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 – There are few things more fragile than an actor’s ego. It must be treated with the utmost care in order to prevent a split-second meltdown. The enormous pressure of audience expectations coupled with the piercing eye of an ever-present media is enough to send sensitive folk to a sanitarium. Thick skin is a necessity in show business, but what happens when that skin begins to age?
CHICAGO – One of director Tim Burton’s great actor collaborators is the veteran performer Martin Landau. Landau voices Mr. Rsykruski, a science teacher who inspires young Victor Frankenstein in “Frankenweenie,” released on Blu-Ray on January 8th. This is part of Laudau’s magnificent 60 year career in film, television, stage and acting instruction.
CHICAGO – It has been a tragic week for the show “Luck,” the critical smash on HBO that stars Nick Nolte and Dustin Hoffman. After a third horse died during production of the show, it has been ceased entirely, according to a just received press release from HBO. Another David Milch show that ended far too soon.
CHICAGO – That was quick. Two days after it premiered on HBO to rave reviews, the network has renewed David Milch and Michael Mann’s “Luck” with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte for a second season.
CHICAGO – Legendary TV writer David Milch turns the world of horse racing and the people who populate it into a place not unlike the legendary title location in his beloved “Deadwood.” Just as everyone swirled around Al Swearengen’s saloon, almost all of the action in HBO’s stellar “Luck,” debuting January 29th, 2012, takes place at the track or the stables nearby.
CHICAGO – At first glance, Brian De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill” and Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs” may seem to have little in common beyond a studio and a need to be on Blu-ray. It’s common for that to the be the ONLY link (such as when “Scary Movie 2” and “Trainspotting” hit the format next week…come back for coverage). But these two actually have more in common than just a company and a spiffy new transfer. They’re a pair of controversial thrillers from two of the most interesting directors of their era. And with the remake of “Straw Dogs” about to open on Friday, perhaps it’s time we revisit them.
CHICAGO – Good and evil, chase and fight. Those are the two basic formulas that dominate “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the sequel to the very popular first film. That redundancy is helped by the spirituality of an animated panda and some spectacular 3D rendering.
CHICAGO – “Little Fockers” would have been high on my “Worst of 2010” list if I had written one or suffered through it in theaters. It’s an awful disaster of a movie, completely devoid of laughs and downright embarrassing for everyone involved, including some incredibly talented actors. There should be some sort of atonement or movie prison for forcing this junk on families at the holiday season. It’s like getting coal for Christmas. Actually, it’s worse than coal.
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: DVD, we have 10 DVDs up for grabs in advance of the home entertainment release of the highly anticipated new DVD “Little Fockers” with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro!
CHICAGO – What could “Last Tango in Paris,” “Moonstruck,” and “Rain Man” possibly have in common? Two won major oscars and the third should have? All three feature some of the career-best work by iconic actors? Honestly, all that they have in common is that they weren’t out on Blu-ray before and every catalog title needs a release date eventually and so MGM chose February 15th for the trio. Pick up all three.