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.
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CHICAGO – With all the steamy heat, and the thick, gluey southern accents from mostly non-southern actors, the audience for “The Paperboy” might need to wear lawyer-like suspenders and flap a funeral home fan to take it all in. The sweaty new film features Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack, all chewing the scenery.
CHICAGO – Tony Gilroy’s world of double crosses, super spies, and covert government programs returns in the writer/director’s clever expansion of the world he created as the writer of “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”
CHICAGO – It’s a pleasure to see the comic book film done right, especially with the visionary guidance of director Zach Snyder (”300”). “Sucker Punch” is an amazing treat, a feast of eye candy and incredible adventure.
CHICAGO – In real life, we cling to the notion that the inconceivable can happen, that magical probability can penetrate the mendacity of everyday existence, but it rarely if ever happens. That is what makes the new film “Secretariat” so appealing, that 37 years ago the impossible did happen, through the heart of a horse and his believers. Diane Lane and John Malkovich lead the charge.
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
CHICAGO – When the HD revolution was announced, most hardcore movie fans had an instant wish list of titles that they dreamed about seeing in the next generation of video and audio.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
CHICAGO – What happened to Oliver Stone? Despite strong performances by Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, and Elizabeth Banks, “W.” is one of the most inert, middle-of-the-road movies that this once-controversial auteur has ever made, helped on the home market by an excellent Blu-Ray release but still a little “eh” as a film.
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
CHICAGO – I have a very high threshold for melodramatic romance. I was raised on cheesy musicals and will admit to pausing on the underrated “The Notebook” more than once when I pass it on cable.