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 – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new mystery “Closed Circuit” starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall!
CHICAGO – USA’s mini-series “Political Animals” should have been one of the TV events of 2012. Instead it was just one of its biggest disappointments. That cast! That subject! In a political, election season! Zzzzzzz. Sadly, the creators of “Political Animals” delivered a program more like “Dallas” than “The West Wing” and viewers tuned out to the degree that the potential second season was canned. Now we can see what went wrong in one lackluster DVD set.
CHICAGO – Millions of viewers will return this week to a land of dragons, swords, magic, and characters that are difficult to tell apart when HBO’s “Game of Thrones” premieres its third season tonight, March 31, 2013 at 8pm CST. What is it about “Game of Thrones” that has engendered such incredible loyalty?
CHICAGO – I’m a political junkie who naturally loves to follow the world of journalism as well and so I was psyched about the premiere of USA’s mini-series, “Political Animals,” a star-studded affair about how a powerful Washington family deals with a headstrong reporter and the secrets they still hope to keep.
CHICAGO – Ghost Rider should be a character who makes such an easy transition from comic book page to silver screen that it makes the failure of the two “Ghost Rider” films — the second of which, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” was just been released on Blu-ray and DVD — that much more baffling. While the first film was deeply troubled, the second is just deeply stupid, missing most of the potential for B-movie greatness in favor of dull plotting, boring action, stiff performances, and total nonsense.
CHICAGO – I approached “John Carter” on Blu-ray expecting to fall strongly on either side of the debate surrounding one of the biggest bombs of 2012. The cyclical nature of entertainment journalism means everything that faces as much critical derision as “Carter” did when it hit theaters is likely to get a camp of loyal devotees before long and I had heard from several people that Andrew Stanton’s film wasn’t actually all that bad. It’s not. But it’s not good either. It’s just there. There are elements that work, for sure, but the thin storytelling and characters for whom it’s simply impossible to care about make it more lackluster than anything else.
CHICAGO – Nothing jars an audience quite like the sudden appearance of a fearsome apparition in a dimly lit room. Even hokey thrillers like William Castle’s “House on Haunted Hill” still manage to make viewers jump from their seats by using this reliable horror standby. “The Woman in Black” has one such moment, but it is surrounded by a murky sea of grim tedium.
CHICAGO – Gary Oldman scored his first Oscar nomination for his incredible, subtle work in Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. The film is ultimately a bit too cold and clinical for this viewer but it features enough amazing parts, including Oldman’s performance and incredible production design, that the lack of a more-impressive sum shouldn’t hold you back.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs to Gary Oldman’s ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’Submitted by HollywoodChicago.com on March 11, 2012 - 10:10pm
CHICAGO – In our latest spy/mystery edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy!
Film Review: ‘John Carter’ is Poor Man’s ‘Star Wars’ With Kitschy Taylor Kitsch, Soft-Porn Lynn CollinsSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on March 10, 2012 - 6:32am
CHICAGO – Usually it’s critics critically flogging a film when we say it weakly lacks originality and borrows too heavily from others. Disney’s “John Carter” attacks that classic grumble by promotionally comparing itself to “Star Wars” and “Avatar” before critics even had a chance to deduct points for it.