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 – It was inevitable that we would get an “R-rated” superhero movie, and “Deadpool” fits the bill with its swears, violence and a little sex/nudity. It also has Ryan Reynolds as that hero, doing his “Van Wilder” smarmy act to the nth degree. How that all works will determine how you like the film.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated new Marvel Comics film “Deadpool” starring Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – We’ve all had creative buyer’s remorse. You recommend a band to your friend and their new album sucks. You post about your love for a TV show and the next episode jumps the shark.
CHICAGO – The popular choice as to the show most likely to derail AMC’s “Mad Men” from winning a record-setting five Emmys in a row for Best Dramatic Series is a newcomer to the pantheon of most-acclaimed programs, Showtime’s brilliant “Homeland,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. This is must-see TV in every possible way.
CHICAGO – After two increasingly rocky seasons, ABC’s soulless reboot of Kenneth Johnson’s ’80s miniseries and subsequent TV show “V” was finally cancelled. It ended the sci-fi serial on a tragic cliffhanger that was very much in keeping with the show’s status as a muddled downer. Though some fans have signed petitions to get the show renewed on a different network, it’s doubtful that “V” will garner a large audience outside of Comic Con conventions.
CHICAGO – Very few programs of the last few years have been as instantly engaging as Showtime’s “Homeland.” Complex characters, daring storytelling, some of the best acting you’ll see on TV all year — this is a GREAT show from episode one and it’s remarkable to think that it could even get better.
CHICAGO – Here’s the sort of self-important primetime drama that tries so hard to be a bona fide event that it quickly grows irrelevant.
CHICAGO – Why do so many modern TV dramas fail? I suspect that part of the reason lies in the fact that a lot of these shows bend over backwards to be a major television event before they’ve earned that right. They cloak themselves in faux commentary merely so they can become mechanical fodder for water cooler discussion the morning after. That’s why the vast majority of new TV dramas might as well be called, “The Event.”
CHICAGO – On paper, “Stolen” probably looked like the kind of competent thriller that could get once-rising star Josh Lucas back into the spotlight and prove to producers that “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm could carry a motion picture. Sadly, lackluster direction of what is essentially no more interesting than an extended episode of “Cold Case” squanders the talent of both men, a pair of actors who deserve better showcases.
CHICAGO – Reboots of classic TV programs have been a tough sell lately as shows like “Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider” have failed to connect with critics or audiences.