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 – Two things save “Blended” from getting a zero star review. Number one is the still palpable chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. Number two is the occasional chuckle courtesy of Wendi McClendon-Covey as Barrymore’s business partner. Otherwise this is a barren laugh-free safari through Africa that doesn’t even have the benefit of Al Pacino trampling on his prestigious career for our amusement.
CHICAGO – Trying to understand the psychology and philosophy of manchild Adam Sandler, when it comes to his “middle-age” movies, will perplex film scholars and therapists for generations to come. His latest excuse for a “family comedy” is the insipid and exploitative “Blended.”
CHICAGO – Standing out among the crowd of young actors is a daunting task, but Bella Thorne is up to the challenge, portraying Adam Sandler’s teenage daughter in the new film “Blended,” which also features Drew Barrymore.
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CHICAGO – When Universal started their wave of 2012 catalog Blu-ray releases to celebrate their anniversary, good movie nuts immediately started to consider what could be the next announcement in that collection. Near the top of everyone’s dream list? Steven Spielberg’s timeless “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”
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CHICAGO – At a time when even the US Congress can’t work together to solve a problem, Ken Kwapis’ ham-fisted cinematic “Kumbaya” session, “Big Miracle,” feels especially cheap. It’s the latest stinker to solidify the theory that a stamp of approval from Heartland Truly Moving Pictures is the equivalent of a scarlet letter for any viewers desiring to be truly moved.
CHICAGO – Whale of a tale (chuckle), no other headline writer has thought of that. “Big Miracle” is a family movie with Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and the voice of Ronald Reagan, that will not have adults seeking the emergency exits. It’s about whales.
CHICAGO – Out of all the franchises recently resurrected on the small screen, “Charlie’s Angels” is perhaps the least necessary. Does the world really need yet another rehash of the hit ’70s show that has been hailed for its female empowerment but was mainly popular because of its scantily clad female ensemble?
CHICAGO – Wes Craven’s “Scream” is one of the most influential horror films of all time. And it’s one of the best of its era. The film has held up remarkably well in the fifteen years since it was released and is a must-own for fans of the genre, especially with an extras-laden Blu-ray release timed to coincide with the upcoming April 15th release of “Scream 4.” The sequels are inferior but more worthwhile than average horror sequels. Why not own ‘em all?