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: ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Provides a Much-Needed Temporary Fix
CHICAGO – Gore Verbinski is no stranger to the spooky. He always creates these tense, terror-filled scenes that effectively frighten us. His films, from “Ring” to “Rango”, each are compelling enough to keep our attention, not matter how absurd they transform into. Boy, does he ever deliver in the gorgeously grotesque “A Cure for Wellness.”
I grew up in what can easily be considered the golden era of fucked up cartoons. My formative years were filled with outrageous, absurdist shows like “Ren & Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog.“ Each of them probably has something to do with my macabre sensibilities and Gore Verbinski perfectly mirrors my own predilections. The most powerful part of any Verbinski is the visual storytelling and “A Cure for Wellness” proves that he works best when the camera tells the story for him. The best way to describe his visual aesthetic is to say that it looks like if Tim Burton made films only for adults. Verbinski also uses a similar color palette with bright, vibrant hues offering a stark contrast to the often dark subject matter.
“A Cure for Wellness” takes place atop a gorgeous mountain resort of the damned in a town that time forgot. The breathtaking natural beauty is meant to juxtapose the cold and sterile city life our main character is coming from. The warm tones mask a dark secret as Verbinski channels gothic forces in this film. While his cinematography captivates, it also ends up trying to provide a distraction for a weak story. We explore this world, meet all these interesting, yet mysterious people and we automatically know something is amiss. For the first half of the film, Verbinski is the master of the pacing and tone. He takes the scenic route as he expertly builds suspense and intrigue, dangling a carrot in front of us as it draws us deeper down a rabbit hole. Part way down, our cautious descent turns into a freefall as the story takes control of the film, and with it goes much of what made this film beautiful.
Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) explores the sinister mysteries inside of ‘A Cure for Wellness’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox