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 – They have now officially run out of places in which to terrorize beautiful people on film with the release of the bizarre and unfulfilling “ATM,” a new thriller with three talented actors nonetheless caught in an ineffective film that stretches to meet its running time and then ends with a final act that destroys suspension of disbelief. There are brief glimpses here of the movie that could have worked but there’s a reason it’s only opening in limited release for now and playing On Demand through most of the rest of the country. It’s not a successful transaction.
CHICAGO – Filmmaking simply doesn’t get much more riveting than Kathryn Bigelow’s incredible “The Hurt Locker,” a cinematic experience unlike any other that you will have this year. Building and releasing tension better than her peers have in a long time, Bigelow has made not only the best Iraq War movie to date but the best film of 2009 at just over the halfway point.