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.
George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” is processed cheese. It is a film that has been rewritten, edited, and refined until it has lost all sense of purpose or identity. There’s no flavor left. It is a film that defies genre; not quirky enough to have a comedic personality despite a cast that almost always supplies edge and not engaging enough to work as drama or thriller.
CHICAGO – What a disappointment. You’d think with a cast this great and a premise this outlandish that this film simply couldn’t lose. And yet, the best things about “The Men Who Stare at Goats” are its title, its poster and its trailer that gives away nearly all of the biggest laughs. The actual film is a charmless slog that doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as it should.