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 – Keanu Reeves has been in a lot of dogs over the years, but rarely has he left such a high body count while avenging one of them. “John Wick” is a brutal revenge thriller where Reeves is a ex-mob enforcer who goes on a murderous rampage leaving blood on every doorstep to avenge the death of his dog.
CHICAGO – CBS’s “Blue Bloods” and “The Good Wife,” both recently released on DVD (first season for the former, second season for the latter), were interesting stories in April of this year as ratings watchdogs expressed concerns that either or both could be canceled despite loyal fan bases. Both were given the reprieve because they have viewers who just won’t give up on them. See why with this stellar pair of releases.
CHICAGO – With junk like “Marmaduke” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” pitching themselves to children like bad fast food, it can be hard for an honestly-good and genuine family film to find an audience. “Ramona and Beezus” is the kind of family offering that will hopefully find a large audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s no classic and far from perfect but it’s definitely a success for its target audience that could surprisingly appeal to people outside of its demographic as well.
CHICAGO – Tom Selleck is back on series television, portraying the patriarch of a New York City cop dynasty in “Blue Bloods” (not a bad pun), but this time he is the Chief of Police over the whole city. He still has time for Sunday dinner with the family, and he’s inviting TV fans to the table.
CHICAGO – “Ramona and Beezus” may not be the perfect film that Beverly Cleary fans hoped for when they fell in love with these characters but it is successful on its own terms in its refusal to talk down to its pre-teen audience and through the massive future star-power of its talented young stars. I admittedly have a soft spot for any film that places teachers on a higher pedestal than businessman and effectively teaches young viewers to stick to their creative visions. It’s flawed, but “Ramona and Beezus” works.