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.
CHICAGO – I guess from now on, it will never be the holidays without a Star Wars movie, and why not? Every year, we’ll have a celebration with the ardent fans and characters that are one in that universe, “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.” For 2016, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
CHICAGO – “Moana” is a solid example of the time honored Disney musical. It is exactly the sort of sun drenched warm weather beacon we residents of cold weather climes can enjoy as the holiday season approaches, and it a refreshing change from another spin of Mele Kalikimaka.
CHICAGO – Walt Disney Studio’s latest animated extravaganza is best viewed as a child’s introduction to the buddy cop movie, since you can’t exactly start a toddler on “Midnight Run” or “Lethal Weapon 2.” But in this case it’s a bunny cop movie.
CHICAGO – Movie pundits are falling all over themselves to point out there is no maze running in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” so buyer beware! What began in the first film as a new take in the dystopian Young Adult movie genre, has become a scattered, uninteresting mess.
CHICAGO – “Big Hero 6” is a dark revenge thriller masquerading as a kids movie. Walt Disney Studios takes a few pages from its corporate cousin Marvel, while creating this new animated adventure. It has its moments, but not quite enough of them to make this anything more than a minor entry in the Disney legacy.
CHICAGO – Fans of the mash-up work of Seth Grahame-Smith will be pleased to know the first trailer for “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” was released today, giving a first look at the 16th president in bloody and explosive vampire action. Based on the book written by Grahame-Smith (who also wrote the mash-up “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”) the first trailer gives a minute and twenty second look into the new film, accompanied by a little Johnny Cash.
CHICAGO – Eli Craig’s debut is a smart, funny horror movie, which means it will have a HUGE shelf life on Blu-ray and DVD. This is the kind of piece that gets passed around via word of mouth and Facebook recommendations. It fell relatively flat at the box office, but gory horror movies like this one were meant to be watched at home or in dorm rooms where I expect this film will take off over the next few years. See the future cult hit now.
CHICAGO – While Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” meticulously chronicles the troubled upbringing that leads a kid to shoot up his school, Shawn Ku’s “Beautiful Boy” centers on the days following the senseless slaughter, as the shooter’s devastated parents are left to pick up the pieces. Though both pictures share similar themes, the latter takes a more familiar and less unsettling approach to the material.
CHICAGO – Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine may be unknown performers to a majority of readers – they’re far from household names – but to the right audience, the people who might be interested in something called “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” they RULE.
CHICAGO – In our latest horror/comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden!