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: ‘Logan’ Bares Its Sharp Claws & Eviscerates Us Emotionally
CHICAGO – There is a war raging in the comic book cinematic universe where filmmakers think that these kinds of films should embrace their over the top (verging on campy) nature while others think they should be darker and made deathly serious. “Logan” proves that they are both wrong as it strikes a balance between all of those elements while remaining true to the character.
I have always had an unreasonable affinity for the character of Logan/Wolverine. He embodies the rage inside all of us that we don’t have an outlet for in our “polite” and “civilized” society. The anger never ends up being plain anger; there is always a cause or reason for it. It is this sort of character complexity that makes “Logan” stand out from any other “Wolverine” or “X-Men” film. Slowly, Logan/Wolverine has been developed and defined, with each film chipping away at the complicated exterior. Screenwriters Scott Frank and Mark Bomback made a huge contribution to the film “The Wolverine,” where we see our hero explore more of his history and seeing how confronting old demons could shape his future. He is haunted by the death of someone he loved and was forced to kill. It made him question his mortality and purpose. We glimpse into a character full of pain and regret, and we witness him make the choice to continue fighting, not as The Wolverine, but as the man, Logan.
In “Logan,” we take a trip into a bleak future where only a handful of mutants exist, and an aging Logan is one of them. I want to say as little as possible about the story because it is something best experienced and not read. Scott Frank and James Mangold continue their development of Logan, but this time showing us his current state and slowly explaining it as the film progresses. We get into his psyche and realize his motivations aren’t as transparent as they appear. There is a depth of sadness that Logan can’t help but where, and it all makes sense the more the gaps in between the previous film and this one are filled. The chemistry between Logan and Charles Xavier is profound and delightfully full of candor. Charles is ever the beacon of hope, regardless of how dire the situation is. The real emotional gut-punch in the story comes when Logan meets Laura/X-23 and they end up traveling together. Their interactions are the perfect balance of the teacher/student and father/daughter dynamic, even though their relationship is much more intricate than that. Watching their relationship grow on-screen is mostly poignant with hints of comedy to break the tense drama.
Hugh Jackman let’s it all out in his swan song performance in ‘Logan’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox