Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Knight at the Movies: Into the Storm; film notes
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2014-08-11

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


One would suppose that a director with the movies Aliens of the Deep, Final Destination 5 and Surefire ( a film about raging forest fires ) on his resume would be the perfect guy to helm a big-budget tornado disaster movie like Into the Storm. And on that score, Steven Quale, said director, does indeed deliver a film that is just about as memorable as those already forgotten pieces of mass entertainment.

At this late date, with audiences conditioned by decades of disaster flicks, the "wow" factor when it comes to the genre needs to be really ... wow. Certainly, after the world has been spectacularly disposed of ( or thereabouts ) in various manners in 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact and Armageddon, et al, that's a given. Into the Storm, with its amped-up special effects ( at one point we are "treated" to five realistic looking tornados swirling about our stock leading man and lady at the same time ), doesn't disappoint.

But the script—which involves two high school student brothers and their widowed father who intersect with a group of seasoned stormchasers when those tornados come a swirlin' unexpectedly on graduation day—is so bland that it makes one pine for the likes of Shelley Winters treading water in The Poseidon Adventure.

Speaking of movie stars, it doesn't help that the film has been cast with quasi-famous individuals who are capable rather than electrifying. Richard Armitage, from The Hobbit films ( unrecognizable with his beard shaved off ), Sarah Wayne Callies ( of The Walking Dead TV series ) and comedian Matt Walsh ( Veep, Upright Citizens Brigade ) are "the stars" who professionally deliver the forgettable dialogue, hit their marks and point in terror at the advancing, raging winds that were added in post but are otherwise instantly forgettable.

As usual, the foreshadowing is as subtle as, well, a tornado with no one in the small town heeding the warnings about the approaching cataclysmic weather and the head stormchaser doing just the opposite—pushing his worn-out crew to practically drive right into the storms in pursuit of footage he can sell. The two brothers, both of whom are handy with a video camera, are prepping to shoot the graduation ceremony ( thus, the found footage style of the movie ) when the little town of Silverton is subjected without warning to the nasty storm.

At one point, the pretty weather lady and the hunky widowed father ( Callies and Armitage ) "meet cute" as they both hang on to a truck, trying desperately to keep from being sucked up into the third or fourth tornado of the day. Later, one of the characters is sucked into the howling winds and literally travels all the way up to the upper stratosphere, glimpsing outer space in the process. Those moments brought howls of laughter from the audience and finally added some desperately needed cheese to the earnest but boring proceedings ( that is, whenever the whooshing special effects momentarily dissipated ).

In a movie culture that has brought us Sharknado and Sharknado 2 ( with third and fourth editions, no doubt, in the pipeline ), it's unlikely that without some real personality, some star wattage or a higher caliber or at least a healthy dose of cheese, Into the Storm could do anything more than blow out of town as quickly as it came—which is just what it does.

Of related interest: Noah, from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, stars Russell Crowe in the lead role and is also very much a disaster epic—albeit one that, in retelling the Old Testament tale, draws on various religious and secular sources to create a hybrid of a religious epic and a sword-and-sandal swashbuckler. In addition, fallen angels come to earth as giant rock formations ( a la Transformers ). Jennifer Connolly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkinns and Logan Lerman ( Watson and Lerman having co-starred in The Perks of Being a Wallflower ) star in this rather offbeat film that mostly works.

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Film notes:

—Rain Pryor, daughter of the comic legend Richard Pryor, will attend screenings of That Daughter's Crazy, a documentary focusing on her upbringing and her, to say the least, colorful family. The film will screen as part of the Black Harvest

Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., on Friday, Aug. 15, and Saturday, Aug. 16, at 8:30 p.m.

Pryor will be in attendance along with filmmaker Elzbieta Szoka and other special guests. www.siskelfilmcenter.org/that_daughters_crazy .

