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 – Say or sing “I’m so glad we had this time together…” and persons of a certain generation will immediately respond, “…just to have a laugh or sing a song.” The theme to the “The Carol Burnett Show” is indelibly etched in show business memory, and Time Life Video is taking advantage of those days with the DVD release of “The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Favorites.”
CHICAGO – After it made a relative fortune at the box office (its number six on the year in terms of domestic gross and has made more than $300 million worldwide), I was eager to revisit “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” on Blu-ray to se if I missed anything in my initial 2.5-star review. Maybe I was just in a bad mood that day. Nope. The movie just doesn’t hold up on a storytelling level and it’s even more deeply flawed on repeat viewing. It’s only entertaining to littlest ones in your family and even they would be better served by a reading of the great source material. A trio of mini-movies on the Blu-ray help make the package more enticing but can’t dismiss the film’s flaws.
CHICAGO – “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” certainly isn’t an awful film by any stretch of the imagination. It features some solid voice work, a few lessons worth learning by the iGeneration, and some nifty visuals. It’s also pretty damn boring. Even the little ones at the family screening I attended seemed to lose interest in how this timeless story has been stretched to the demands of a modern family film. It just never quite connects in the way fans of this legendary character hope it would.
CHICAGO – The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards premiered tonight, celebrating the best acting performances of the year. The awards are voted on by the members of the Screen Actors Guild, (apparently) making the awards more meaningful to the winners as they were chosen by their peers.
CHICAGO – It stands to reason that Betty White’s latest sitcom is called “Hot in Cleveland.” The veteran “Golden Girl” has had a hot and unprecedented late career surge, augmented by the Facebook campaign that resulted in her hosting Saturday Night Live in 2010. She was in Chicago recently to promote her new book, “If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t).”
CHICAGO – It may be a sign of my age, but I get more joy out of seeing Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis acting again in the mediocre “You Again” than anything to do with the generation below them in the film (Kristin Bell, Odette Yustman), recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. The sitcomish movie in which they’re featured is well below their talents but just seeing Curtis and Weaver back in the spotlight provides enough joy to keep the proceedings from sliding too far down the scale.
CHICAGO – In our latest Blu-ray and DVD combo pack edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to “You Again” with Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White!
CHICAGO – “The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter,” and “Black Swan” were the big film winners at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, while “Boardwalk Empire,” “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “The Good Wife,” and “Hot in Cleveland” won awards on the TV side of the presentation. Ernest Borgnine won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
CHICAGO – Who would have guessed that the network to jump on the Betty White phenomenon (and who would have guessed that would ever be a viable phrase) would be TV Land? It makes a certain kind of twisted sense that a sitcom featuring stars who made it big on other shows would reunite on network built around reruns but “Hot in Cleveland” should have and could have been much better and one wonders if it wasn’t fate but that no one else would have this lackluster comedy.
CHICAGO – With the passing of Rue McClanahan last week, the era of “The Golden Girls” is fast fading (has Betty White had the weirdest year ever?). HollywoodChicago.com salutes Blanche Devereaux and the long career of Rue McClanahan with an exclusive portrait by our ace photographer Joe Arce.