Michael Cera

Film Review: Julianne Moore is a Ringing Sensation in ‘Gloria Bell’

CHICAGO – The sheer ordinariness of life is not fodder for most dramatic films … the popcorn munchers generally turn out for something more high concept. But in Exhibit A, there is “Gloria Bell,” in which Julianne Moore portrays the title character in a series of ordinary extraordinary events.

Film Review: Aaron Sorkin’s Directorial Debut in ‘Molly’s Game’

CHICAGO – High stakes poker are for folks who prefer to get their rush of adrenalin from the turn of a card rather than other life risks. The positives, the negatives and everything in between are in “Molly’s Game,” the feature directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing” creator). Let’s walk and talk.

Film Review: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Delivers the Usual Laughs

LEGO Batman Movie, The

CHICAGO – “The LEGO Batman Movie” is more of a parody than the laugh-out-loud hijinks of the surprising “The LEGO Movie,” but the legend of The Bats is ripe for a good skewering, and the movie has a lot of fun doing it. Will Arnett reprises the voice as the title character, with Zach Galifianakis taking on the antics of The Joker.

Film Review: ‘Sausage Party’ is a Hard R-Rated Raunchy Good Time

CHICAGO – First things first. Don’t let the fact this is animated fool you, “Sausage Party” is most definitely, absolutely NOT FOR CHILDREN. This is a hard R-rated Seth Rogen raunch fest that may induce nightmares into more sensitive viewers and contains images of animated debauchery that can not be unseen. But it is inventively profane, with more on its mind than just animated f-bombs.

Interview: Director Rick Alverson Knows That’s ‘Entertainment’

CHICAGO – It’s original, it’s off-kilter, it’s different – it’s the new film “Entertainment.” Rick Alverson has fashioned a road picture, with an offbeat stand up comic trying to get home. The director has some fiery talent behind that journey, including Gregg Turkington as The Comedian, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera and Tim Heidecker.

DVD Review: Historical Figures Cheersed in Brilliant ‘Drunk History: Seasons 1 & 2’

Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

DVD Review: Juno Temple Delivers Tour De Force in ‘Magic Magic’

Magic Magic DVD

CHICAGO – I suppose it was only a matter of time before Sebastián Silva delved into the brooding waters of psychodrama. There are countless moments in his previous pictures—from Catalina Saavedra’s piercing Bette Davis stare in “The Maid” to Michael Cera’s hallucinogenic agony in “Crystal Fairy”—that threaten to spiral into horrifying derangement.

Film Review: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann Anchor ‘Crystal Fairy’

Crystal Fairy Review

CHICAGO – It’s a sad day in modern American distribution when a film as highly praised and perversely intriguing as Sebastián Silva’s “Magic Magic” fails to acquire a theatrical release. The very notion of a Sundance darling co-lensed by Christopher Doyle getting unceremoniously dumped on DVD is too maddening to contemplate. At a time when Disney labels a formulaic misfire like “The Lone Ranger” as a “risk,” it’s depressing to see a company like Sony Pictures follow suit.

Interview: Sebastián Silva Reveals New Side of Michael Cera in ‘Crystal Fairy’

CHICAGO – 12 years ago, Sebastián Silva went on a road trip with his friends. Their goal was to experience the hallucinogenic ecstasy of the San Pedro cactus. Along the way, he encountered a hippie named Crystal Fairy who ended up giving him a more transformative experience than any drug ever could. An evening of soul-bearing confessions caused Silva to have great compassion for the damaged women beneath the eccentric surface.

Film News: ‘David Lynch Swerves’ Author Martha P. Nochimson on Indie Outlook

David Lynch Swerves

CHICAGO – Acclaimed film critic and writer Martha P. Nochimson gave an exclusive interview to Indie Outlook, the independent film blog and podcast founded by Hollywood Chicago staff writer Matt Fagerholm. Her book, “David Lynch Swerves,” reveals how the titular director’s interest in quantum mechanics and the Holy Vedas of the Hindu religion provide a key to understanding his later work on an exhilaratingly new level.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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