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 like you. You say what you mean.” Showtime’s brilliant new show, “Ray Donovan,” is titled after a straightshooter in a town where no one is honest; a problem solver in a place built on mountains of problems. Ann Biderman’s stunning drama (directed and produced by “Sopranos” vet Allen Coulter) is the kind of dense patchwork quilt of character and theme that separate great shows from merely good ones.
CHICAGO – Joel Schumacher’s “Trespass” represents a new low for the often divisive and (lately) horrendous director of such gems as “The Number 23,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Bad Company,” “8MM,” “Batman & Robin,” and “Batman Forever.”
CHICAGO – Whenever two power players in the world of cinephiles come together, it creates a critical buzz and such was the case when it was announced that The Criterion Collection had chosen Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line” for induction in their world-renowned series of DVDs and Blu-rays.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
CHICAGO – It’s officially a strikeout for Marvel’s The Punisher, a character now featured in not one, not two, but three bad movies of his very own. Dolph Lundgren swung wildly and missed with his “The Punisher” and Thomas Jane nearly connected but went foul with his reboot of the franchise. Now, Ray Stevenson is the latest actor to fail to connect with this legendary character in “Punisher: War Zone,” now available on Blu-Ray.
“The Punisher: War Zone” director Lexi Alexander has just posted an update about the film, which is slated to open on Sept. 12, 2008, on her official site.