Toss up a bottle for the author of 'Cocktail'

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Tom Cruise stars in "Cocktail." (March 21, 2013)

"Cocktail" and "Road House" screen in a double feature at Lincoln Hall as part of its 3 Penny Was Here film series (in homage to the venue's previous life as a movie theater) 7 p.m. Wednesday, with running commentary from local comedians. Admission is free. Go to

Pick up

After debuting last week at SXSW, the Chicago-shot relationship comedy "Drinking Buddies" from local indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg has snagged theatrical distribution from Magnolia Pictures. The movie is Swanberg's first project to feature recognizable names including Olivia Wilde. A release date for "Drinking Buddies" has yet to be announced.

Casting updates

British comedic actor Steve Coogan ("Tropic Thunder") has been cast as the lead in the ABC pilot "Doubt," shooting in Chicago this month. The legal drama centers on a former cop-turned-lawyer who uses his street-wise expertise to win cases. U.K. comedy fans know Coogan for his multiple turns as Alan Partridge, the grandly absurd fictional radio and TV host he has played on and off for the last 20 years.

Another British actor is coming to Chicago. Theo James joins the movie adaptation of "Divergent," which begins shooting locally next month. The dystopian YA book series by Evanston-based novelist Veronica Roth envisions a futuristic Chicago in which Four (James) trains the teenage protagonist Tris (Shailene Woodley of "The Descendants") to wage battles both physical and mental. James currently stars on the CBS police drama "Golden Boy" but is better known for his brief stint on "Downtown Abbey" as the hunky-but-doomed Mr. Pamuk.

On the water

Surfing filmmaker Jack McCoy's latest feature "A Deeper Shade of Blue" traces the history of surfing from its modest origins in Hawaii to the $6 billion global industry it is today. McCoy's film, which features underwater imagery, screens next week as a Fathom Events one-time special, followed by an off-site panel discussion featuring McCoy and world-renowned surfers that will be beamed to the movie theater. Thursday at AMC River East. Go to


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