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Summer Eye Candy

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 5, 2008 5:30PM

2008_6eyecandy.jpgIf you're looking for some breezy fun on a big-ass screen, you could do a lot worse than Kung Fu Panda, which opens tomorrow at Navy Pier's IMAX.

You can probably guess the story of this new 'toon from the title. Po (voiced by Jack Black) works at his dad's noodle shop until he stumbles upon his destiny: he is the chosen Dragon Warror and must defeat an evil kung fu tiger, or something. The jokes fly fast and frequently, a highlight being a clever duel with chopsticks over a potsticker. The movie's eye-popping design, a sort of neon-hip update of a Chinese restaurant placemat, looks stunning on the huge screen. It's also refreshing to see an animated movie that doesn't pander (hehe) to the adults in the audience with inane pop culture references. Well ... except that Jack Black does sing "Kung Fu Fighting" over the end credits. But isn't that a given?

Want something a spicier and trashier? Head over to the Music Box this weekend for the new gay comedy A Four Letter Word. That it's from the director of Slutty Summer should tell you what you need to know. A cast of young archetypes (hustler, party boy, gay activist, obligatory long-term couple) frolic and flounder in Manhattan; how amusing you find it all will probably depend on how much you've imbibed beforehand. Relax, it's summer, so enjoy a guilty pleasure if you want. Cast members Steven Goldsmith (who is in town with Jersey Boys) and Allison Lane will be at the 7:30 show on Friday night for a Q & A, to be followed by an opening night party at Roscoe's.

photo by josephp