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Column Fri Sep 27 2013

Rush, Don Jon, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Metallica: Through the Never, Baggage Claim, Enough Said, Blue Caprice & Computer Chess

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Rush

What separates Ron Howard's latest film Rush from so many other sports-related docudramas (whether they're based on a true story, as this one is, or not) is that you could remove all of the Formula 1 racing sequences and still have a really strong film, thanks in large part to a smart, interesting screenplay from Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen). Am I saying the races aren't wonderfully re-created and thrilling? Of course not. But the heart and soul of Rush isn't the racing; it's the contentious but respectful relationship between 1970s-era rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, at his most swaggerific) and the highly disciplined Austrian Niki Luada (Daniel Brühl of Inglourious Basterds).

The film makes the interesting point that these two men could not have lived their lives more differently, but their careers were locked together for many years as they often found themselves fighting for points on Grand Prix racetracks. As much as Howard is known for being a stylistic chameleon, able to adapt his style to fit whatever story he is telling, I tend to get a little giddy when he dips his toes in the R-rated pool. And with healthy doses of nudity (done in large part to illustrate Hunt's reputation as a ladies' man) and a certain amount of unflinching violence (Formula 1 races do have their accidents), Howard has made a solidly mature film that often feels not only like it was set in the 1970s, but shot then as well.

Englishman Hunt is shown rising through the ranks of racing early in the film, but these scenes are largely there to establish other traits about the man: his recklessness, his ways with the women and his beyond-cocky attitude (well-earned) about his abilities behind the wheel. Lauda on the other hand bought his way into Formula 1, but again, not without talent to back him up. He's a numbers man; if he doesn't see the percentage chance of him winning running his favor, he simply won't race. He's also a brilliant mechanic and engineer, and he effectively rebuilt his cars several times over to make them lightweight and perfectly aerodynamic.

It's little more than a sideplot, but I enjoyed seeing the section of the film involving the whirlwind romance and eventual marriage Hunt had with model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde, who actually does look remarkably like Miller). She inspired him to become a better racer, but in the end, she left him for Richard Burton and has gone in the history books as the woman who broke up Burton and Elizabeth Taylor once and for all. It's a fun bit of movie-star footnoting, but it breaks up the main story nicely. Meanwhile, Lauda's decision in picking a woman to marry seems as much of a calculated decision as the ones he makes about his car. Still, it's his love of Marlene Lauda (Alexandra Maria Lara) that steers him toward not taking unnecessary risks and driving smarter as well as faster.

I don't think I'm ruining any part of this story in saying that at one point in the film Lauda is involved in a horrible accident that almost kills him and certainly takes him out of racing for a time, just when it appears he is poised to be the world champion for the first time. But in a somewhat remarkable (and completely true) admission, Lauda says that while he was out of commission, seeing Hunt catching up to his point score inspired him to recover and rehab faster and get back to racing so as not to lose. And as much as the original accident was partially Hunt's fault (he insisted the race go on despite a heavy downpour), he also thanked him for motivating him to get out of the hospital faster than anyone expected.

The best scenes in Rush are the ones where the two men are together in conversation. Each never misses a chance to razz the other, but they also encourage each other to consider living their respective lives a different way. Hunt reminds Lauda to have fun every so often, while Lauda advises Hunt to take a more measured approach to his hard living off the track and risky behavior on it. There's a competitive, brotherly affection between them that Hemsworth and Brühl capture nicely, and if there's one thing I wanted more of out of this film, it was more scenes between the two. They understand that their relationship and rivalry forces them to be better at what they do to match and keep up with the other.

And what about those racing scenes? Well, they're great, but Howard doesn't drag them out or bog us down with too much detail about strategies. If your theater has a good sound system, you should expect your seat to rumble a great deal; you can almost see the screen vibrate from the excessive speeds on display. And during the races where rain is a factor, seeing the racers' POV of what it's like speeding down a road with so little visibility is terrifying.

