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 – The start of the eighth and final season of “Dexter” feels like a comeback album from a band that you used to love. There’s a blend of true happiness that this show looks, after four episodes, that it will end on a strong note, but also a bit of anger at the weak storytelling and stupid decisions that led us here.
CHICAGO – Few shows have fallen as far and as hard as Showtime’s once-brilliant “Dexter”. At the end of season four, the show was at a turning point and I even thought that the exploration of responsibility in season five was creatively strong. Then season six turned to religion but did so in a half-hearted way.
CHICAGO – John Cusack is in a very bad mood. Not even a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner can melt his icily grim disposition, as he speeds through traffic, shouts expletives at random extras and takes part in several terse phone conversations (hopefully with his agent). Of course, if I was an A-grade actor trapped in Z-grade dreck, I’d be peeved too.
CHICAGO – Did “Dexter” die when The Trinity Killer murdered Rita? It was such a daring, brilliant move for what was one of TV’s greatest shows at the time. But that was three seasons ago now, and while I personally liked the 5th season quite a bit, audiences seemed to turn off a bit.
CHICAGO – Showtime’s “Dexter” is starting to show its age a bit after six years of slicing, dicing, and near-captures of Dexter Morgan. It’s still a strong show, largely because of the incredible central performance from Michael C. Hall, but the writing doesn’t seem as potent as it once was as the show often fails to follow through with its ideas. I loved the foundation of faith through the sixth season but felt it was under-developed, especially after the departure of the one character who seemed most likely to challenge Dexter’s worldview. Still a good show, but not quite a great one any more. Let’s hope it comes back in season seven,
CHICAGO – Remember when Amanda Seyfried was the next big star? When she was delightful in “Mamma Mia” and dramatically engaging on “Big Love”? When we were excited that she would work with an auteur like Atom Egoyan? Here are we are, not too long after she was the it girl, and she continues to make bad career decision after bad career decision. “In Time” was disappointing but “Gone,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a different kind of suck, the kind of movie that barely makes a dent and would have been better served as a Lifetime TV Movie of the Week. Heck, most of those are better.
Update: 5:23 p.m. on May 29, 2012: Prizing quantities changed per studio update
CHICAGO – In our latest psychological thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 3 Blu-rays or DVDs up for grabs for the home entertainment release of “Gone”! One grand-prize winner will also score an Amanda Seyfried-signed “Gone” mini poster!
CHICAGO – “Seeking Justice” must have been such a juicy proposition on paper. Director Roger Donaldson is coming off his most interesting film in years (“The Bank Job”), Nicolas Cage is overdue for a quality drama, Guy Pearce is one of our most interesting actors, and the supporting cast includes a number of interesting actors with recent TV hits – Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”), Harold Perrineau Jr. (“Lost”), and January Jones (“Mad Men”). The only thing you’ll be wondering during this inert alleged thriller is where it all went wrong.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new action/thriller “Seeking Justice” with Nicolas Cage!
CHICAGO – The premise of “Gone” is a beguiling notion. What if the victim of a traumatic crime can’t get authorities to believe her? The evidence doesn’t add up, there are no physical signs of struggle and no crime scene is found. Amanda Seyfried plays such a victim, and her very sanity is questioned.