Chris Sader in Sadermania: From Fanship to Friendship
In this week's long review Drew Hunt takes dead aim at the online phenomenon of "vulgar auteurism," a school of criticism elevating contemporary schlock meisters to the level of Ford, Hawks, and Hitchcock. His case in point: Paul W.S. Anderson, director of such fanboy favorites as Mortal Kombat, Death Race, and now Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth installment in the durable movie/video game franchise. We've also got recommended reviews for How to Survive a Plague, David France's documentary about the AIDS political action group ACT UP, and The Master, the latest from the brilliant Paul Thomas Anderson (you can't keep your auteurs straight without a scorecard). And the United Film Festival—Chicago runs Saturday through Thursday at Music Box; our sidebar features reviews of the local productions Chicago Farmer, Fast Talk, and Sadermania: From Fanship to Friendship.
Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal in End of Watch
Check out our new reviews for Detropia, a poetic documentary about the collapse of Detroit by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp); End of Watch, a down-and-dirty police drama by David Ayer (screenwriter of Training Day); Hello I Must Be Going, a romantic comedy starring the fine character actor Melanie Lynskey; Liberal Arts, a melancholy comedy about a 35-year-old man who falls for a 19-year-old college student; Majority, a Turkish black comedy about a layabout who offends his old man by taking up with a Gypsy woman; Work by Brenna Murphy, a collection of shorts by the Portland avant-gardist; Special Warning: Robert Nelson, a double program of experimental work by the eponymous filmmaker, who died this year; 10 Years, an ensemble comedy about a high school reunion, featuring Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, and Justin Long; and Trouble With the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood as—hold on to your seat—a cranky old man.
James Stewart in Vertigo
Best bets for repertory: Mervyn LeRoy and Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1933, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at Music Box; Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In (2008), midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark's Century Centre; and, according to a recent Sight & Sound poll, the greatest film of all time: Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), Friday and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center, with a lecture by Fred Camper at the second show.