CADILLAC RECORDS

CADILLAC RECORDS

Cadillac Records is a musical history of Chicago Blues starring Adrien Brody as Leonard Chess and Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters (with Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James, Columbus Short as Little Walter, and a host of other wonderful actors in key supporting roles). Ironically, it didn’t get much buzz when it opened on December 5,…

THE BLACK BALLOON

Award-winning Australian family dramedy. Charlie (Ford)is autistic & everyone has always expected Thomas (Wakefield) to step up. But Thomas, now a teenager, is embarrassed by Charlie & lost in his own adolescent dreams. Collette & Allison-Young are both terrific as Mom & Dad, & Ward’s presence is a lovely addition. NOT YET SEEN BY RICH. …

BABY MAMA

Rich hated this RomCom about a successful businesswoman (Fey) who hires a surrogate (Poehler) when she’s unable to conceive, but Jan enjoyed the multidimensional world created for the Fey character, & thought the relationship between the two lead characters worked fine. Click HERE for FF2 haiku.

AMERICAN TEEN

Burstein undoubtedly got remarkable footage of a year in the life of Warsaw [ Indiana] High School, but alas, she lost her way sometime in the editing room. Did marketing play too a big role here — the obsessive need to create archetypes in order to hook audiences by recreating THE BREAKFAST CLUB poster??? Click…

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

We agree that UNIVERSE is an operatic, ebulliently effective look at 60s icons; we disagree about heft. Rich thinks it perfectly captures its moment, whereas Jan also finds compelling anti-Bush, anti-Iraq War agenda. Excellent performances from mostly-novice cast. Soundtrack proves genius of Beatles simpliciter as well as this specific incarnation. Click HERE for FF2 haiku.

27 DRESSES

Much like THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Aline Brosh McKenna”s wonderful new screenplay uses comedic “top notes” to create a bittersweet after-taste. The real story here is about a woman (Heigl) who lost her mother when she was very young, & has spent the years since trying to be perfect so people will love her. Bravo!…

MADE IN CHINA

     Every year, we use our Founder’s Club passes to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 films during the 2 week span of our annual Chicago International Film Festival.  Sure it sounds like a lot, but that’s maybe 1/3 of what’s on the schedule!  So?  Some good, some bad, & some OK, but what…