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.
I Love You, Beth Cooper
CHICAGO – Chris Columbus is not a filmmaker renowned for his use of subtlety. He seems incapable of telling a relatable human story without relying on his trademark brand of sophomoric slapstick. I was surprised that Macaulay Culkin didn’t pop up in Columbus’s “Rent,” and start hurling paint cans at the characters during their “Seasons of Love.” Even at age 51, Columbus is still an unruly child at heart.
CHICAGO – In what could be the worst mainstream release of the summer, “I Love You, Beth Cooper” wastes talent, production values and ultimately time in a cliché-ridden mess that produces little or no real love.