Rush is going to pull in a great deal of its audience because of the racing element, which is great. But I think those people are going to leave remembering the story to two men in a unique club who defy death every time they get behind the wheel, and as much as they want to beat the other guy, they also rely on each other to survive. Howard pulls no punches regarding the risks or the raw thrill these drivers get when they hurl down these roads and unbelievable speeds. It's that rare sports movie that truly succeeds at putting us inside the heads of two very different drivers and experience what they do through their eyes. Rush is an unqualified success as both character study and thrill ride.

Don Jon

He can sing, he can dance, he can act, he can play music, and now apparently Joseph Gordon-Levitt can write and direct a movie (the nerve!). And the good news is, he can do so with both a silly playfulness and a mature confidence to turn a boy-meets-girl story into a deeper examination of expectations men and women have each other. Don Jon looks at what happens when those expectation are in full effect and what happens when we drop them (almost) completely.

Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt) is young, Italian, in good shape, wears his clothes like he means it and has a close-cropped haircut that he probably gets trimmed up every week. He drives a mean car, is close to his family (father Tony Danza, mother Glenne Headly and silent sister Brie Larson), attends church, and works out daily. And at the end of most days, he ends up in a club with his buddies (Bob Brown and Jeremy Luke), fairly confident that he can seduce any woman in the place with his perfect-package sense of self worth. But the one thing Jon's narration wants us to be very clear about is that masturbating to porn is more interesting to him than the limited opportunities of sex with a real woman.

That is until he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), one of the only women who won't sleep with him on the first date, or the second, or the third. She parcels out her physicality like breadcrumbs to a pigeon. She knows she's getting Jon worked up (even to the point of letting him dry hump her to completion in the hallway of her apartment building), and knows that he'll do just about anything for her to get her to eventually agree to have sex. She gets him to take classes to make him a smarter kind of guy, she wants to meet his family and friends. And where is she getting all of these ideas about the kind of man Joe should be? From her own version of hardcore porn: Hollywood romantic comedies.

There's an incredible scene in a grocery store where Jon is about to buy products to clean his apartment with, and Barbara refuses to let him do it because no man of hers will ever clean his own house. She supplies him with the number of her cleaning lady, and that's the end of that. Her perfect man from the movies is never seen mopping or dusting; it doesn't even matter than Jon likes to clean.

But Don Jon isn't really about Jon and Barbara's relationship, which we know is destined to crap out because of his porn habit. What it's really about is Jon and Esther (Julianne Moore), an older woman in his night class whom Jon catches crying on a couple of occasions outside of the school. At first, he struggles to ignore her, but after she catches him watching porn on his phone and doesn't freak out, she feels free to have open and frank discussions with her about sex, relationships and these expectations we have about men and women that are put out there by every form of media, all day-every day.

It's the conversations that Esther has with Jon that open up the film and make it something greater and more substantive than simply a relationship comedy featuring a couple of New Jerseyans. She doesn't cure him of his limited ideas about sex and what woman can be in his life, but she opens up the possibilities in ways that the glamourous Barbara never could, and it's a wonder to watch him wake up a little from his tired routine.

Gordon-Levitt walks the right side of the line to make Jon less of a mook and more of a lost soul who wants to be a better man but simply doesn't have anyone in his life to show him the way before meeting Esther. Johansson is the real marvel here, not because she looks good (she does; no getting around that), but the minute Barbara meets Jon, she owns him — we can see it in her eyes and the way she brandishes her fingernails when she talks to him. I was also impressed with Danza's work as Jon's father, a complete neanderthal whose only moment of interest in his son's life is when he brings Barbara home for dinner one night, where Jon Sr. proceeds to sex her up with his eyes.

I've seen Don Jon three times in the last six months, and each time I caught myself noticing different subtleties in the way the characters are drawn and how the story plays out. It's smart, thought-provoking and even genuinely romantic at times, just not the times you think it'll be. I'm truly curious to see what Gordon-Levitt has in store if he decides to write and/or direct again, but because he's clearly a filmmaker who knows how to keep a story moving along, but isn't afraid to dial things down a bit to make the important moments stand out. Don Jon is also incredibly funny and charming in its vulgarity (it's almost funnier the more vulgar it gets). Quickly becoming one of entertainment's true Renaissance men, Gordon-Levitt puts in a strong show at every job he takes on in this film, and has made an all-around entertaining, very adult movie.

