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 – In May 13, 1996, I didn’t know what an RPG was. That all changed with “Super Mario RPG: The Legend of The Seven Stars”. The term was right there in the title! Not only did they popularize the genre, Square Enix streamlined the numbers heavy RPGs of the past into something challenging, charming, thrilling, and accessible. The combat was required timed button presses, and the story was oddly touching; bittersweet moments supplementing the generally upbeat and zany antics. It was almost a kid-friendly water-slide prelude to the pop-culture Tsunami that was to be “Final Fantasy VII” only a few months later, at which point pretty much everyone knew what an RPG was and what to expect to from one.
CHICAGO – They were likely distracted by the massive success of “The Book of Mormon” (and basically admit as much on the spectacular documentary “6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park,” included on this release), but the fifteenth season of Comedy Central’s often-brilliant “South Park” was a bit of a rollercoaster ride in terms of quality. There were still some brilliant episodes like the season premiere, “Humancentipad,” which merges Apple’s Terms of Service with “The Human Centipede,” but there are were some outings this year that just didn’t work.
CHICAGO- The longest running animated show in cable history is going to set the record even further. Comedy Central announced today that the long-running comedy series “South Park,” which is currently on its 15th season, will have new episodes coming to fans through 2016 and a milestone 20th season.
CHICAGO – The biggest and most talked about musical to hit Broadway in years will have a mission in Chicago come December 2012. “The Book of Mormon,” winner of 9 Tony Awards this year including Best Musical, will be coming to the Bank of America Theater in downtown Chicago for at least a 12 week run.
CHICAGO – If you haven’t kept up with Eric, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny, fear not TV fans — “South Park” can still be DAMN funny. I’ll admit that I don’t keep up consistently during the regular season and so sometimes wonder if the quality has dipped. With the 15th season having premiered this week on Comedy Central, the 14th was just released on Blu-ray and DVD and it’s pretty great, especially in HD.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
CHICAGO – I honestly never though Trey Parker and Matt Stone would still be pumping out “South Park” episodes in the era of HD Blu-Ray. It’s not that I’m not a fan. I’ve seen the brilliant movie, “South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut” a dozen or so times, but I thought that would be near the end of the phenomenon of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, & Cartman. Years later, it looks like it was just the beginning.