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Entries in Chicago (19)

Wednesday
Oct292014

Podcast: Gone Girl, Whiplash, and Kathleen Turner Sightings

The Podcast is back! 
And just in time for awards season to heat up. Please welcome back Nick Davis, Joe Reid, Katey Rich and your host Nathaniel R, as they discuss Gone Girl's conversational staying power, agnosticism about the very popular Whiplash, and fun anecdotes from Nick's jury duty at the Chicago Film Festival.

The discussion goes like so:

  • 00:01 Wild Anecdote & Podcast Reunion
  • 01:20 Kathleen Turner & Chicago Film Festival
  • 03:50 Gone Girl
  • 25:52 Wide Open Supporting Races
  • 27:31 The Selma Plan? 
  • 29:20 The Gotham Awards
  • 32:00 Whiplash
  • 41:25 Goodbyes

Articles Referenced in This Discussion
Gone Girl's "Psycho Bitch" |  Vulture Gone Girl's Woman ProblemKatey on Supporting ActressNathaniel on Supporting ActorThe Gotham Award Nominations 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow (it generally takes 24 hours to show up there). Continue the conversation in the comments! 

Whiplash, Girl !

Thursday
Aug142014

Oscar Rumblings, Song Cuttings, Record Breakings

don't cry Meryl, you've got plenty of songs to sing already!No sooner do we get the Oscar charts updated than everything changes. We are Sisyphus! 

I was thrilled to have a new Stephen Sondheim song to look forward to after all the build-up, but we shan't be hearing it. At least not within the context of Into the Woods since they've cut it from the movie. Sorry Meryl... but you've got other great songs to sing. That means less one Oscar nomination for the movie which could earn anywhere from 0 to, you know, 14. I should pretend to have a clue how this will be received but my own deep love of Sondheim musicals has really messed with my radar about this movie. I remain both totally elated that it will be onscreen and terrified at all the things that are sure to be wrong with it. What should we replace it with in "Best Original Song"? HELP

But while we're on the topic of Rob Marshall movies, remember Chicago (2002)? Chicago should be a perfect example to show film and stage people that film versions of stage shows do not hurt the box office so there's no reason to wait (*cough* Wicked). They help it enormously. Chicago the stage show was tapering off before the movie and moved to a smaller theater. It's been steady ever since and come November it  will surpass Cats as Broadway's longest running musical that isn't named Phantom of the Opera. It's been on the boards since 1996 and...

I lost the thread. OSCARS.

As you may have heard American Sniper, Clint Eastwood's latest - you know how he do with not one film a year but two - will open at Christmas so Oscar talks begins in 3...2... oh never mind it already began. Like clockwork. But do you think Clint still has that golden touch or do you doubt that he'll recover with this one. This film is an adaptation of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s memoir "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History." That title sounds so boastful! But The Academy likes Eastwood when he's doing masculine genres... so, it's something to consider at least. 

And still more Oscar rumblings: Fury is moving up to October (smart move) and buzz is strong on Logan Lerman. You may recall I interviewed him for Perks of Being a Wallflower and they were very smart to pursue longshot awards attention for him there. Awards are so often about momentum and being perceived as worthy before a film even hints. Build a good reputation and make good films and you gather steam. And Awards Circuit talked to someone who saw a test screening of Unbroken so give that a look if you're eager for a random opinion. I never know how seriously to take test screenings since one person's "wonderful" is another person's "meh", you know?

Finally, we got the first still from P.T. Anderson's Inherent Vice, however tiny it is... via The Film Stage via EW in print

Monday
May122014

The Darling Buds of May: All the Way Mae

[Editor's Note: In the interest of keeping things fresh, we aren't doing the traditional "May Flowers" series this year but this spin-off, spearheaded by abstew (who you just heard on the podcast) though I'll also be chiming in, featuring characters named that way. - Nathaniel.]


Full Name:
Mae Mordabito aka "All the Way Mae". It's not just a name, it's an attitude.

