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 – Melissa McCarthy has jumped the shark. Or if she hasn’t, she’s strapped on the skis and is contemplating the ramp. Going once more to the same character well – this time with a script co-written with her husband Ben Falcone and directed by him – McCarthy shows little originality or gumption as the title character in “Tammy..”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new “R”-rated comedy “Tammy” starring Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon!
CHICAGO – “The Way, Way Back” made a solid $21 million domestically but I kind of expected it to be an even bigger hit when I saw it back in January at the Sundance Film Festival. I saw several dozen films at this year’s fest and nothing produced a response like Nat Faxon & Jim Rash’s sweet, sentimental comedy. The audience I saw it with LOVED it. And now that it’s on Blu-ray and DVD, I expect it to reach an even bigger audience through word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s a fun, clever movie with some great performances, including a supporting turn by Sam Rockwell that stands with the best of the year.
CHICAGO – The plot description which this review will eventually get to is going to make Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said” sound sitcomish. It’s a conceit straight out of Must-See TV.
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 – Nothing evokes the time, sights and smells of summer like the getaway resort. The long days, the mystery of night, the first crush and the summer job are all brought back in the soapy yet fun “The Way, Way Back,” featuring Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney.
CHICAGO – Despite boasting the talented efforts of the always-great and tragically underrated Toni Collette, P.J. Hogan’s “Mental,” opening this weekend in Chicago, is a tonal mess. It’s a bewilderingly strange movie, the kind of thing that one might write off as being lost in translation from its Australian origin before realizing it wasn’t that funny there either.
CHICAGO – The great director Alfred Hitchcock had morphed to legend rather than a man, so it’s interesting that two films have recently been released about his all-too-human foibles. The feature film, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the director, gets inside the man’s relationships in “Hitchcock.”
CHICAGO – Why didn’t more of you see “Fright Night”? Do I have to beg to get enough of you to rent or buy it on Blu-ray to justify a sequel or at the very least to prove that intelligent, fast-paced, clever horror like this has an audience? Seriously? As a horror junkie, it’s often more disheartening when a quality genre film bombs than when a crappy one takes off. The latter scenario happens all the time but we only get a few quality flicks a year and I hate it when they fall flat like “Fright Night.” Horror fans, and even those of you who might not accept that label, this movie rules.
CHICAGO – In our latest horror/comedy edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 10 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the DreamWorks home entertainment release of “Fright Night” starring Colin Farrell, Toni Collette and Anton Yelchin!