CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
CHICAGO – Albert Brooks’ classic film “Defending Your Life” (1991) has an “afterlife” of its own.
CHICAGO – “The Guilt Trip” is hideously uninspired dreck of the most shameful variety. It casts two major yet mismatched talents and refuses to utilize their distinctive gifts for the entirety of its running time. All they’re required to do is sleepwalk through a plot so uninspired that audiences will have no problem predicting its path with their eyes closed and their ears covered.
CHICAGO – Judd Apatow’s “This is 40” is a true disappointment, a comedy that purports to say something honest and insightful about approaching middle age in the ‘10s but blurs truth by smothering it in contrivance and cliché.
CHICAGO – Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” disappointed somewhat when it was recently re-released in 3D with grosses that paled in comparison to 3D reboots of “Beauty & the Beast” and “The Lion King.” Perhaps it’s because the movie was so beautiful in two dimensions that fans didn’t think it needed a third. The new Blu-ray release in time for the holiday season certainly makes the case as this is undeniably one of Pixar’s absolute best.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 30 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of “This is 40,” which is the sort-of sequel to “Knocked Up” from Judd Apatow!
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 10 free DVDs up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of the beloved Disney/Pixar film “Finding Nemo” starring Ellen DeGeneres!
CHICAGO – “Drive” will surely be one of the most remembered and beloved films of 2011, no matter what Academy members (who notoriously snubbed the film except for one lone tech nod) may think. And so it is disappointing that the Blu-ray edition from Film District and Sony is surprisingly light on special features. The film itself looks (and especially sounds) incredible and, considering it was my #2 for 2011, is well worth a pick-up, but you can presume that this is a placeholder for a Special/Ultimate/Collector’s Edition inevitably down the road.
CHICAGO – The announcements keep coming for award season winners and nominees. Today, we have the list of nominees for this year’s Screen Actors’ Guild awards. The awards celebrate the best male and female performances in film and television, leaving out awards like Best Picture or Best Director. “The Help” leads this year’s films with four different nominations.
CHICAGO – Kicking off our annual series of year-end film features, we begin with the ensemble players, the supporting cast members who provided the necessary dramatic support to allow their leading men and women to shine.
CHICAGO – The New York Film Critics Circle was the first major group to make their picks official for the best of film in 2011 when they announced their winners earlier today. After moving their awards from mid-December to late November, a move that many feel was just to make their pick more noteworthy in award season hype, the NYFCC picked the silent, black and white film “The Artist” as the Best Film recipient.