Film She Starred In: A League of Their Own (1992) The hit film from director Penny Marshall (Laverne!) about the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Co-stars include Geena Davis as Dottie, Tom Hanks (There's no crying in baseball!) as the drunken manager Tommy Dugan, a pre-Tank Girl Lori Petty as Dottie's sister Kit, Rosie O'Donnell as Mae's best friend Doris, and David Strathairn.

[more stats after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr252014

Will Renée Zellweger Ever Achieve 'Comeback' Status

We welcome back Matthew Eng (who has been studying abroad) with a response of sorts to yesterday's Smackdown just in time for the Zeéeeee's 45th birthday today.

Renée Zellweger at an Armani show in October last yearWhat is there left to say about Renée Zellweger that hasn’t already been said by nearly every snarky film blogger since the Oscar win that ignited an entire anti-actress fatwa? Of course, you can’t really blame those who vehemently turned against Renée based solely on the performance that won her what has to be—give or take Crash—the most-maligned win of the Aughts. But surely there were other forces at work here that contributed to Zellweger’s descent from perennial A-list awards darling (an astounding three Globes in three years) to seemingly-unemployable former ingenue.

Is it the implied greediness for awards, signaled not by the type of overly-gleeful, wild-eyed, “wanting it too much” acceptance speeches that have been catnip for the Hathahaters, but rather by a clear preference for shameless Oscar vehicles that initially worked in her favor (ChicagoCold Mountain) before the vehicles themselves soon revealed their own inadequacy and consequently watched their awards chances (and hers) all but fizzle out (Cinderella ManMrs. Potter)?

Or is it something else...?

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct202013

Podcast: 12 Years A Slave To Horrors

Nick and Joe join Nathaniel to discuss the Chicago Film Festival where they're catching movies like August: Osage County during the day and falling asleep watching old Oscar broadcasts chez Nick (1991 and 2006 make vital cameo appearances in this 'cast). That's our kind of weekend!

We all share the love for Steve McQueen's amazingly powerful 12 Years a Slave which Nathaniel has just seen a second time. Then we're on to discussing some horror classics which we've been thinking about due to our recent Team Top Ten lists of the best of that genre. Horror films briefly discussed include: Carrie, Rosemary's Baby, The Night of the Living Dead, Carnival of Souls, Misery and Suspiria

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes. Join in the conversation in the comments.

12 Years a Slave to Horror

Monday
Jul292013

Stage Door: "The Pride" and "The Explorers Club"

In 'Stage Door' we share our live theater adventures... 

Hugh Dancy & Ben Whishaw in "The Pride" back in 2011

If you noticed the blog was far from fruitful this past week in the posting it's because I was in Chicago visiting Nick and Tim. Nick and I took in the play "The Pride" on its closing weekend in the Windy City. His partner had worked on it as dramaturg and Nick thought I'd like it. He was right...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul252013

Shot in Chicago: Movies that capture the spirit of the city

Tim here, rejoicing over the fact that our good host Nathaniel is in my very own Chicago this weekend – we have a movie night planned tomorrow! – and to celebrate, I wanted to showcase some of my city’s best and most dubious moments in the cinematic spotlight. Therefore:

Three Chicago-based movies that truly "get" the city
(no documentaries; that would be cheating, no matter how much Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters are 100% essential Chicago movies)

Mickey One (1965)
The film that Warren Beatty and director Arthur Penn made right before Bonnie and Clyde is even more besotted with the French New Wave, but stylistic excess doesn’t get in the way of a really special hyper-naturalistic depiction of the city streets as they existed almost half a century ago. I cannot, of course, speak to the veracity of what’s onscreen, but the film’s documentary aspects shine through even under the sordid thriller aspects of the plot and Penn’s fractured filming style. Of all the classic movies filmed in Chicago – and there are a few – none do such a great job of suggesting what the neighborhoods looked like way back when, before building and gentrification made their mark.

Click to read more ...