CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: ‘Inferno’ Was Damned From The Start
CHICAGO – You can’t keep a good conspiracy down. Tom Hanks returns to a role we thought had joined the pages of history his character was so eager to uncover. Like the previous films in the franchise, “Inferno” promises to deliver a new problem to solve even though they never attempt to fix any of the cinematic and narrative flaws from its past.
Hanks returns with increasingly diminished gusto as he is unwittingly put in the same world saving position. The problem with the character of Robert Langdon is that he is a serious person put in very serious situations but with increasingly preposterous build up. He’s not the Indiana Jones that the franchise desperately wants him to be viewed as. If anything he comes closer to the Nicolas Cage character from “National Treasure”. The reason these two characters are successful is because they embrace the comedy of the situation. Even though they’re put in dire situations, the characters are portrayed with a glint of undeniable humor that reassures the audience that they are also in on the joke. The joke being of course that no matter how many facts are being thrown at us there is still an element of ludicrousness that the film needs to unabashedly embrace.
Returning writer David Koepp (“Angels and Demons”) ring stores another story that shows he didn’t quite learn from his past mistakes. With a film so heavy in history, Koepp seems to be disregarding his own I’m bringing us a film still marred with the sins of its past. The hardest thing to swallow with these films is how they try to praise intellectuality in one scene but spend the rest of the film insulting the audience’s intelligence. Instead of feeding us breadcrumbs like a good mystery-thriller should, “Inferno” instead lob loaves of bread and tries to play it off as subtlety. Sure, we get the message that the writer wants us to get but the engaging part of these kinds of films is not the destination but the journey. It never feels like we’re treated like anything more than children. In fact, most of the exposition in the film feels like a children’s show where they tell the audience to find a clue that is blatantly placed on-screen there for them.
Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones star in Columbia Pictures’ ‘Inferno’
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures