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 – Very few pieces of fiction have had the proven staying power of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” which gets yet another adaptation in a two-week mini-series Masterpiece version, starting this Sunday, April 1st, 2012, on PBS.
CHICAGO – Being an entertainment critics calls for top ten lists in December of every year but I’ve always been someone who believes that these things are not written in stone. I don’t think there’s a single top ten for film or television that is the same today as on the day I wrote it. Oh, they’re close, but the fact is that not only do some things age better than others but sometimes it takes time to fully appreciate something or to realize one was incorrect the first time around.
CHICAGO – After only one episode, HBO has already decided to renew their highly-acclaimed “Game of Thrones” for a second season. We were just sent the press release from the network, touting the fantastic reviews, although the premiere’s numbers were a bit disappointing comparatively.
CHICAGO – HBO has had waves of creative success including the one started by “The Sopranos” & “Sex and the City,” a later one peaked by “Deadwood” & “The Wire,” and now, a current one that began with “Boardwalk Empire,” continued through the final season of “Big Love,” crested with the masterful “Mildred Pierce,” and appears to have no sign of ebbing with the brilliant, mesmerizing “Game of Thrones.”
CHICAGO – Working with high level actors such as Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman didn’t faze director Richard J. Lewis. He had pursued the film version of the Mordecai Richler’s novel “Barney’s Version” for several years, and it was his direction that recently got Giamatti (as Barney) the Golden Globe Award.
CHICAGO – “T’wang!” is the the sound of an archer’s arrow going right into the center of the summer movie kick-off season.
CHICAGO – This 51-image slideshow contains the official press images for Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Eileen Atkins and Max von Sydow. It was written by Brian Helgeland. The film opens on May 14th, 2010.
CHICAGO – Much ink has been spilled about how HBO is at the forefront of made-for-TV filmmaking in the world, a fact already demonstrated this year by the brilliant biopic “Temple Grandin” and the stellar WWII mini-series, “The Pacific.” Yet Britain’s Channel 4 deserves just as much attention and praise for producing the “Red Riding” trilogy, which has been routinely compared to HBO’s classic series, “The Wire.”