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 – John Cusack’s new spy thriller is so routine, predictable, and dull that they could have called it “By-the-Numbers Station”. Too easy? How about “Paint-by-Numbers Station”? OK, I’ll stop now before @FakeShalit comes after me.
CHICAGO – In our latest action-packed thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Blu-ray, we have 5 Blu-rays up for grabs for the highly anticipated home entertainment release of “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – I know what you’re saying — how can a show that ended with as much death as the first season of “Game of Thrones” return even darker? Watch the season premiere of HBO’s brilliant (and, currently, best) series — “The North Remembers” — and tell me I’m wrong.
CHICAGO – In our latest crime/mystery edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly anticipated new film “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – Rarely has a film been more successfully driven by two great actors than John Michael McDonagh’s “The Guard.” The sheer incredible personalities of Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle give two of the most enjoyable performances of the year, bringing to life a clever, unapologetic script from their writer, who is also making a strong directorial debut. “The Guard” fell relatively flat at the box office but it’s the kind of quality comedy that will almost certainly find a big audience on the home market and was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.
CHICAGO – With so much great science fiction on the tube now from masterpieces like “Being Human” and “Torchwood” to enjoyable diversions like “Warehouse 13,” it’s one of the best times to be a fan of the genre. And so when a piece with a brilliant premise, talented ensemble, and high production values like “Outcasts” comes along, it’s tempting to assume that it will deliver on its potential like so many of its colleagues. “Outcasts” is nothing but a string of rising disappointments.
CHICAGO – Brendan Gleeson pushes forward John Michael McDonagh’s strong “The Guard” through the sheer power of his incredible personality. The lovable-but-irascible actor delivers one of the most enjoyable performances of the year and he’s amply assisted by the great Don Cheadle and a clever, unapologetic script from his writer, making a strong directorial debut. There’s an awful comedy opening at the multiplex this weekend (“The Change-Up”). Seek out the vastly superior one if you’re in a major city.
CHICAGO – From a classic tradition of abrasive-but-lovable anti-heroes, the lead of writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s “The Guard,” Officer Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), is one of the most memorable leads of the year. Played with trademark wit by Gleeson, Boyle does drugs, sleeps with hookers, and simply doesn’t care what you think about him.
CHICAGO – Here’s an art house film more visceral and unsettling than any run-of-the-mill mainstream bloodbath. It’s the feature debut of visual artist Steve McQueen, an unfortunate name for anyone who doesn’t happen to be the star of “Bullitt.” His previous work has been confined to art galleries, and there are countless shots in “Hunger” that could function as standalone artworks.