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 – Watch out folks, the one percenters are fighting back. After the rabble of the 99 forced their way into Occupy Wall Street territory, the true rulers of America are pushing back in the only way they know how…by shopping. “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” is a gloriously vain documentary about a legendary shopping experience in Manhattan. What, The Gap wasn’t available?
CHICAGO – The main problem with “Beastly,” a modern high schooler retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” is that the outcome is known (Beast will learn lessons, become handsome again). That leaves only the way it gets to that end for creating story. This film cannot find its way.
CHICAGO – The coming-of-age comedy “The Wackness” with Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Olivia Thirlby, Mary-Kate Olsen, Method Man, and Famke Janssen may feature a bouncing hip-hop soundtrack and be about joyful things like first love, but it’s an oddly inert, haze-filled film, as if the regular marijuana usage in the film cast a haze over the entire project.
Interview: ‘Nickelodeon’ Star Josh Peck Grows Up, Director Jonathan Levine Speaks Out on ‘The Wackness’Submitted by HollywoodChicago.com on July 11, 2008 - 5:05pm
CHICAGO – It’s 1994 in New York City. In an age before mobile phones, terrorist threats and a grown-up Olsen twin, there is “The Wackness”. This is the debut film of writer and director Jonathan Levine and a coming-out role of sorts for the child star Josh Peck of the popular Nickelodeon series “Drake & Josh”.