CHICAGO – Put in a dash of crazy, add a dash of funny and you are defining “The Asylum,” a catch-all name for a couple of show events in Chicago, playing at The Apollo Theater Studio through February 23rd, 2017. Behind the scenes of these showcases is producer Michael Sanow, a Chicago theater veteran. For “The Asylum” information regarding the “Atypical Musical Comedy Show” (Tuesdays) and “Access Comedy” (Thursdays), click here.
Film Review: ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Adds Artistry to Mass Murder
CHICAGO – It takes a special kind of film that enthralls the audience so much that they stop caring about the body count and are more concerned with the main character running out of bullets. “John Wick: Chapter 2” offers the same cathartic effect as watching a Nazi get punched but in an infinitely more picturesque package.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” came, saw and slaughtered the entire sequel game. This film has set the standard for how action film sequels should be more ambitious than their predecessors. More than that, “John Wick” has become a case study on what elements are needed for successful and fulfilling franchise building. Director Chad Stahelski has spent his career building up to this glorious point. As a stunt coordinator on several major action films, many starring Keanu Reeves (“Point Break”, “The Matrix Trilogy”, “Constantine”), Stahelski has both the action and Keanu experience to create a decent action film. Stahelski surprised us in 2014 when he delivered an exceptional entry into the action film genre with “John Wick”. This year he has outdone his previous impressive by delivering a sequel that is easily one of the best action films of the last decade or more.
“John Wick: Chapter 2” elevates what many consider to be a genre that is ham-handedly physical. With the kill count close to the triple digits, this film manages to be elegant and overwhelmingly beautiful. I don’t condone wanton violence, but I am always compelled by a mysterious anti-hero who faces insurmountable odds all while dealing with unspoken internal turmoil. Writer Derek Kolstad takes a deceptively refined approach towards the character and world building in “John Wick”. Kolstad, best known for a few B-action films, started with a simple story, one we’ve heard before about a reluctant killer forced back into a life of killing just that he can one day stop killing.
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) and his canine companion in ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’
Photo credit: Summit Entertainment