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 – The year 2016 was a dangerous one to be a famous person. In the past twelve months, one dozen of my former photo subjects passed away, celebrities who at one time or another famously posed for my lens. However, on a positive note, at least photos are forever. Or to quote the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman – “Why don’t you take a picture, it will last longer!”
CHICAGO – “Opinions are antithetical to a clear chain of command.” Well, Mr. Cliched Submarine Movie Character, allow me to break the chain — “Phantom” is a dull excuse for a movie. Supposedly “Inspired by True Events,” this tale of a rogue Russian sub that almost started World War III features a super-talented cast and more strong performances to add to the resumes of the great Ed Harris & William Fichtner but it’s just a snooze as Director Tom Robinson produces more tedium than tension before getting to his ridiculous finale.
CHICAGO – Not to be outdone by HBO, who renewed their Sunday hit “Luck” yesterday, Showtime gave season renewals today to their impressive slate of Sunday shows — “Shameless,” “House of Lies,” and “Californication.” All three have done remarkably well in the ratings as the two veterans have improved on previous season numbers and “House of Lies” has done very well in its first few freshman frames.
CHICAGO – A well-cast comedy and a clever concept can help make screenwriting speed bumps much more tolerable. Take “The Joneses,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. It has an undeniably interesting set-up and a very likable cast and those facts alone make it worth a rental. It’s disappointingly tooth-less and somewhat predictable, but the film’s flaws are easy to overlook.
CHICAGO – Introduced with one of the easier movie pundit headlines ever, “The Joneses” indeed cannot keep up with itself, despite a sharp script and the plausible efforts of David Duchovny and Demi Moore.
CHICAGO – Late summer and early fall always produce a wave of TV programs on DVD, as if you’ll see the latest season on a store shelf at the local Best Buy and remember that a show returns to the air soon. It’s both advertising and a way for viewers to catch up before another weekly iteration of one of their favorite shows.
CHICAGO – “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” was an unqualified disaster in theaters. One of the worst movies of 2008, the film downplayed the strengths of the first few seasons of the influential series and emphasized the weaknesses of the show’s ignominious end.
CHICAGO – Following an addictive TV series that spanned from 1992 to 2002, I wanted to believe “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” would more dynamically pay homage to its television success than Chris Carter’s first film attempt in 1998. In take two, though, it didn’t happen.