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 – Is “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” still as popular as it was when I was in college? For years there, “Holy Grail” and “Meaning of Life” were on constant rotation in dorm rooms around the country. Now you’ll have to pester the guy on your floor who has a Blu-ray player since the Monty Python gang have finally hit HD in all their hysterical glory. Packed with bonus features, this is one of the best comedy Blu-rays of the year to date.
CHICAGO – Disney’s theatrical version of the classic A.A. Milne creation, “Winnie the Pooh,” was decimated at the summer box office by bigger, louder, and far more annoying family fare. Hopefully those of you with young ones in your family or those of you just young at heart will catch up with it because it was, without question, the best family film of the Summer of 2011. It’s a charming, delightful return to the Hundred Acre Wood that playfully offers what has always worked about these timeless characters.
CHICAGO – Walt Disney Pictures goes old school with their latest animated tale, a return to the Hundred Acre Woods and the adventures of “Winnie the Pooh.” Using the style of the classic “2-D” cartoon method, and crafting a story that is decidedly old fashioned, the folks at the Mouse Factory resisted updating the Pooh formula.
CHICAGO – Clear some shelf space for the gigantic Blu-Ray releases of the first two “Harry Potter” films, timed with the not-as-enormous edition release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” the same week. These ultimate editions, complete with collectibles and new special features, are great collector’s set gifts for the holidays for the Potter nut in your family but feel a bit like overkill for everyone else.
CHICAGO – Monty Python member and Holy Grail co-director Terry Jones will be attending a “Meet the Maker” screening at Chicago’s Lakeshore Theater on Saturday, May 9.
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
CHICAGO – The 3-disc special edition of Scott Derrickson’s remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly is the perfect example of the difficulty of Blu-Ray reviews. Do you judge the movie or the Blu-Ray? The movie itself is a mess, but Fox has put together a spectacular home release for it.
CHICAGO – This 26-image slideshow contains the official press images for “Pink Panther 2,” which was directed by Harald Zwart and features Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Emily Mortimer, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin, and John Cleese. The Sony Pictures release opens on Friday, February 6th, 2009.
CHICAGO – Chicago’s John Cusack will play a mad scientist’s hunchbacked lab assistant in the animated feature film “Igor” from The Weinstein Company.