., for an event sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Interview: ‘Digging for Fire’ Director Joe Swanberg at 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival

Joe Swanberg, photo by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO – He is the master of loose and natural dialogue in his many micro-budget films. Director Joe Swanberg has worked his way up the movie ladder through perseverance and staying true to his vision, despite the obstacles. His film, “Digging for Fire,” opened the Chicago Critics Film Festival on May 1, 2015.

DVD Review: Lo-Fi Anna Kendrick Dramedy ‘Happy Christmas’ Comes to DVD

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.

Interview: Rob Riggle, Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr. of ‘Let’s Be Cops’

CHICAGO – When the assignment was to find a comedy team to take on impersonating police officers, funny men Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. – of the TV series “New Girl” – fit the uniforms perfectly for the new film, “Let’s Be Cops.” Add in the always hilarious Rob Riggle, and let the games begin.

Film Review: ‘Happy Christmas’ is Au Naturale for Good or for Bland

Happy Christmas

CHICAGO – One thing that struck me about writer/director Joe Swanberg’s previous “Drinking Buddies,” and made it one of my more celebrated from 2013 despite not really loving it as a film, was its importance to those good ol’ independent movies. Here were big flashy stars like Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick, not just acting in a movie of a lower budget, but creating a wider appeal out of a previously very niche aspect, without the film form itself changing much.

Streaming Feature: Best of New to Netflix January 2014

Welcome to 2014! It’s freezing in most of the United States. It’s almost the weekend. You NEED a full Netflix queue! This is one of our favorite “New to Netflix” columns to date with an even 5x5 — 5 new films that you may have missed and 5 old films that you might not have seen yet. Add all ten. Now with previews!

Film Feature: 13 Films That Define 2013

Including films that achieve the correct button-mashing combo to earn fancy kudos and are positively lauded, there are only a select few from the whole bunch that have the significance of “definitive.”

Film Review: Olivia Wilde Shines in Joe Swanberg’s Excellent ‘Drinking Buddies’

CHICAGO – Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies” has been billed as the Chicago writer/director’s breakthrough largely due to the star power on display in the cast list but the film works not merely because of the notable talents of its cast but a new maturity and wisdom displayed by its creator.

Interview: Joe Swanberg Dares to Cross the Line in ‘Drinking Buddies’

CHICAGO – It takes a special sort of filmmaker to hit it big without compromising any artistic principles. This month marks a career high for Chicago’s own DIY trail-blazer, Joe Swanberg, whose microbudget gems have influenced everyone from Lynn Shelton (“Touchy Feely”) to Lena Dunham (“Girls”).

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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