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 – With a lazy, over-plotted story, and a cast that are desperately going through the motions, “The Hangover Part III” is the latest example of a contract obligation disguising itself as a movie. Writer/director Todd Phillips sluggishly pounds out another one, with simply no originality.
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 – Holiday shopping season always inspires studios to try and find new ways to market their most successul films. If people loved a movie enough to buy it once, maybe they’ll buy it again with a few new special features and collectibles. Such is how we end up with releases like “The Hangover: Extreme Edition,” a cash grab that seems awfully quick considering most people probably bought the original Blu-ray less than a year ago. This is for hardcore fans only.
CHICAGO – “The Hangover” is arguably the most successful comedy of all time (only a few dollars below “Meet the Fockers” that would probably disappear if you adjust for inflation). The comedy that proved that star power and sequelitis don’t have to drive every Summer movie was wildly beloved by audiences and fans of the film have been given a Blu-Ray release drunk on the film’s success and loaded with special features, including an unrated version of the movie itself.
CHICAGO – Those who seek out “The Hangover” will do so wanting a good laugh. Those who see this film will occasionally be struck with the feeling that they shouldn’t be laughing. But laugh and laugh often they will as “The Hangover” will whirl you through all the fun of inebriation without the consequence of the nasty, next-day headache.