—As I noted a few weeks back, queer film audiences will be interested in another Black Harvest Film Festival offering: Bad Hair ( Per Malo ), from director Mariana Rondon. It's a Venezuelan film centered on a young Latin American boy named Junior and his social, cultural and sexual identity, vis-a-vis, his 'fro. Things get tense in his homophobic family when his crush on a handsome news vendor becomes known. The film screens Sunday, Aug. 17, at 3 p.m. and on Monday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m.

www.siskelfilmcenter.org/blackharvest_2014 .

—In honor of its 40th anniversary, 1984's Purple Rain which elevated Prince's career into the stratosphere plays as the final feature of the Summer Music Film Festival on Friday and Saturday at midnight, and Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 9:45 p.m. at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave. This is a rare opportunity to see his royal purpleness—who was never better—in all his self-indulgent, red-hot glory. http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/festivals/summer-music-film-festival-2014

—Cory Krueckeberg wrote and directed the sexy and surprisingly thought-provoking Getting Go: The Go Doc Project, which delighted ( and heated ) audiences last year when it played at queer film fests around the country ( including Reeling ).

The film stars openly gay actor Tanner Cohen as a budding filmmaker who decides that the best way to connect with the hot go-go dancer at the local gay bar is to make a documentary about him. The less-than-shy dancer ( memorably played by uber-sexy Matthew Camp ) quickly turns the tables and a hot affair commences. But, as the summer ends, will the romance blossom into love? Cohen also starred in the enchanting queer-themed quasi-musical Were the World Mine ( also from Krueckeberg and his real-life partner Tom Gustafson, who produces here ). Getting Go: The Go Doc Project is now out on DVD from Wolfe Releasing. https://www.wolfevideo.com/products/getting-go-the-go-doc-project/

—Now available: The Best of Knight at the Movies: 2004-2014—a compilation book of more than 150 of my film reviews from a queer perspective for Windy City Times—is now available. www.knightatthemovies.com


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alum, PBS series, LGBT film, concert series, Bad Bunny 2020-05-18 - Openly gay American Idol alum David Hernandez has premiered his new song—"Sorry"—and the accompanying music video, a press release noted. "Sorry" is described ...


Gay News

'Matrix' co-creator cites Chicago LGBTQ organization in tweet 2020-05-18 - Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski cited Chicago LGBTQ organization Brave Space Alliance in a tweet, Variety noted. The transgender director was not happy ...


Gay News

FILM Eric Rosen, from About Face to the movie 'Netuser' 2020-05-13 - Eric Rosen is entering the world of movies with his short-film thriller, Netuser. However, theater fans in the Midwest, and especially Chicago, will ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2020-05-13 - "Billy, you are a new find of mine. I'm now your biggest fan."—Paul Shaffer—yes, THAT Paul Shaffer—after showing up to surprise my guest, ...


Gay News

MOVIE REVIEW 'A Secret Love' shines for a new generation 2020-05-13 - Netflix's new documentary A Secret Love is the story of a relationship between two lesbians named Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel that began ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE DRAG Eureka O' Hara,'Here' and now 2020-05-12 - Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, David Huggard transformed into drag personality Eureka O'Hara and began performing in the local gay club called New ...


Gay News

MOVIES Young gay filmmaker debuts LGBT romantic drama 2020-05-12 - A gay Massachusetts-based filmmaker will release his new LGBT-themed feature film, which he produced for the unheard-of sum of $400, to YouTube in ...


Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center to host virtual movie trivia 2020-05-12 - CHICAGO—As the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago continues to offer streamed programming through its Film ...


Gay News

NEIU adds footage to Japanese-American Redress Collection 2020-05-05 - Northeastern Illinois University's ( NEIU's ) Ronald Williams Library has added newly digitized video footage of the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and ...


Gay News

Dekkoo holding queer short-film contest 2020-05-05 - Streaming service Dekkoo is launching an LGBTQ short-film challenge in which creators could win a cut of $10,000 in prizes, a press release ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.