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 – Does anyone else remember when “True Blood” was fun? When it was about a special girl falling for a brooding vamp and not ALWAYS about the fate of the entire world? When it had a sense of humor, especially in characters like Jason & Lafayette?
CHICAGO – I’ve talked to a number of people who think the fifth season of “True Blood” is when it jumped the bloodsucking shark, although there are certainly legions of fans of this HBO smash hit who will never give up on Sookie Stackhouse and her neverending parade of supernatural friends and foes. HBO Home Video knows how faithful viewers for a program like “True Blood” will become even more so with great home releases and so have turned the “True Blood” line into one of their absolute best. The latest, “True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season,” is no exception.
CHICAGO – HBO used to be a company that kind of let the quality of their TV shows speak for themselves. They would release DVD box sets that often included nary a special feature. Bonus material? Look to one of those “lesser” networks. Our shows are bonus enough. With the advent of Blu-ray however and an increasingly competitive collector’s market, HBO has gone in the complete other direction, releasing increasingly impressive TV on Blu-ray sets. The one just launched for their massive hit “True Blood,” the fourth season, is one of the best to date. It’s a shame the actual season is the worst yet for the show because the Blu-ray set is spectacular.
CHICAGO – “We done with all the supernatural bulls**t, you heard me?!?!” — Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). Does a pissed off Lafayette speak for you? Are you tired of all of the chaos on HBO’s “True Blood”? Do you wish the show would stop with so many cluttered subplots and settle down?
CHICAGO – Avid moviegoers like to pride themselves on their ability to predict twists and turns prior to their occurrence in a script. This is often the result of formulaic writing and creaky clichés, but in the case of Michael Brandt’s “The Double,” no exemplary knowledge of cinema is necessary to foretell every last plot point. Only functional eyesight and an IQ above zero are required.
CHICAGO – It’s ironic that a film called “The Double,” starring Richard Gere & Topher Grace, would remind one of so many superior thrillers. It is in itself a double, a carbon copy of better films that focuses on all of the wrong elements, thinking that audiences are still dumb enough that just throwing twist after twist at them will keep their head spinning enough to not realize that what they just saw not only makes no sense at all but wasn’t even remotely entertaining.
CHICAGO – “Priest,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is one of those films which suffers greatly by comparison to the works that clearly inspired it. On the level of character and storytelling, this thing is a derivative mess. You’ll never once give a damn about anything that’s happening, especially when the action slows down and the paper-thin dialogue kicks in. On the other hand, the film is surprisingly stylish and has a visual aesthetic that’s greatly enhanced by Blu-ray. It looks great on the surface. Just don’t examine it too closely.
CHICAGO – The trend of vampire culture in movies and television seems to be continuing strong in the entertainment and pop culture world. The HBO hit series “True Blood,” which is currently on the air in its fourth season, has been renewed for a fifth season set to begin production later this year. The fifth season is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2012.
CHICAGO – Let’s be honest “True Blood” fans — the end of last season was a plasma-soaked mess. It almost felt as if the writers of this often-great show had just set too many plates in motion over three years of seasons in which the plots ran consecutively.
CHICAGO – The most blood and sex-soaked program on television returns at the end of this month for another round of supernatural chaos but there’s still time to catch up with the third season of HBO’s “True Blood,” recently released in a bonus-packed DVD and Blu-ray set.