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 – “Dark Shadows” flops on the screen like an undead fish out of water. It doesn’t have one ounce of the spontaneity or style that made the work of its director, Tim Burton, or its star, Johnny Depp, so irresistible during their hot streak of the ’90s. The was back when Burton/Depp collaborations promised something more than peerless production values and morbid variations on familiar themes.
CHICAGO – Perhaps to avoid the scorching heat, a lot of people went to the movies this Memorial Day weekend and two films dominated the marketplace. “Men in Black 3” finally dethroned the champ with an impressive $55 million over the three days (and $70 million over the holiday four-day weekend) compared to the $36.8 million brought in by “Marvel’s The Avengers.” The Will Smith - Tommy Lee Jones flick is definitely a hit but it has a ways to go to approach the $1.3 billion worldwide already amassed by one of the biggest films of all time. (For the record, “Men in Black 3” has already made $203 million worldwide.)
CHICAGO – “Marvel’s The Avengers” continued to completely dominate at the box office this weekend, grossing another $55.1 million domestically for a total of $457.1 million, good enough for 6th place all time after only 17 days in release. The massive hit has already grossed $1.2 BILLION worldwide, ranking 4th place all time.
CHICAGO – “The Avengers” showed no sign of second weekend fatigue, beating the smash second frames of “The Dark Knight” and “Avatar” by collecting another $103.1 million. Dropping just over 50%, “The Avengers” has made $373 million domestically and over $1 billion internationally. This thing could challenge “Avatar” and “Titanic” for all-time grosses.
CHICAGO – Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” is one of the most inconsistent and frustrating major films in a long time. There are elements here and there that work but Burton and writer Seth Grahame-Smith seem incapable of figuring out how to wrangle them into a coherent, successful film.
CHICAGO – “The Avengers” was expected to dominate at the U.S. box office on its opening weekend but no one predicted that it would break $200 million, shattering the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time. The Summer season got off with a bang as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, and the rest of the gang made cash registers ring around the world.
CHICAGO – Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are teaming yet again for next month’s sure-to-be-hit “Dark Shadows,” a reboot/remake/whatever of the cult soap opera hit from the ’60s. People are insanely loyal to the legend of Barnabas Collins and the occassion of the Hollywood attempt to inject life into again has brought a number of DVD releases to the market, including a MASSIVE collection of all of the episodes of “Dark Shadows” ever produced (at, wait for it, 27,420 minutes).
CHICAGO – In Hollywood studio royalty, there might be no one as royal as Richard D. Zanuck. Besides being the son of Darryl F. Zanuck, one of the founders of the movie studio system, Richard Zanuck has made his own mark as producer of “Jaws,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and Tim Burton’s 3-D “Alice in Wonderland.”