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 – I must admit that I approached the Farrelly Brothers’ long-delayed reboot of “The Three Stooges” with a heavy amount of trepidation. The previews were pretty atrocious and I had serious doubts that the filmmakers and the actors chosen to play the iconic title characters had any chance of capturing the spirit of the original. The fact that “The Three Stooges” works as often as it does is somewhat surprising. It’s a reasonably enjoyable family film. Far from painful but just as far from brilliant.
CHICAGO – I SO wanted “Hall Pass” to be good. Not only do we need the men who made “There’s Something About Mary” and “Kingpin” back in prime form but the timing of their return seems perfect — who better to ride the wave of R-rated comedies inspired by the success of “The Hangover”? Sadly, “Hall Pass” is a hit-and-miss affair that falls too often on the wrong side of that comedy corridor. It’s a reasonable rental on a rainy night but not the return to form fans of the Farrelly brother’s greats were hoping for.
CHICAGO – The Farrelly Brothers’ “Hall Pass” is a near-miss for the directors of “There’s Something About Mary” and “Dumb & Dumber” that features enough laughs to remember when the boys were in their prime but ultimately doesn’t come enough together to get them back to it.
CHICAGO – After a brief hiatus, Bobby and Peter Farrelly are back with the comedy “Hall Pass,” starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, and Christina Applegate. Wilson and Sudeikis play a pair of married men longing for some time off from their marriages when they’re handed a week without repercussions. What would you do with a week-long hall pass?
DeKALB, Ill. – Richard Jenkins is a familiar if not overly recognizable character actor. With his distinctly grave voice, he’s best known for his turn as the dead father in the seminal HBO series “Six Feet Under”.