CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.
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