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.
Joe Lo Truglio
CHICAGO – FOX started the season last night with the season premiere of “Bones” and series premiere of “Sleepy Hollow,” and they continue their effort to fill your DVR with the return of “New Girl” & “The Mindy Project” tonight, preceded by the series premieres of “Dads” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
CHICAGO – David Wain’s “Wanderlust” got screwed by Universal. There’s no reason that a movie this generally funny, smart, and enjoyable should only make just over $20 million worldwide. It’s the kind of solid comedy that is guaranteed a wider audience on Blu-ray and DVD. And the Universal Blu-ray is a strong enough one to help deserved word-of-mouth grow.
CHICAGO – Several guests and performances that will appear at the 4th Annual Chicago Movies & Music Festival in April were officially announced today. The festival, which celebrates music in movies in features, documentaries, shorts, concert films, animation, and music videos, will take place from Thursday, April 12 to Sunday, April 15.
CHICAGO – David Wain’s “Wanderlust” is a deeply flawed movie. The female lead is woefully underwritten and the script pretty much falls apart at the end as characters do things they wouldn’t do and it rushes to its credits to wrap everything up in an awkward montage. But here’s the thing – it’s also DAMN funny.
CHICAGO – On paper, “Paul” should easily be one of the best comedies of 2011 to date. The cast is amazing, including two leads who also wrote the scripts for the brilliant “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” The director is talented. The premise is clever and entertaining. But movies don’t exist in paper. Overall, the talent of the ensemble keep the piece moving but “Paul” is an undeniable disappointment.
CHICAGO – John Hamburg’s comedy “I Love You, Man,” now on Blu-Ray and DVD, is a feature that thrives on the copious chemistry and comic timing of its amazingly well-cast leads, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. The two actors are talented enough and the concept clever enough that “I Love You, Man” delivers the laughs that renters and Blu-Ray buyers will expect.
CHICAGO – It’s a vastly overused phrase in criticism, but MTV’s “The State” truly was ahead of its time. I remember seeing the show in its original broadcast on MTV and thinking it was like nothing else on television. Now it would easily fit in the comedy landscape. After years of begging, fans of “The State” are finally being given a complete series set and it was worth the wait.
CHICAGO – The sixth season of Comedy Central’s cult hit “Reno 911!” actually bucks the trend and presents a funnier series of episodes than many of the seasons that preceded it. To see a show hit its creative stride this late into its legacy is incredibly rare, but with some hysterical guest stars and a few excellent cast changes, this is arguably the best “Reno” season yet.