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.
CHICAGO – Taking on the variance of choice in a very unique and compelling way, “Train Station” was interpreted through 40 filmmakers in 25 countries, following a character – The Person in Brown – in a singular story that flexes and changes as the role is exposed. Chicago was one of those filming locations, and “Train Station” will screen here at the Music Box Theatre on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.
CHICAGO – The horror genre can be a complex creature. The great films can show you the difference between ‘horror’ and ‘terror’. Some horror is all shock and no substance, while terror can be all fear, but no shock. The difference between them is so nuanced that only a skilled director, like Fede Alvarez, can show you the difference in his latest film, “Don’t Breathe.”
CHICAGO – The horror genre in film is always looking for a shot in the old fear factor, and the new release “Don’t Breathe” delivers that injection (heh-heh). The second film by director Fede Alvarez (“Evil Dead”) features character actor favorite Stephen Lang – he prefers “Slang.” The film opens nationwide on August 26th.
CHICAGO – Given the shocking circumstances of Whitney Houston’s passing, it is a bit disconcerting to see her vibrantly alive again in the new film “Sparkle.” However, if she was still with us, this trifling and dull film would soon be forgotten. Jordan Sparks, Derek Luke and Carmen Ejogo co-star.
CHICAGO – Stepping up from American Idol winner to a major film lead role looks smooth and easy for Jordin Sparks. She won Idol in 2007, released a couple of multi-platinum albums, and now plays the title character in “Sparkle,” which also has the final on-screen performance of Whitney Houston. It all seems natural for this major talent.
CHICAGO – The old axiom “truth is stranger than fiction” is proved again in the unique story of a pop troubadour from the 1970s named Rodriguez, who produced two searing albums and then disappeared into oblivion. Unknown to the artist, he became huge in South Africa. The odd hope of Rodriguez is chronicled in “Searching for Sugar Man.”
CHICAGO – Despite any resistance that must have been felt in remaking the quasi-classic 1984 film “The Karate Kid,” veteran Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith put their best kicking feet forward and spin some new cloth out of the old material. In resetting the location and putting in some surreal modern touches, this remake mostly succeeds.
CHICAGO – With his second film in just a few months, Clint Eastwood makes one of his biggest missteps of his illustrious career as one of the more esteemed American directors in the history of the medium.