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 – “When two great saints meet, it’s a humbling experience,” said Paul McCartney of John and Yoko. Well that also applies to “Elvis & Nixon.” Their meeting, albeit brief, has layers of meaning for our times – and their time – and the movie with the “E&N” title exposes that meaning with humor and grace.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 10 pairs of guaranteed movie tickets up for grabs to the highly anticipated film “Elvis & Nixon” starring Michael Shannon as Elvis Presley and Kevin Spacey as Richard Nixon!
CHICAGO – CBS’s “Hostages” is the first interesting new drama of 2013 (well, tied with NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which airs at the same time tonight, Monday, September 23, 2013). It’s not an instant hit creatively but there’s a lot to like here, particularly in its great cast and clever concept, one that engages the viewer enough with the promise of excitement for all fifteen weeks of this shortened season.
CHICAGO – Ben Affleck’s stellar “Argo” won three Oscars last night, including Best Picture of 2012, and Warner Bros. very purposefully timed the Blu-ray and DVD release to capitalize on the film’s wave of success. But they didn’t cut corners to do so. This is one of the best Blu-ray releases in some time, with a stellar collection of special features that don’t just enlighten viewers on the art of filmmaking but offer detailed histories of the true story that just won the Best Picture Academy Award.
CHICAGO – The brain trust of programmers at NBC continues to make baffling decisions, producing yet another soap-covered drama that feels like it could have been created by a computer trying to replicate the success of other networks.
CHICAGO – Ben Affleck has reached the apex of his already impressive directorial career with the stunning “Argo,” a tight, tense machine of a film, a masterwork that delivers as comedy, action, drama, and more. Critics see movies all the time that we understand may produce a divided response. We get that many acclaimed films won’t make a dent with the populous.
CHICAGO – The second season of ‘Damages,’ recently released on DVD, was still quality television but felt like a bit of a letdown after the spectacular first season of this amazing show. Naturally, expectations are high for the premiere of season three.
CHICAGO – FX’s award-winning legal thriller “Damages” is adding four new actors, Campbell Scott (“Royal Pains”), Martin Short (“Primetime Glick”), Lily Tomlin (“Desperate Housewives”) and Keith Carradine (“Dexter”), to the cast for the upcoming season which premiers in January. Production on the series 13-episode season begins in New York tomorrow.
CHICAGO – The complex, twisted world of FX’s excellent “Damages” returns this week with a spectacular set-up for what promises to be another riveting season of twists and turns down the alleys of legal ethics and questionable moral behavior with an even more impressive ensemble than the one that won Emmys for its highly lauded first season.