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: ‘Power Rangers’ Reboot is a Stunning Bore
CHICAGO – The big budget “Power Rangers” reboot tests the limits of just how pedestrian a supposed $100 million dollar blockbuster can be. Part of that is due to the fact that superhero movies are a dime a dozen these days, and a movie has to have something more than just silver screen quality special effects to set it apart. But looking at the finished project – with its flat performances, sluggish pace, and ho-hum-yet-costly effects, it’s hard to see who was exactly asking for this anyway?
The Power Rangers are so anonymous they make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles look richly textured and fleshed out by comparison. And this cast seems to have been assembled in a focus group, with no considerations for chemistry whatsoever. It opens with a tired prank where star high school quarterback Jason (Dacre Montgomery) sticks a cow in the locker room, and then gets put under house arrest after another of those frenetically cut police chases which suggests a low rent sequence by director Michael Bay. He’s sentenced to detention, a sort of basement breakfast club, where he meets autistic Billy (RJ Cycler) and cheerleader-gone-bad Kimberly (Naomi Scott). Toss in new girl Trini (Becky G) and daredevil Zack (Ludi Lin), and you have a team of Power Rangers that no one could pick out of a police lineup.
The performances range from barely serviceable to wooden, with supposed leading man Dacre Montgomery embodying all the personality of a floorboard. On a trip out to the mine where Billy’s deceased dad used to work, Billy blows a hole in a mountain and uncovers the five special stones which give each ranger power. As the McGuffin that moves the story along, they’re no Holy Grail.
The Crew Dons the Iconic Suits in ‘Power Rangers’
Photo credit: Lionsgate