To read my exclusive interviews with Don Jon writer-director-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and co-star Tony Danza, go to Ain't It Cool News.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

I seem to recall finding the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs kind of charming and funny, but if you'd ask me recall certain elements or scenes to back up that memory, I couldn't do it. And having seen Meatballs 2, I'm really doubting my thoughts on the first film. Still armed with the same cast of characters, but adding one named Chester V. (voiced by Will Forte), the head of a huge corporation called The Live Corp Company, who bears a striking overall resemblance in both look and philosophy to the late Steve Jobs (which seems in terrible taste), this new movie is all about distrusting companies, which I guess are worse than machines that almost bury the world in oversized junk food.

Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), the inventor of the original food-generating machine, is hired by Chester V. to be an inventor. All Live Corp seems to do is have an army of inventors creating whatever the hell they want to, with no real guidance or idea of what the person next to them is inventing. Sounds like an efficiently run company. Meanwhile, the island where Flint and his family and friends lived has been evacuated for cleanup by V.'s teams, but what the mogul really wants is to find the food machine and use it for his own purposes. He sends Flint back to the island, which is now populated by food-animal hybrids, to look for his machine and shut it down permanently.

There's pretty much never a second in this movie where we don't distrust Chester V, with his giant head and serpentine arms and legs, so there's no real drama built up waiting for him to reveal himself. The best things about him is his assistant Barb (Kristen Schaal), who is actually an ape with a human brain that Chester doesn't see as anything but an animal.

The best parts of Meatballs 2 are the "foodimals." There's at least a hint of creativity behind the creation of cheespiders that spin webs of melted cheese or tacodiles or schrimpanzees (my favorite) or hippotatomuses or any number of invented creatures. It actually reminded me of some of the in-between evolution creatures from The Croods, but a little more kid friendly. Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn have clearly spent a lot of time fine tuning these inventions, while leaving the actual story bland and predictable. And when you've got voice actors like Andy Samberg (yes, there's a high former-SNL factor here), Anna Faris, James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris and Terry Crews, you've got to give them something more interesting and humorous to do than just yell in funny voices.

When this was over, I couldn't help but think this would have been much better as a direct-to-video sequel, rather than eat up our valuable time with a sappy, limp story and unimpressive 3-D. The film is absolutely aimed at the younger crowd, and I'm sure they'll enjoy it to a point. Again, the food-animal hybrids are memorable, and I found myself eager to see what the next entree of creatures would be, but without even a mildly compelling story to support it, I'm afraid the foodimals just weren't enough to sustain my interest in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Metallica: Through the Never

In a perfect world, this Metallica concert experience would have been just that: a straight-up, riveting, utterly immersive 3-D film with music blaring through IMAX speakers and massive images of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo filling the screening. And make no mistake, all of that is in Metallica: Through the Never, in the very capable hands of director Nimrod Antal (Kontroll, Predators, Vacancy). But then there's this sketch of a story the runs through the film that is visually quite interesting, but adds very little to the actual experience of watching and listening to Metallica perform.

While I applaud the band for trying to do something more than a straight concert film, the staging of the particular shows that were filmed for this document pretty much cover this being anything but ordinary. But that doesn't stop a story from developing concerning a roadie named Trip (the great young actor Dane DeHaan, soon to be seen in the new Amazing Spider-Man film as Harry Osborn), who is sent out into the city to locate a missing band-owned truck. But as he gets closer to finding the vehicle, strange and scary things begin to happen that resemble a violent uprising. All the while, Metallica's music acts as the soundtrack to this tale.

And how about that music? I feel like every review of this film I've read so far has had the critic exclaim their level of fandom for Metallica before they dive into talking about the film. I would not consider myself a "fan" of the band, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate their music. I actually like the sometimes symphonic qualities that some of their more epic songs display, and this stage show is like walking through a haunted house.

I was genuinely surprised how many of these songs I actually knew. There are tremendous, definitive versions of such songs as "Creeping Death," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "One," "Wherever I May Roam," "...And Justice for All," "Master of Puppets," "Nothing Else Matters" and, of course, "Enter Sandman." Some fans may complain that the chosen tracks are decidedly lacking in deep cuts, but as a casual fan, I was thrilled to hear so many familiar songs, made all the more memorable thanks to unique stagings for each tune.

