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 – For nine seasons, Simon Helberg has graced the television screen as Howard, on the number one comedy hit “The Big Bang Theory.” As the show nears the end of its run, Helberg is breaking out a bit, starting with a vital supporting role opposite Meryl Streep in the new film, “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new action/adventure/comedy “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (the adaptation of the hit 1960s TV series) starring Henry Cavill from Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Snatch”)!
CHICAGO – It’s a weird week at the video store (do they still have those?) or in the New Releases section of your favorite Video On Demand service. There’s some real junk that we’ll get to (“The Internship”) along with some flicks that are just too good not to break out into their own special Blu-ray reviews (“Before Midnight,” “The Conjuring” — both must-sees). And then there’s a unique array of catalog releases and TV seasons. Those could easily fall through the cracks if not for the informative What to Watch. All of these are new to Blu-ray, some for the first time and some in anniversary/special editions. At least one will grab your attention.
CHICAGO – Aardman’s Animation “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits” is a wonderfully clever slice of family entertainment that’s probably second to only “ParaNorman” when it comes to the best animated cinema of 2012. Sony has treated the film and its fans very well with an extras-packed special edition of the Peter Lord film that comes with a spectacular short film, 3D version, UltraViolet edition, and more. It’s one of the best family Blu-rays on New Releases shelves right now.
CHICAGO – “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” has that incredible Aardman energy and elegance of works like “Wallace & Gromit” and “Chicken Run” along with some of the best voice work you’ll hear in an animated film all year.
CHICAGO – Peter Lord may be the most important and influential animation producer of the last fifty years that you probably haven’t heard of. In the ’70s, he co-founded a company with Steven Broxton that would go on to change the form of stop-motion animation — Aardman Animation.
CHICAGO – The title of “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” was almost too easy for critics considering how horrendous this alleged comedy ended up. Yeah, we heard it sucked and the new DVD and Blu-ray release of this stinker only confirms those rumors.
CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray Round Up is back with two HD music releases, a beloved holiday movie from a director with a new comedy on the horizon (Richard Curtis, “Pirate Radio”), and a release that’s a must-own for fans of one of the most popular shows of the ’00s. This informative column is designed to let you know synopsis, technical specs, and features for titles that may have slipped under your radar. Pick your favorite.