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 – The last time I checked, I am not a swoony teenage girl, looking to be romanced by a hunky-but-shadowy demon hunter. Thus the margin for enjoying “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” falls off like a leaf on an autumn tree. Even Kristen Stewart, I mean Lily Collins, can’t save it.
CHICAGO – Fantasy young adult films, popularized by the Harry Potter series and exploding with other hot literary offerings, is about to go to the Shadowhunters and demons. “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” opens August 21st, and features Lily Collins (Clary), Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace) and Kevin Zegers (Alec) in the lead roles.
CHICAGO – Syfy relaunches two of their biggest hits tonight with the fourth season premiere of “Warehouse 13” followed by the second season premiere of “Alphas.” While the latter starts strong enough to presume that the show’s sophomore outing will be vastly improved over its first year, “Warehouse 13” opens with a clunky affair, one that doesn’t really hit the right beats and somehow finds a way to waste the great Brent Spiner, as difficult as that is to do.
CHICAGO – All seven season of the Emmy-winning, groundbreaking “The Shield,” easily one of the best programs of the ’00s, have been collected into one absolutely gorgeous set for “The Shield: The Complete Series Collection”. This time of year usually produces several complete series sets to essentially re-sell already available programs to holiday shoppers. This is one of the best.
CHICAGO – “Orphan” is a surprisingly effective thriller that delivers exactly what audiences should expect from it. This is B-movie filmmaking elevated by A-list actors Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard in a clever mix of honest emotion and ridiculous, over-the-top, “Mommie Dearest”-esque insanity. The film deserved a better Blu-Ray release.
CHICAGO – All of you fans of “The Dark Knight” and the amazing new game “Batman: Arkham Asylum” should mark your calendar for the next promising release in the legacy of Bruce Wayne, DC Universe’s latest straight-to-DVD release, the highly anticipated “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,” landing in stores on September 29th, 2009.
CHICAGO – This 27-image slideshow contains the official press images for “Orphan,” starring Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, and Jimmy Bennett. It was written by David Leslie Johnson and directed by Jaume Collett-Serra. The film opens on July 24th, 2009.
CHICAGO – There was no better show on television in 2008 than FX’s “The Shield” and the seventh and final season is now available on DVD.