I've known since seeing the band in the great doc Metallica: Some Kind of Monster that this is group of guys who take their music so seriously that they were at one point willing to sacrifice the band if it meant maintaining the health of the individual members. They only wanted to make music if they were all physically and psychologically well. A part of me suspects that maybe, psychologically, some of them are still on the edge, because only that would it explain the added through-line of Through the Never. Thankfully, the value and strength of the music owns the day and this film. Hell, I even dug the instrumental jams the band engages in during the end credits.

In addition to rocking music, Metallica: Through the Never also features some of the best 3-D you'll see in your life. It's strange and wonderful that in just one week, you're going to see another spectacular, eye-popping use of 3-D in Gravity, which uses it differently, but with equal effectiveness. At times, this film is frustrating (pretty much every time it leaves the concert), but I will admit I'm such a fan of DeHaan's work in such movies as Chronicle, Lawless and The Place Beyond the Pines, to name a few, that I was happy to see him work his angsty greatness all over the movie. I didn't actually see this film on an IMAX screen, but if you're able to find one that's playing this work, opt for that and hope your eardrums and eyes will forgive you for spoiling them so dramatically.

Baggage Claim

Okay, so let me tell you a story about my experience going to see the romantic-comedy Baggage Claim, the new film from writer-director David E. Talbert (First Sunday), based on a screenplay he wrote based on his own book). About 20 minutes before the movie started, I went to the men's room just across the hall from our theater. I was the only one in there at first, and as I was heading for the sink to wash up, I hear footsteps coming into the room; I look up, and there's Michael Bay walking right toward me.

Now I've met Bay a couple times around the filming and release of the last Transformers movie, so he recognizes me and says Hi, but then he stops and says, "How did you find out about this?" I have no idea what "this" he's talking about, but I play along saying, "I have people everywhere." He gets a slightly amused look on his face, and I'm thinking that he's there to watch some Transformers: Age of Extinction (which has been shooting around Chicago since late August and wraps up next week) footage on a big screen. Then he says, "Mark's [presumably Mark Wahlberg] already in the theater," and I'm trying to think of a way to get a peek at this footage.

But then he says something about Lone Survivor, which is Wahlberg's next film (written and directed by Peter Berg) to be released in theaters in early January. And then I figure out that Berg must have sent a finished or mostly finished print of the film for Wahlberg to check out, and my hopes of stepping into their theater to check this out slowly diminish, and I say goodbye to Bay and slink back into my screening. But then after Baggage Claim is done, I come out back into the hallway, and a mob of people leaving my movie have spotted Wahlberg leaving his (I'm pretty sure I spotted Wahlberg's stunt double with him as well), and he's mobbed by people wanting photos and autographs. He's being completely cool and accommodating with the masses, none of whom seem particularly surprised that he's in town, but I never heard anyone ask him why he was at the theater.

Eventually he's whisked away by security, and that's the end of that. So how does this relate to Baggage Claim? That's easy: everything I just told you is more interesting, funnier and more believable (yes, it all happened) than anything in Baggage Claim. I'd rather have another two-minute conversation with Michael Bay in the men's room than sit through this idiotic, insulting (especially to women), brain-damaged film again.

Do you want to know how appallingly bad this movie is? The lead character, flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton, she of the perpetual fake smile), has a gay best friend named Sam (Adam Brody); didn't romantic-comedy leading ladies stop having gay best friends sometime in the mid-1990s? And best of all, when Montan and her other friend, the oversexed Gail (Jill Scott), bemoan the fact that they can't find a good man, gay ol' Sam chimes in, "Tell me about it." Seriously? Clichés are not like wine; they do not get better with age, Mr. Talbert.

It's sickening to watch a character who is sketched out to be a strong, independent woman chase after men so shamelessly. Under circumstances so contrived they aren't even worth detailing here, Montana has 30 days to find a man not just to be her date to her younger sister's wedding but to actually fall in love with her enough to propose. So rather than start from scratch, she and her airline friends dig up the names of men she has dated in the past and track down their flights (apparently there's only one airline in the world in this universe) so Montana can run into them and hopefully conspire to get that proposal in a couple of weeks. Seriously, just recapping this plot is making my stomach turn.

