CIFF Triple Play: Coriolanus, Jeff Who Lives at Home and Sleeping Beauty

Time to hammer through the second half of my Chicago International Film Festival coverage with an arthouse triple feature.


Shakespeare is hard. Even for professionals, Shakespeare is hard. This is the message I got from John Logan, the Tony-award winning playwright (for RED), and a two-time Oscar nominee (screenplays for Gladiator and The Aviator). Logan’s resume is impressive, so for him to admit that Coriolanus, was tough to bring to the big screen is no joke. It was a struggle at every level—adaptation, selling, filming, distributing. That this film exists at all is proof of Logan’s, and Ralph Fiennes’, devotion to the work. Continue reading “CIFF Triple Play: Coriolanus, Jeff Who Lives at Home and Sleeping Beauty”

CIFF 2011: Tyrannosaur


So some of you came out of the woodwork and yelled at me for spoiling The Ides of March in my review. My attitude toward spoilers is this: 1) no, I don’t care about them, 2) most of my reviews post after the movie comes out—you have 72 hours to see a movie unspoiled and then come Monday, we’re talking about it, and 3) my goal with these reviews is to help you decide how to spend your money at the movies. Entertainment is expensive—it costs a lot to go to movies, to maintain premium cable packages, VOD and streaming/rental services. I’m trying to provide enough information to help you spend your money wisely. Of course I’m going to tell you if a movie is good or bad, but mainly I want to write reviews and previews that help you not waste your money. If I get a little spoilery, it’s in the interest of letting you know what to expect when you go to the movies. Also, I read a couple advanced reviews of Ides that referenced the suicide so I didn’t realize it was going to be a big deal. Continue reading “CIFF 2011: Tyrannosaur”

CIFF 2011: Like Crazy

October 6-20 marks the 47th Annual Chicago International Film Festival. I’ve never done this festival before and decided to give it a whirl this year. Film festivals always sound better in my head than they actually are. I was reminded of this as I stood in line for Like Crazy, surrounded by college-aged hipster douchebag film students. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be posting reviews from the films I’m seeing. Unless I’m in jail for stabbing a college-aged hipster douchebag film student to death with my pencil.

Like Crazy was a big hit at Sundance and I can see why. It’s a charming, small film that’s a bit cute and quirky without descending into twee-ness (despite the rather poor trailer’s tendency toward the twee). The natural comparison here is (500) Days of Summer, but I found Like Crazy to be a lot less hipstery. Like Crazy is the story of Jacob and Anna, a couple of selfish assholes who ruin the lives of everyone around them. It’s a bittersweet love story. Continue reading “CIFF 2011: Like Crazy”