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 – Big-budget Hollywood is struggling to find new stories, which is why we sometimes see the same ones two, three or even 10 times. Sometimes they’re days or months apart. And sometimes they shouldn’t have been made in the first place and just were to profit from a beloved story or hero.
CHICAGO – While the broadcast networks midseason continues to set records for overall incompetence and ABC’s “Zero Hour” appears to be the latest casualty (as it was pulled from this week schedule in advance of a likely cancellation), the newest attempt to revive flatlining numbers comes in the form of ABC’s “Red Widow.”
CHICAGO – Cinema is one of the most powerful tools of communication that mankind can utilize to shed light on gravely overlooked areas on our planet. Yet good intentions are not enough to achieve success with this art form. If the scripted drama rings false, the message, however vital, gets lost in a sea of disinterest.
CHICAGO – The sorrows of war has been played out too many times in our so-called modern age. The excessively cruel Bosnian war – a three year conflict that introduced the vile term “ethnic cleansing” – is the background of Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
CHICAGO – “Quarantine” leaves this hardcore horror junkie conflicted. The film itself is one of the better genre entries of 2008, a thrill ride that will satisfy nearly everyone who rents or buys it on Blu-Ray. But the special features on the disc omit something unbelievably important and, in doing so, leave a bad taste in my mouth.