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 – What does one of the biggest stars in Mexican television do when he needs another world to conquer, and a crossover to the American market? He directs his first feature film. Eugenio Derbez, often called a “One-Man Monty Python” in Mexico, debuts as a director in “Instructions Not Included.”
CHICAGO – My God, “Judge Dredd” is bad. I forgot how bad until I rewatched it in its recent Blu-ray edition, clearly timed to ride the wave of the release of “Dredd 3D” in theaters. The movie has been remastered well in HD but that’s about the last nice thing one can possibly say about it.
CHICAGO – Rob Hedden’s “You May Not Kiss the Bride” with Dave Annable, Katharine McPhee, and Rob Schneider is the kind of modest romantic comedy with wacky hijinks and likable central characters that one typically stumbles upon in a video store or when cycling through new On Demand options. Before that happens, the mediocre honeymoon from hell pic is getting a minor theatrical release in some markets, including Chicago, starting this weekend. The charisma and comic timing of the film’s female leads make up for some of the screenwriting rough patches but not enough to justify a trip to the theater.
CHICAGO – After an absolute train wreck like ABC’s “Work It” and something that comes close to disaster in NBC’s “Are You There, Chelsea,” there’s something nearly-satisfying about a mediocre sitcom like “Rob!”
CHICAGO – Nowhere near as abysmal as some of Adam Sandler’s worst comedies and yet also not nearly as good as it could or should have been, “Grown Ups” might make a reasonable rental on a late fall evening but don’t get your expectations too high. Sandler may be trying to grow up with his comedy friends but a lazy script and horrendous direction by regular collaborator Dennis Dugan hold back what should have been one of the stronger comedy ensembles of the year.
CHICAGO – It may be called “Grown Ups,” but too much of the new Adam Sandler ensemble comedy feels like it was written by an eight-year-old boy. The believable friendship chemistry that Sandler has with co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider significantly ups the entertainment value, but “Grown Ups” could have and should have been much better.
CHICAGO – This 35-image slideshow contains all of the official press images for the highly anticipated “Grown Ups,” starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Maya Rudolph. The film was written by Sandler & Fred Wolf and directed by Dennis Dugan. It will be released on June 25th, 2010.
CHICAGO – In the relatively anemic anthology of recent Adam Sandler flops, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” hangs above with comedic charm and a nonsensically amusing plotline. The story is divisively intermingled with racial and ethnic sensitivities between the Israelis and Palestinians.