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Mick Jagger

Blu-ray Review: James Brown Biopic ‘Get on Up’ Has No Soul

Get On Up

CHICAGO – When people yawn about the dullness of movies based on life stories, they are certainly referring to films like “Get On Up,” an absurdly uninteresting portrait of a key figure of music, or so this movie claims. From the “The Help’s” vanilla visionary Tate Taylor, this 140-minute ode to James Brown is a half-assed argument about his nonpareil greatness, and full evidence that the biopic may be the weakest genre in film.

Film Review: Background Singers Get Up Front in ‘20 Feet from Stardom’

20 Feet from Stardom

CHICAGO – One the great points in “20 Feet from Stardom” is that often in our favorite hit songs, we sing along to the background singers rather than the lead vocal (“Sweet home Alabama, Where the skies are so blue…”). These classic songsters come front and center in “20 Feet from Stardom.”

Ignoring Old Show-Business Rules, Rolling Stones Brightly ‘Shine a Light’

Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Shine a Light (1)

CHICAGO – In The Beatles versus The Rolling Stones debate (which no one under 40 would have), I’m decidedly in the corner of the Fab Four. I do acknowledge, however, the sheer stamina and staying power of The Rolling Stones.

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  • Punk Punk

    CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”

  • Assassination Theater

    CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.


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