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 Oranges” suffers from a common problem in these suburban comedies of error in that it assumes we care about these characters who are essentially less interesting than your actual neighbors. Infidelity, bad parenting, friendships collapsing – they’re happening every day on your street. Films like “The Oranges” may think they’re tapping a vein of picket fence peculiarity like “American Beauty” but the result actually plays more like a Showtime sitcom pilot that never got picked up because it was too boring to maintain week to week.
CHICAGO – They don’t make too many Easter movies. There are tons of Christmas movies. Halloween has a genre. Even “Independence Day.” But Easter is under-served. Based on “Hop,” there’s a reason for that. The film isn’t as torturous as I was expecting, but it definitely misses its mark for all but the littlest ones. If you have a toddler looking for something new to watch this Easter, it might get the job done. Everyone else, wait for another holiday.
CHICAGO – In our latest animated comedy/family edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Hop” starring Russell Brand and Chelsea Handler from the makers of “Despicable Me”!
CHICAGO – Well, this isn’t TOO surprising — after a few years of dwindling ratings and rumors that it might even shift networks to survive, FOX announced today that the current season of “House” would be the last for the hit show.
CHICAGO – Aardman Studios, the creators of the irrepressible “Wallace & Gromit” and the witty “Flushed Away” is back with another animated holiday treat, “Arthur Christmas.” Santa Claus and the gang are taken into the modern era, but the cheeky lads/lasses at Aardman can’t help but throw in a bit of whimsy and heart.
CHICAGO – As long as Hugh Laurie limps in the shoes of Dr. Gregory House, the FOX TV nation will show up, because it’s a great actor taking a memorable character and and putting him in often strange and unexpected situations. The eighth season premiere of “House M.D.” on October 3rd is no exception.
CHICAGO – There are reasons to worry about “House.” Let’s look at the symptoms. First, the temperature — the show’s ratings. They’re down nearly 50% from the season-three peak, averaging just under 10 million last year, down from closer to 13 million the year before. They’re still impressive numbers but when there were rumors of a network shift or even cancellation last year, no one was shocked.
CHICAGO – Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, announced this morning in advance of next week’s unveiling of the FOX fall schedule that “House” will return for an eighth season despite rumors of a potential network switch to NBC.
CHICAGO – A definitive cinematic exploration of the Easter Bunny story is precisely what the world is missing. Right? Anyway, the folks behind “Hop,” featuring the voice of Russell Brand as the rascally rabbit, has produced this heretofore missing piece of the film canon.
CHICAGO – Last season of “House” opened with a divisive episode in which our beloved doctor (Hugh Laurie) spent some time away from Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in a “Cuckoo’s Nest”-inspired tale of potential madness. Once again, the writers of one of the most successful shows of the last decade have chosen to start the new season of “House” with something a bit left-of-center in “Now What?,” premiering tonight on FOX, but this episode may have longer-lasting repercussions.