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.
James Earl Jones
CHICAGO – I guess from now on, it will never be the holidays without a Star Wars movie, and why not? Every year, we’ll have a celebration with the ardent fans and characters that are one in that universe, “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.” For 2016, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
CHICAGO – The balancing act between reality and drama in based-on-truth narratives is as delicate as walking the high wire. Pour in too much drama, and a story can feel like a soap opera. “Gimme Shelter,” although earnestly and achingly performed, has that sudsy protocol.
CHICAGO – The opportunity for a new film to also take up a cause is one of the advantages of the movies as mass art. “Gimme Shelter” is the based-on-truth story of a runaway pregnant teen named Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) who needs the titular sanctuary to give birth. Director Ron Krauss leads an all-star cast, including Ann Dowd (“Compliance”), who portrayed the real-life facilitator of the shelter for single mothers, Kathy DiFiore.
CHICAGO – Vanessa Hudgens, the former teen actor from the “High School Musical” franchise, has a brand new bag. Besides shocking movie audiences with her memorable performance in last year’s “Spring Breakers,” Hudgens deconstructs her glam image in the new film, “Gimme Shelter.”
CHICAGO – 1993 will be nostalgically remembered by many members of my generation as the summer of “Jurassic Park” and the spring of “The Sandlot.” If you were a movie-loving kid during this year, it’s highly likely both of these films occupied a corner of your imagination. I clearly remember how the junkyard dog, dubbed by neighborhood pals in “The Sandlot” as “the Beast,” seemed as terrifying as any T-Rex.
CHICAGO – Life was a happy song at the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards night, which celebrated the best cinematic achievements of 2011, while presenting honorary awards to some very special guests. The event was held January 7 at the Broadway Playhouse, and was highlighted by appearances from some of the brightest talents in show business.
CHICAGO – “The Lion King” is one of the most important and influential films ever made. It is more than a box office hit, more than a Broadway phenomenon, more than a cultural icon. The film is one of those rare instances in which a cinema classic can be recognized in its own time as such. People don’t just love “The Lion King” like they love the new multiplex flavor of the week.
CHICAGO – I’m going to withhold judgment until I see it but, on paper, it makes no sense to remake John Milius’ 1982 fantasy/action classic “Conan the Barbarian” for one simple reason — there’s only one Ah-nuld. The movie weighed heavily on the charisma of its unique star, someone who was essentially catapulted to the A-list by this film and lightning only strikes once. Does anyone think that Jason Momoa, star of the August 19th remake from Marcus Nispel (remake “King” after desecrating “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th”) will find the same magic? Check out the originals, now on Blu-ray, and see the standard he has to live up to.
CHICAGO – Baseball is a game made for the romantic hyperbole of otherwise stoic men. The appreciation of the game is often passed from Dad to son, so just in time for Father’s Day along comes two great baseball films, the Billy Crystal directed “61*” and the “When it Was a Game” collection.