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: ‘Monster Trucks’ May Be One of the Weirdest Films Ever
CHICAGO – A four year old walks into a room with a great idea for a movie, and unfortunately his father is president of a “motion picture group.” Millions of dollars and four years later, this child’s idea became “Monster Trucks,” one of the strangest movies ever conceived.
The father was Adam Goodman, who in 2013 put the green light on the picture (the story may be a bit exaggerated, there are other reports that Goodman merely observed his son playing with trucks, and came up with the concept himself). Filming began and was wrapped in 2014, and then the slow painful slog of the movie Paramount Studios didn’t want to release started its painful journey to the 2017 debut in January (Friday the 13th, appropriately enough). The result is a overworked and strained effort to deliver the descriptive, “trucks are powered by actual monsters.” Aimed toward the kids, but also featuring an all-star cast of real “name” performers, the film is as bad as you might think it would be…and obviously was banking on toys, sequels and other ephemeral objects associated with a movie franchise to save its hide. Instead, it becomes the latest screwy example of high concept movie overreach.
An evil oil company – is there ever any other kind? – is drilling in North Dakota, when they are attacked by tentacle-like creatures. They manage to capture a couple of them, but one escapes. Enter high schooler Tripp (Lucas Till), a gear head who is trying to restore a “monster truck,” but lives in that movieland cliché of misunderstood-hunk-who-also-may-also-be-poor, thus is the underdog.
The escaped creature finds its way to the garage Tripp works at, and the hunk discovers the blob, nicknamed “Creech,” and makes nice with it. Soon his tutoring partner Meredith (Jane Levy) is in on the secret – the monster can attach itself to the truck and power it, like an engine. This leads to a chase to capture the blob, trying to escape from the oil company exec (Rob Lowe) and the law (Barry Pepper), while receiving help from the “scientist” (Thomas Lennon) and the garage owner (Danny Glover).
Tripp (Lucas Till) Bonds with Creech in ‘Monster Trucks’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures