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 – Sam Rockwell does no wrong. He takes parts in movies major (“Iron Man 2”) and minor (“A Single Shot,” now available On Demand and opening theatrically in limited release this Friday, September 20, 2013) and makes decisions that other actors wouldn’t even consider. He is so completely, believably in the moment.
CHICAGO – NBC continues to struggle on Thursday nights, producing two flops in the 9pm CST hour already this year — “Prime Suspect” and “The Firm.” Will the third time be the charm with tonight’s premiere of the highly-advertised “Awake”? While the show is intriguing, unique, and well-acted, it’s hard to see it taking off on the peacock network.
CHICAGO – After the success of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Taylor Lautner could have taken any number of paths to breakout with his own star vehicle. He chose to try and fashion himself into an action star, appearing in this weekend’s “Abduction” as a young man discovering he has a very special past.
CHICAGO – Superheroes may appear relatively sure-footed, but they are on shaky ground with modern audiences. The sense of awe evoked so effortlessly in Richard Donner’s 1978 classic “Superman” is practically impossible to pull off these days. Comic book adaptations have to be entrenched in realism (as in “The Dark Knight”) to truly wow audiences. Fantastical superpowers and pure-hearted morality just seem so passé.
CHICAGO – With easily the darkest subject matter and most intense level of violence to date in the DC Universe series of PG-13 animated film, “Batman: Under the Red Hood” is far from your typical Saturday morning cartoon. This is morally complex material much closed to “The Dark Knight” than “Batman & Robin,” and it’s a smash success for the franchise, resulting in easily the best installment in years.
CHICAGO – Actor Jason Isaacs greeted the HollywoodChicago.com lens on the red carpet for “Good” on Oct. 29, 2008 on the closing night of the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival.
CHICAGO – Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen posed for a HollywoodChicago.com red-carpet portrait on Oct. 29, 2008 prior to receiving a career achievement award at the U.S. premiere of “Good” on the closing night of the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival.