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.
LOS ANGELES – Director Tony Scott, the high octane helmsman of “Top Gun” (1986), “True Romance” (1993), “Enemy of the State” (1998) and the recent “Unstoppable” (2010), died on Sunday of an apparent suicide. Los Angeles officials say that Scott jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California. He was 68.
CHICAGO – “Top Gun” is one of those movies that defies critical analysis. It’s purposefully stupid, playing off and even redefining macho archetypes in such a way that I would argue that it’s one of the most influential blockbusters of the ’80s. But is it a “good” movie? Not really. But who cares? It’s fun and the 25th Anniversary Edition plays right into the wallets of fan’s need for speed.
CHICAGO – When FOX’s “24” ended, promises were made about a big-screen adventure for Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer but that project has failed to get off the ground and the star recently signed to a new TV project called “Touch,” according to TVGuide.com. Worry not “24” fans. He claims that the dream is not yet dead.
CHICAGO – Tony Scott will clearly never have the critical reputation of his brother Ridley (as he’ll never make a film as accomplished as “Alien” or “Blade Runner”) but he has carved out his own niche of high-caliber action films, most of them starring Denzel Washington. The team of Denzel and Tony found another hit in the runaway train movie “Unstoppable,” now available on Blu-ray and DVD, which was actually Scott’s highest domestic box office success in 12 years (and made over $160 million worldwide).
CHICAGO – “Unstoppable” plays perfectly to Tony Scott’s flashy strengths as a director. There’s no deep meaning or character-driven dialogue for him to clutter up with his style over substance aesthetic. And so the film truly works as a great slice of escapist entertainment as long as you know what to expect.
CHICAGO – When a New York subway dispatcher finds himself locked in a tense battle of the wits with a deranged criminal onboard Pelham 123, he’s offered this bit of advice from a seasoned hostage negotiator: don’t enter his world. The same warning could be issued to viewers intent on entering the world of Tony Scott.
CHICAGO – HBO’s “Into the Storm” is a different kind of WWII movie than audiences have recently become accustomed to seeing. This excellent drama is not about the people on the ground but about the powerful men that made the decisions that determined their fates.