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 – “Trolls” isn’t the type of confection that I would normally subject myself to, but at least it didn’t make me want to stick knitting needles in my ears. That’s because “Trolls” aspires to be this season’s “Frozen,” a full blown animated musical jam packed with songs you can’t get out of your head as much as you might try.
CHICAGO – The delightful new animated film “Trolls” takes the familiar doll to a new level of fun and heart. Behind this invention is the director team of Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, who have worked together in various animation roles over the years before teaming up in their first collaboration for Dreamworks Studio.
CHICAGO – Remember the hilarious video of Ben Affleck during the “Batman v Superman” promotions, his blank stare synched up to the song “The Sound of Silence”? Well, he’s decided to take that expression to a mainstream role, as he blankly applies that manner to “The Accountant.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new comedy “The D Train” starring Jack Black and James Marsden!
CHICAGO – The best of 2014 in film and TV was celebrated at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards on January 11th, 2015. Co-hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the first big and splashy awards ceremony of the season honored the films “Boyhood” (Drama) and “The Grand Budapest Hotel (Comedy), plus continued to recognize the current influence of online TV series by awarding honors to “Transparent” (Amazon Prime) and its lead actor, Jeffrey Tambor.
CHICAGO – With the larger-than-life acting tics that have invaded most of Al Pacino’s performances in the last twenty years, it seemed inevitable that the actor was the only person who could possibly play a notable loon like Phil Spector. In tonight’s HBO movie named after the legendary producer, Pacino chews the scenery as one would expect but it’s Helen Mirren who steals the piece from the Oscar winner.
CHICAGO – The cast of NBC’s “Bent” is strong enough that it could easily pull that common sitcom trick of a shaky start that develops into something greater. I’m not trying to compare the programs directly in terms of quality but have you see the first 5-6 episodes of “30 Rock” now that it’s in syndication? They were awful.
CHICAGO – Ever since the final moments of the last episode of ‘Arrested Development’ (back in 2006), there have been rumors about a feature film being created for the TV series. Cast members and writers would be asked, “when is this movie coming out?” and responses would usually be “we are working on it” or “it’s coming.” Now, after six years, those responses may actually be true.
CHICAGO – Todd Phillips has huge balls. Never before has a sequel hit SO many of the exact same beats as its predecessor. More of a remake of the film that came before than most slasher franchises, “The Hangover Part II” is the definition of more of the same. You can see Phillips going through the motions — they liked the first one, let’s give it to ‘em again with a bit of Thai flavor and more Ken Jeong. The result is a film that feels remarkably familiar with a few laughs, some decent comedic chemistry, and some daring humor, but a work that just reeks of lazy filmmaking.
CHICAGO – Could this be the news fans of the old FOX series “Arrested Development” have been waiting for? Since the final episode of the canceled series aired on February 10, 2006, rumors and hope have swirled around that the comedy series would come back for a full length feature film. Now, the long wait may be over and fans could be getting more than just a movie.