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 – At its best, Lasse Hallstrom’s “Safe Haven,” based on the book by the insanely popular Nicholas Sparks, is merely safe, Lifetime Channel TV Movie junk. At its worst, it’s pretty offensive and exploitative of women actually stuck in abusive situations and men forced into single parenthood after losing a spouse. As he has done before, Sparks takes real-world issues and turns them into manipulative devices. Hallstrom (“Chocolat”) has enough filmmaking skill to keep it from getting too boring despite the attempts on the part of the two remarkably dull leads to put you to sleep.
CHICAGO – It’s Valentine’s Day, and along with the impossible to get dinner reservations, the decision of which movie to see has probably spoiled this holiday as much as Walgreen roses. But the romantic drama ‘Safe Haven’ is a well performed, well paced narrative that won’t make you gag, and that includes you wishing-to-see-Die-Hard dudes.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 25 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated “Safe Haven” starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel!
CHICAGO – By now, you’re surely aware of the general hatred for Garry Marshall’s horrendous ensemble romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve.” HollywoodChicago.com said ““New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry.”
CHICAGO – “New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry. It is corporate junk at its worst, so shallow that it’s almost remarkably thin, as if director Garry Marshall were trying to win a contest for lack of subtlety.
CHICAGO – What is truly astounding about “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is how overwhelming it is to take in – there is so much going on that sensory overload is a distinct possibility. Shia LaBeouf stars in the latest Transformers film, now on Blu-Ray and DVD.
CHICAGO – The final 45 minutes of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” are such an orgy of CGI insanity, falling skyscrapers, and battling robots that the film approaches some sort of summer movie nirvana, or at least it will for the right audience.
Update: 11:17 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (added an additional 30 admit-two passes!)
CHICAGO – In our latest blockbuster edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 60 admit-two movie passes (increased from 30 admit-twos due to high demand!) plus three prize packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated new film “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”!
CHICAGO – I recently made a reference to Katherine Heigl being the symbol of the modern decline of the romantic comedy and was reminded that she’s done good work on “Grey’s Anatomy” and was actually quite good in “Knocked Up.” Then why has she made such horrible films since then? Why have we had to suffer through “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Killers,” and, now, “Life As We Know It,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD and a film that doesn’t break her downward slide even if it does slow it a bit.
CHICAGO – With junk like “Marmaduke” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” pitching themselves to children like bad fast food, it can be hard for an honestly-good and genuine family film to find an audience. “Ramona and Beezus” is the kind of family offering that will hopefully find a large audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s no classic and far from perfect but it’s definitely a success for its target audience that could surprisingly appeal to people outside of its demographic as well.