Despite an interesting cast consisting of Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jenifer Lewis and Djimon Hounsou, all of that talent is laid to waste from the first frames Baggage Claim. But there is no greater acting criminal in the film than Patton, who does little more than smile and pose and look pretty in tight clothes, towering heels and perfect hair. Her delivery sounds like she's talking to children all the time, and despite a film-ending speech about no longer trying to live up the expectations of everyone else (especially her overbearing mother), the damage is done. And now that you know what this horrid movie is about, go back and read my Michael Bay story and tell me which one you'd rather see in person. If Baggage Claim is even under consideration in your household, then someone that lives there hates movies as much as they hate you. I'm heading back to the bathroom.

Enough Said

It goes without saying that the death of James Gandolfini leaves a hole in the acting world that will never quite be filled. But after you see Gandolfini's performance in his next-to-last film role, as Albert in writer-director Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said, I think you'll feel that deficit just a little bit more than you already do. The performance Gandolfini delivers here is understated, charming, funny and occasionally fragile, as he plays a man who has been devastated by a bad marriage and is tentatively dipping his toe back in the dating pond.

If you can believe it, Enough Said is also significant because it marks Julia Louis Dreyfus' first film role since Woody Allen's 1997 work Deconstructing Harry. After several TV series and a few animated works, she slips right back into film acting to play Eva, a masseuse who has been divorced for a while as well, attempting to raise a college-bound teenager and wondering how she's going to fill her days once her daughter has left.

At the same party where she meets Albert and agrees to go out with him, she also meets a poet named Marianne (Catherine Keener), who just happens to be searching for a masseuse and the two arrange a session. I don't think I'm telling you anything the trailer doesn't reveal, but suffice it to say it turns out that Eva's two new friends have a history, and not a pleasant one at that. But Eva is so eager to keep Marianne as a friend and Albert as a love interest that she hides the discovery, only telling best friend Sarah and her husband (Toni Collette and Ben Falcone).

While Enough Said maintains a fairly light and breezy tone, there are some serious issues at play here concerning honesty, empty nesters, compatibility and listening too much to what other people say about the person you might be interested in. Without realizing it, Marianne is poisoning Eva and Albert's relationship; all of the things she loathed about Albert's behavior, Marianne starts to notice and get annoyed by as well. Holofcener (Please Give, Friends with Money, Lovely & Amazing) has a sweet spot for observing and conveying human behavior when it comes to abrasive familial bonds and the nature of friendship, both of which are on full display in this work.

Both sets of divorced parents end the film sending their kids off to college, and the scenes are so emotionally charged that it almost feels like the hidden secondary reason made the film in the first place. When Eva's ex-husband says to Eva at the airport after they say goodbye to their daughter, "We made a good person," good luck keeping the tears back during that moment.

But in the end, Enough Said comes down to wanting to see Eva and Albert overcome certain obstacles and find a way to make it work; it's rough going, but I don't really think there's any doubt where the road leads for them. Holofcener isn't trying to shock or surprise us with this story; she's attempting for a level of emotional honesty and a bit of levity, and on those terms, she whole-heartedly succeeds. Plus, Gandolfini and Dreyfus have such glorious chemistry, even when they aren't getting along, that we laugh through their pain. It's a beautifully cathartic experience through and through. The film opens today in Chicago at the Landmark Century Center Cinema.

Blue Caprice

This first-time feature from director Alexandre Moors is a small film about a very big subject, the series of shootings (killing 10) credited to the "Beltway sniper" in October 2002 in and around Washington D.C. And while Blue Caprice does address the shootings themselves, the bulk of the film is about the relationship between John Allen Muhammad (played by Isaiah Washington) and Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond of "The Wire") and the strange, slow process that led Lee to perform the shooting at John's behest. The film wonders how one bitter, paranoid older man could plant the kinds of ideas into the head of a timid younger one that would cause him to commit cold-blooded, dispassionate murder.

