Richard Roeper Blog

Archive for December, 2014

Roeper Rundown: The Year in Movies

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

“The Interview” Gets New Life

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

   When Sony Pictures announced last week it wouldn’t be showing “The Interview” in theaters, I heard from a few conspiracy theorists that said this was all a publicity stunt.
Now Sony IS authorizing Christmas Day screenings in a few markets (and most likely a Video On Demand release as well), I’m still gonna say I don’t think the North Korean government, rogue hackers, the largest theater chains in North America, Sony Pictures, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Kim Jong-Un and Dennis Rodman all got together and mapped out a strategy to maximize publicity for a relatively small social satire.
I think having Rogen and Franco do the talk show and premiere circuit would done just fine.
“We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview’ and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Chritsmas Day,” said Sony Chairman Michael Lynton in a statement.
The Plaza Theater in Atlanta said it will be on of the theaters showing the film. Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse Theaters Tweeted he’ll “be making shows available [in Austin, Tx.,] within the hour.” (As of this writing, I don’t have confirmation of any Chicago-area screenings.)
Not sure how many moviegoers will now skip “Into the Woods” for “The Interview,” but at least now if you want to see it, you’re going to be able to see it.
No word from Sony about the reasoning behind this change of heart. Maybe it was the fact even the president of the United States said they were making a mistake in declining to release it. Maybe they finally realized if you cave once to a threat, you’re already on one knee and someone’s probably going to threaten you again—and if you keep on pulling movies from theaters because of threats, you might as well stop making movies.

Roeper Rundown: The Interview

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Roeper Rundown: Best Movies of 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The Winners: 2014 Chicago Film Critics Awards

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Winners

BEST DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater–Boyhood
BEST ACTOR: Michael Keaton–Birdman
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore–Still Alice
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette–Boyhood
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Wes Anderson–The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ART DIRECTION: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (TIE): Birdman–Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel–Robert Yeoman
BEST EDITING: Whiplash–Tom Cross
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Under the Skin–Mica Levi
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER: Jack O’Connell–Starred Up/Unbroken
MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER: Damien Chazelle–Whiplash
Winners By The Numbers
3–Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash
1–Force Majeure, Gone Girl, The Lego Movie, Life Itself, Starred Up, Still Alice, Unbroken, Under the Skin

“Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s intimate epic charting the growth and maturation of a boy from the age of 7 to 18 that was filmed over a period of 12 years was the winner of the Chicago Film Critics Association award for the Best Picture of 2014 in a ceremony held tonight. In addition to the top prize, the film won two other key awards with Linklater being named Best Director and Patricia Arquette voted Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the boy’s mother, who undergoes her own set of changes over that time.

Two other films tied “Boyhood” for the number of awards received. “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s whimsical comedy-drama about a concierge in a posh European hotel who becomes involved in intrigue while the world teeters on the brink of war earned Anderson the Original Screenplay prize and also won for Art Direction and tied for Best Cinematography.

“Whiplash,” the acclaimed indie drama charting the battle of wills between a highly ambitious musical prodigy and his teacher, both obsessed with perfection at all costs, saw its writer-director, Damien Chazelle, named Most Promising Filmmaker, co-star J.K. Simmons named Best Supporting Actor for his terrifying turn as the teacher and Tom Cross cited for Editing.

The other title with multiple wins, the hallucinatory black comedy “Birdman,” earned Michael Keaton the Best Actor award and also shared in the tie for the Cinematography prize.

Among the other winners from the group, now in its 25th year, Julianne Moore was named Best Actress for her heartbreaking performance as a woman stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s in “Still Alice,” author Gillian Flynn won the Adapted Screenplay award for the adaptation of her best-seller “Gone Girl,” rising star Jack O’Connell was named Most Promising Performer for his performances in the dramas “Starred Up” and “Unbroken” and Mica Levi won Best Original Score for the trippy soundscapes of “Under the Skin.” The Foreign-Language Film award went to the dark comedy “Force Majeure” and “The Lego Movie” took the prize for Animated Feature. Finally, “Life Itself,” Steve James’s celebration of the life and work of the late Roger Ebert, was named Best Documentary.

Follow @ChicagoCritics on Twitter for organization and member news, as well as updates on the 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival. The third annual Chicago Critics Film Festival will run May 1-7, 2015, at the Music Box Theatre. Screening information and special guest appearances will be announced as they are confirmed on both Twitter and


Thursday, December 11th, 2014

We now live in an entertainment world in which the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Amazon’s “Transparent” and the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” are nominated for Golden Globes for best comedy series, and not a single show from CBS, NBC or ABC made the list.

The gang at “Cheers” would have been baffled.

Watching the live stream of the Golden Globes nominations on Thursday morning, with Paula Patton, Jeremy Piven, Kate Beckinsale and Peter Krause taking turns reading the categories, a few random thoughts occurred:

• There are some 90 members in the Hollywood Foreign Press, with Germany having the largest contingent (12). You can win a Golden Globe with as few as 19 votes, meaning you could thank literally everyone who voted for you.

• I want Kate Beckinsale to be the voice of my Siri.

• If only Jeremy Piven had stepped to the microphone and said, “And now, a list of women I’ve allegedly hit on through the years.”

Excuse me for not taking the Globes TOO seriously. Yes, they’re now the second-most important movie/TV awards behind the Oscars and Emmys, respectively, and yes, the telecast is always entertaining (especially with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returning to host one last time).

But they’re still kind of goofy. As we remind you every year, some of the members of the HFPA aren’t even full-time journalists. (And you can Google around and find myriad stories about the Globes’ sketchy history.)

As for the nominations: Let’s be honest, you haven’t seen most of the movies most prominently mentioned, and you probably haven’t even heard of the some of the nominated TV shows. (I was barely aware of “Olive Kitteridge.” Apparently I should catch up on my “Olive Kitteridge.”)

“Birdman” led all movies with seven nominations, and deservedly so. This dark comedy by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, filmed in a way to make it seem like one continuous shot, is an exhilarating piece of work, with Michael Keaton in one of his best performances as a former action-movie hero trying to stage a comeback on the New York stage…


Roeper Rundown: Sons of Anarchy Finale

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Teaser Trailer: Mad Max: Fury Road

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – “I’m Not Asking You To Allow It”

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

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