In the Loop

Film Review: British Import ‘Alan Partridge’ With Steve Coogan is Just Plain Silly

CHICAGO – Before earning Oscar nom validation for his “Philomena” screenplay last year, British comedian Steve Coogan led a separate life as Alan Partridge, a dopey media personality who symbolized the danger of empowering clowns like him with a microphone, whether on a news program, a late night show, or in a radio booth.

TV Review: Brilliant, Razor-Sharp ‘The Thick of It’ Returns to Hulu

CHICAGO – Should this even be called a “TV Review”? Will we one day write “Hulu Reviews”? Or “Streaming Reviews”? Technically, “The Thick of It” is still a TV show as it premieres in the U.K. on the old-fashioned platform. It’s just in the United States that Armando Iannucci’s brilliant political comedy is premiering exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Four Lions’ Subversively Pokes Fun at Terrorism

Four Lions Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – In Dan Reed’s unmissable 2009 HBO documentary “Terror in Mumbai,” cameras captured the overwhelming carnage caused by ten young Pakistani men. They were obeying every word of their elders, heard in the film via phone correspondence. The terrorists gradually began to resemble wide-eyed kids, as they became dazzled by the lavish scenery in Mumbai, an environment that clashed with their sheltered existence.

Film Review: ‘Four Lions’ Dares to Humanize Terrorists Through Satire

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CHICAGO – If the objective of war is to drain the enemy of all humanity, then “Four Lions” is one of the best anti-war movies in recent years. Many people prefer thinking of terrorists in the same abstract terms that the terrorists themselves think of their victims. If war is all about demonizing “the other side,” how can we ever hope to come to a mutual understanding?

DVD Review: Gut-Busting Laughs Are Found ‘In The Loop’

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CHICAGO – The more you love the art of language, the more you’ll love Armando Iannucci’s “In The Loop.” Words have rarely sounded so alive or been arranged so hilariously. In a year when the WGA has honored formulaic scripts like “Avatar,” “Julie & Julia,” and “The Hangover,” Iannucci’s film is a refreshing reminder of just how much fun and exhilarating speech can be.

HollywoodChicago.com’s Top 10 Films of 2009

CHICAGO – They came, we saw and in the end, who conquered? HollywoodChicago.com Senior Writer Patrick McDonald weighs in on the Top Ten of 2009. From the rich palette of choices, the challenge is always to winnow it down to ten.

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