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 – Director Rob Reiner’s career is undeniably a shadow of what it used to be with critical failures like “The Bucket List,” “Alex and Emma,” and “Rumor Has It…” diminishing the fact that this talented man gave us “Stand By Me,” “This is Spinal Tap,” and “The Princess Bride.” “Flipped” certainly doesn’t merit consideration with Reiner’s best but it is closer to form than he has been recently and it’s a film that’s easy to fall at least halfway in love with if not fully flipping head over heels.
CHICAGO – “In Treatment” is something of a TV miracle. It is a drama that focuses solely and purely on how what we say is as important as what we do. With real-time therapy sessions that play like mini-plays, “In Treatment,” the second season of which is now available on DVD, is far and away one of the best shows of the last several years. It’s a major commitment of time and emotion but it gives more than it takes.
CHICAGO – Rob Reiner’s “Flipped” is not merely nostalgic for an era when life seemed simpler and sweeter but for an age when every minor detail meant the world and love was as simple as looking into the eyes of a new neighbor. We all remember the days when the smallest act of kindness or meanness changed everything and, thanks to two very strong central performances, “Flipped” captures the essence of those times in a gentle, sentimental romance.
CHICAGO – Sometimes fans have the choice between holding on to the standard DVD version of their favorite films or upgrading to the latest format, anniversary, or ultimate collector’s unrated fantastic edition. With many Blu-Ray releases merely improving the technical specs but often leaving the special features alone, it can be a tough call. Such is not the case with the 20th anniversary edition of the great “Say Anything…,” a release packed with excellent bonus material that make it a must-own for fans of Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut.
Television Rating: 5.0/5.0
CHICAGO – Quick - What’s the best show on television right now? “Lost” has its fans but I think that show’s taken a slight dip in the new season, as has the increasingly too silly “30 Rock”. People love “Burn Notice,” “Big Love,” and “Damages,” but they’re done for the year. After Sunday, there is one clear answer. The best show on television is HBO’s “In Treatment”.