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 use of science fiction for all kind of stories is one of the hottest go-to genres for Hollywood today. “Passengers” is a love story, and adds the visual glory of modern special effects…but the soapy tale of a star-crossed (literally) couple is problematic and cliché ridden, and breaks at the end with heroics that are shoehorned into the rest of the scenario.
CHICAGO – When journalists were heroes and exposed those in power for their sins, movies were made like “All the President’s Men.” Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News was one of those journalist heroes during the 1990s, but he wasn’t celebrated in his time. The indictments, induced paranoia and outright lies against him are distinctly chronicled in the luminary “Kill the Messenger.”
CHICAGO – What happens when too much truth is exposed, and those who will feel the backlash from that exposure are too powerful? The new film “Kill the Messenger,” directed by Michael Cuesta, seeks an answer to that question through the true story of journalist Gary Webb, a victim of his own investigative reporting.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new dramatic thriller “Kill the Messenger” starring Jeremy Renner based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb!
CHICAGO – Tina Fey, love her. Paul Rudd, like his work, he’s a Judd Apatow guy. Wallace Shawn in “The Princess Bride,” exquisite. Lily Tomlin is a comedy legend. All these great and interesting performers participated in “Admission,” for which they all get an “F.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new comedy “Admission” starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd!
CHICAGO – Even the most hardcore, defiant fans of “The Twilight Saga” must admit that there clearly was not enough material in Stephenie Meyer’s final book to justify two films.
CHICAGO – At times, Woody Allen’s new film releases stink like an old glove, and thankfully there are times when they fit like an old glove. His latest is “Midnight in Paris,” just released on Blu-ray and DVD. This is classic romantic Woody, set in the City of Lights, and featuring Owen Wilson taking on the Allen persona. It’s also featured in my Top 10 Films of 2011.
CHICAGO – While Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” meticulously chronicles the troubled upbringing that leads a kid to shoot up his school, Shawn Ku’s “Beautiful Boy” centers on the days following the senseless slaughter, as the shooter’s devastated parents are left to pick up the pieces. Though both pictures share similar themes, the latter takes a more familiar and less unsettling approach to the material.
CHICAGO – The family unit, now in a constant battle with technology, changing morality and a fracturing social structure, comes under psychological siege in the mortally sad but ultimately compelling “Beautiful Boy,” featuring Maria Bello and Michael Sheen.