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 – Popular actress Taraji P. Henson (“Hustle & Flow,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) was showcased at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival on October 23rd, 2016, as she walked the Red Carpet and presented highlights from her upcoming film, “Hidden Figures.”
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 – What was once an “event” – even the the most medium level animated film was a rare movie occasion – has now become commonplace in the film market. Once that tipping point was reached, suddenly the event became just another weekend, with just another film like “Home.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new animated comedy “Home” starring Jim Parsons and Rihanna!
CHICAGO – Writer, director and lead actor Zach Braff has put it on the line for his latest feature, “Wish I Was Here.” He infamously used a crowd funding Kickstarter campaign to maintain creative control of the film, but he needn’t have bothered. The movie result is a sappy, high concept emotional manipulator with no basis in authenticity, and that might be the best thing that can be said about it.
CHICAGO – Zach Braff is an amiable personality, making his mark as “J.D.” on the TV sitcom “Scrubs” and the cult film “Garden State” (2004), which he wrote and directed. For his most recent project, he made show business headlines by using the website Kickstarter to “crowd fund” his latest film, “Wish I Was Here.”
CHICAGO – I don’t think even the people who made it thought that “The Big Bang Theory,” which recently had its fifth season released on Blu-ray and DVD, would be such a massive success. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Since the comedy debuted in 2007, it has doubled its viewership, averaging almost 16 million viewers a week in its fifth season, making it easily one of the top ten shows of the year. And Jim Parsons is the odds-on favorite to win a third straight Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series next weekend.
CHICAGO – With Emmy nominations coming out this week and the cast appearing at San Diego Comic-Con last week, CBS’s mega-hit “The Big Bang Theory” has been in the press more often than it typically is in the middle of its off-season. Add to this bizarre mini-wave of publicity the fact that Warner Bros. has corrected an oversight and recently released the first two seasons of the Emmy winner on Blu-ray, having previously been available only on DVD (the 3rd and 4th seasons were released on Blu-ray already). Both sets are light on special features but offer multiple viewing options (Blu-ray, DVD, Ultraviolet), which should make Leonard & Sheldon addicts very happy.
CHICAGO – “The Big Year” is advertised as a comedy. The subject is bird watching, or as the new film likes to express the proper term, “birding.” It stars comic legend Steve Martin, and funnymen Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It is both not funny and is ACTUALLY, seriously about birding. Time to fly away.
CHICAGO – If “The Big Bang Theory” is truly among the better sitcoms in prime-time, that’s saying a great deal about the current state of television comedy. I was genuinely interested in checking out this show after hearing the rapturous response from viewers and critics, and especially after seeing co-star Jim Parsons snag the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series away from Alec Baldwin.