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 – Interpreting the ambling and sonic prose of author Thomas Pynchon has eluded filmmakers until now. Director Paul Thomas Anderson takes a whack at “Inherent Vice,” and although much of the film has his usual eminent vision, as a whole it makes for difficult sledding.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new crime drama “Inherent Vice” starring Joaquin Phoenix from Paul Thomas Anderson!
CHICAGO – The so-called “legend of Oz” will cease to be legendary if they keep producing lame re-engineerings of the 1939 classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Close on the heels of last year’s dud, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” comes the dully rendered “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.”
CHICAGO – The master animator and film legend Hayao Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”) announced his retirement after his latest film, “The Wind Rises.” He is often called “Japan’s Walt Disney,” but there is more to him then that, a soul and a mystery that is revealed in the stages of his animated art, and his contribution to artistic culture will continue to influence for generations to come. “The Wind Rises” is nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2014 Academy Awards.
CHICAGO – An injection of A-list voice talent (including Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Frances McDormand, and Jessica Chastain) along with a new setting proves to be just what the “Madagascar” franchise needed. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” is the best of the three films, a fun, clever ride that works for both kids and adults. While the past two films had tons of bonus material with their Blu-ray releases, this one’s a little lackluster. But the movie itself should make thousands of wee ones happy this holiday season.
CHICAGO – The immersion that is possible in modern animated films is so rich now that it is practically reality. “Frankenweenie,” the newest puppetry-style film from director Tim Burton, is heroically painted onto the screen’s canvas, but the limp retelling of the Frankenstein movie myth doesn’t live up to the visual tone.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy/animation/family edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, we have 10 DVDs up for grabs in advance of the home entertainment release of “Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil” with Hayden Panettiere!
CHICAGO – Last week, June 14-19, Chicago felt the roar of hilarity as it hosted the 2011 “Just for Laughs” festival, sponsored by the TBS Network. For five rollicking days, the Windy City entertained audiences at venues all around town, with both name comic celebrities, local stand-up and the Chicago school of improvisation.
CHICAGO – Hilarity is back in the Windy City as the annual “Just for Laughs” festival comes to town to kick off summer. Over the next five days, Chicago venues will be rocking with comedy legends like Steve Martin, and the smaller clubs around town will also be featuring up-and-coming acts.
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.