CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – There’s something about “Puncture” that feels like it should work. It’s easy to see why someone thought this true tale of a troubled man who realizes he has been presented with immense responsibility would make an engaging film, but the fact is that having an interesting true story doesn’t always translate to riveting drama. Despite the interesting facts of the legal and personal drama at its core, “Puncture” is surprisingly flat (no pun intended) and, even with a very-good lead performance, isn’t memorable enough to recommend.
CHICAGO – James Gray’s highly underrated and tragically underseen “Two Lovers” will undoubtedly find a loyal and loving audience on Blu-Ray. Joaquin Phoenix’s totally obnoxious behavior overshadowed what is arguably the best performance of his career in this ’70s-esque drama about a man caught between what he has and what he wants.
CHICAGO – How many men have missed out on a great relationship because they were chasing a romantic vision largely of their own making? James Gray’s excellent “Two Lovers,” the film that Joaquin Phoenix has notoriously been promoting in a style similar to that of Andy Kaufman, is a wonderful character-driven drama about a man caught between what he has and what he wants.