CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Jim reviews "THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD" -- A MENTALIST-ICALLY STIMULATING COMEDY =
“THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD” – A MENTALIST-ICALLY STIMULATING COMEDY =
Rating: 4 of 5 stars.
(Based on an advance preview:) JOHN MALKOVICH stars as an over-the-hill entertainer, a thought-reader “mentalist” based on the life of The Amazing Kreskin. In this film, his character is quite accurately described as “CHEESY but charming”. He needs a new personal assistant, and the job is given to a student named Troy (played by COLIN HANKS) who’s fed up with the idea of being a lawyer, to the dismay of his father (played by his real-life father TOM HANKS). People (even Colin) wonder if the mentalist is for “REAL”. Malkovich has an unforgettable “greeting” when he meets people, & he exudes a “barely-tolerant” outgoing smarminess when he wants to impress his audience. He can be unkind to associates, or put on an enchanting appeal when he feels it’ll help him. Malkovich is a real PLEASURE to watch in this role, as is Colin with his relaxed naturalness (abetted by his girlfriend played by EMILY BLUNT). It’s a gentle comedy, enjoyed more for its situational actions rather than any wild or especially witty dialogue; in other words, it “WORKS” successfully.