Hamish Linklater

Interview: Adam McKay Comes Up Large in ‘The Big Short’

Adam McKay The Big Short

CHICAGO – When HollywoodChicago.com last spoke to writer/director Adam McKay in 2013, he was about to release “Anchorman 2,” and wasn’t really known for anything but his wacky comedy films. That all changed this month, with the release of “The Big Short,” a brilliant indictment of the financial meltdown of 2007 and ’08, and an impressively creative and serious effort from the comic director.

Film Review: Exposé of ‘The Big Short’ is an American Masterwork

CHICAGO – This is a rare film that will fill you with anger, while making you laugh at the absurdity of 21st Century life. “The Big Short” is an inside look at the mortgage meltdown that began in 2007, that cost eight million jobs and an untold amount of foreclosures, and the men who knew it was coming.

Film Review: ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ is Woody Allen By the Book

CHICAGO – After last year’s powerful “Blue Jasmine,” writer/director Woody Allen’s trajectory seemed destined toward another film masterpiece, but “Magic in the Moonlight” isn’t it. Colin Firth and Emma Stone are an unlikely pairing in this seen-it-before-Woody film trifle.

TV Review: CBS Misses Comedy Mark with ‘The Crazy Ones,’ ‘The Millers’

CHICAGO – There are very few recurring weak points in the CBS lineup. They’ve been dominating total viewers for years with mega-hits like “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory.” But there is one thing they haven’t been able to figure out — something to partner with “TBBT.”

Film Review: ‘42’ Celebrates Jackie Robinson, the Promise of America

CHICAGO – It took baseball, that noble sport, to recognize in 1947 what the universe had dictated since day one – all persons are equal and all deserve an equal chance. Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to break the “color line” in baseball, and the story of that achievement is magnificently told in “42.”

Film Review: PItfalls of Love for Greta Gerwig in ‘Lola Versus’

Lola Versus

CHICAGO – Greta Gerwig is now being recognized in the movie universe, and has climbed a ladder from micro-budget independent (“Baghead”) to mainstream monstrosities (the “Arthur” remake). She takes the lead role in “Lola Versus,” and anchors a terrific story about “settling down” and the decisions behind that certain time of life.

Film Review: Despite Rihanna, Peter Berg’s ‘Battleship’ Lands as One of the Best Popcorn Flicks Ever

CHICAGO – “Battleship” certainly could simplistically be reduced to a 131-minute propaganda piece of why you might want to enlist in the U.S. Navy – that is, if Earth had to ward off lizard-like creatures from a deep-space solar system we can only reach by slingshotting a highly amplified “What’s up, aliens?” broadcast to them.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Chicago Passes to ‘Battleship’ From ‘Hancock’ Director

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated blockbuster “Battleship” from “Hancock” director Peter Berg!

DVD Review: Miranda July Can’t Get a Grip on ‘The Future’

Future, The

CHICAGO – One man’s delightful whimsy is another man’s annoying hipster facade. For every person who gets on the wavelength of a band like The Decemberists or Belle & Sebastian, there are others who find their music too self-aware and, well, hipster. The same is true with film. Even though I’m often a fan of music and fiction that could be deemed hipster — you know the kind, the Sundance whimsy that comes through the art house a few times a year — I found “The Future” grating in its lack of emotional truth. It all feels like artifice to me, which is especially problematic given the clear attempt at something deeper.

Film Review: The Universe of Miranda July Foresees ‘The Future’

Future, The

CHICAGO – The beauty of indie filmmaker Miranda July lies in her ability to create substance and mystery out of the most mundane everyday circumstances. Ms. July wrote, directed and stars in the symbolically rich new film “The Future,” and nurtures the concept of “the relationship” into another realm.

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