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.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
CHICAGO – The divide between the quality of a film itself and the Blu-Ray presentation it has been given has arguably never been wider than with Universal’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”. The special features are as comprehensive as any released this over-crowded holiday season and the transfer is one of Universal’s best of the year but the film itself is a complete disaster, one of the most excruciating theatrical releases of 2008.
CHICAGO – The threequel that culminates with “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” is so hackneyed that even the main star of the previous two films – Brendan Fraser – wasn’t enough to sell audiences on a third return. Universal Studios needed to enlist co-star Jet Li to stand a fighting chance and take the mood the Asian way.
CHICAGO – Jules Verne’s classic 1864 science-fiction novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” has been adapted well in excess of a dozen times into films, radio and stage plays along with several made-for-TV movies and video games. It has even been adapted into two amusement-park rides.