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: The Book (Finally) Closes on ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’
CHICAGO – Guilty pleasures are the order of the day, especially when we are facing daily signs of a real, impending apocalypse. End of the world by zombies remains one of the most popular cataclysmic cinematic events and “Resident Evil” is proof. “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” proves that what should be dead can come back to life, but the real question is if it actually should.
The “Resident Evil” film franchise has been around for over half my life and has proven to be the most successful (read: profitable) film series based on a video game to date. Having grown up on the video games, and having the first film come out during a probably impressionable time in my life (read: puberty), I have had this lingering fascination towards the franchise. The synergy created by combining several of my interests (video games, film, zombies, strong female protagonists, etc) has never lost its hold on me, no matter how monumentally awful each subsequent film became. I have no delusions that make me think these films are great or some higher art form. They are empty calories in the film food pyramid, but they successfully cater to gluttons (for punishment) like me.
Now that I’ve successfully explained my toxic relationship with the franchise, we can talk about their not-so-toxic effect in geek culture. Paul W.S. Anderson is the driving force behind every aspect of “Resident Evil,” writing and producing every film, directing most of them, marrying the star (Milla Jovovich), and even having their offspring making their film debut in the final film. You have to admire his thoroughness. Easily considered the Sultan of Schlock, he has had a part in several video game adaptions (like his first film “Mortal Kombat” and the live action version of “DOA: Dead or Alive”) and a few popular franchises like “Death Race” and the “Alien” and “Predator” mashup. The power in Anderson’s style of filmmaking is that even though his films usually turn out to be banal, he presents them with such conviction that we don’t care.
Alice’s (Milla Jovovich) running from her past (and zombies) leads her back home in ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures