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 first big breakthrough for any screenwriter is a momentous occasion, and David Wilson has done just that. The shot-on-a-shoestring indie family film “Spirit Riders” – written by Wilson – has had a great afterlife in limited release, Video-On-Demand, DVD, foreign distribution and online digital downloads. And this upcoming weekend, from November 20 to 22, 2015, Wilson will represent his story, about Equine Therapy, at the Equus Film Festival in New York City.
CHICAGO – What took so long? It’s the question that keeps nagging at the back of one’s mind while watching the series premiere of Disney XD’s “TRON: Uprising,” a new animated program debuting on the network on Thursday, June 7, 2012 and a virtually guaranteed hit. This is dark, well-made, entertaining material that mines a common thematic vein in young adult fiction — defying authority.
CHICAGO – The Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske) have made consistently funny, unique comedies since they broke through with “Super Troopers” and followed that with two films that are arguably better - “Club Dread” and “Beerfest”. They’ve made their first dud with the pretty bad “The Slammin’ Salmon,” now on Blu-ray and DVD.
CHICAGO – It’s funny the way that the Blu-Ray market has developed in that success of a new title can often bring an old one to the HD format more quickly than it otherwise would get there. In the case of the great “Near Dark,” it’s the success of two films, one that shares a theme (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”) and one that shares director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”). Whatever the reason, don’t fail to include arguably the best vampire movie ever made in your collection.
CHICAGO – I expect “Appaloosa” to be one of the more hard-to-get movies at your local video stores for the next few months. It’s the kind of movie - action-driven and widely missed in theaters - that does very well on the home market. Renters will find an old-fashioned Western that may not transcend its genre but will certainly provide more than enough entertainment on a snowy winter’s eve.