Written by Ronnie Porto, Blue Caprice relies a great deal on the effective use of its fluid camera (by cinematographer Brian O'Carroll), muted lighting and uncomplicated score to convey the tortured and conflicted thoughts going in in Lee's head as he leans on this father figure after his mother abandons him in his native Jamaica and John finds him there while the older man is on vacation. There is always an uneasy tension between them, as John pushes the boundaries between control and flat-out brainwashing. He fills the younger man's head with thoughts of government conspiracies and ways of committing mass murders without getting caught (keeping the victims random is the key in his eyes).

The way Porto and Moors structure the film makes the killings themselves almost an afterthought, and as cold as that sounds, it actually emphasizes how Malvo in particular was transformed into a monster, rather than assuming that he was always one. There's a reason John was executed, while Lee was given a half-dozen consecutive life sentences. Putting in brief but memorable supporting performances are the likes of Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams and Leo Fitzpatrick, particularly good as a weapons dealer. There's a detached element to Moors' directing style that fits so perfectly with the material, that the tension rises so gradually, you almost don't notice it until it's devouring you. I'm not sure you'll learn much about the nature of present-day mass murderers from Malvo and Muhammed. If anything, I learned that no two of these people are the same, nor do they act for the same reasons — not even the ones who work together. Blue Caprice is a calculated and powerful work about the fragile nature of the human mind in times of crisis and desperation, and its built on two fearless performances from Washington and Richmond. The film opens today in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre.

Computer Chess

I missed this film at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, so by the time I sat down to watch Computer Chess recently, I'd forgotten anything I may have known about it back in March. As the film started, it was clear from the quality of the black-and-white images that it was shot on vintage analog video cameras, so I at first assumed it was a documentary about a weekend competition among some of the earliest examples of computer chess programs. With a small number of computer geniuses (circa the early 1980s), the computers play each other, with the winner playing an actual chess master in a kind of exhibition match.

And I won't lie, for quite some time, the illusion of this being a doc is easy to maintain. But then things start to get weird and paranoid and occasionally silly, and then I started to recognize faces in the cast. Writer-director Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation, Beeswax) has manufactured something of a masterpiece in time and place, using the technology of the time to simulate a period film about the first-generation of this new breed of nerds. He doesn't make fun of them or make jokes at their expense. Instead he shows us a side of early geekdom in the form of programmers, complete with bad haircuts, worse clothes, oversized glasses, but all completely historically accurate. Nothing here in term of the attention to period detail is exaggerated.

A couple of the performers really stood out for me, including Wiley Wiggins (yes, that kid from Dazed and Confused) as Beuscher, an angry programmer whose machine refuses to work right as the games begin. Myles Paige plays Papageorge, an independent programmer (as in, not affiliated with a particular university), who comes across like a bit of a shyster. And then there's the appropriately mousy Robin Schwartz playing the one female programmer of the bunch (and the first ever at this competition).

Despite a few more surreal moments tossed to make this process seem almost mystical, as if these enormous computers have minds of their own, Bujalski tends to stick to keeping this as realistic as possible, a goal helped by the slightly washed-out, specter-ish quality of video. If a ghostly figure suddenly moved across the screen, it would not only scared the crap out of me, but it would have seemed completely appropriate within this picture quality. And the filmmakers has matched the drab quality of the visuals with a nondescript hotel setting and unforgiving clothing styles.

It's kind of remarkable to think how much in the world today, including to some degree the very machine I'm typing on now, was dependent on men and women like the ones depicted in this film. And to hear them say the words "artificial intelligence" seems like they are saying them for the first time aloud or at least in public. There's a barely containable glee on their faces when they contemplate the possibility of designing a thinking machine, and we begin to wonder if any of these people had a hand in any major discovery down the road. Much like the pioneers he is depicting in Computer Chess, Bujalski has a true gift for invention and creativity. It's one thing to tell this story docudrama style; it's quite another to use the video technology of the time to increase the authenticity. This is a great little discovery. The film opens today in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre.

Writer-director Andrew Bujalski, local stars Gordon Kindlmann and Anne Dodge, Chicago-born producer Alex Lipschultz, and special guests will introduce and conduct post-show Q&As on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27 and 28, after the 7:15pm screenings.

 
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williams / August 19, 2014 8:21 PM

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GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
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Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
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