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 – The ensemble cast is decent, the story fits the action/adventure essence of the heist film and one of the hottest music stars of the moment, Tip “T.I.” Harris, has a prominent role. Then why is the new film “Takers” such a seen-it-all-before exercise in action blandness? It feels like a total waste of all those resources.
CHICAGO – When it was still called “Humboldt Park” and was probably more closely related to Chicago’s thriving Hispanic neighborhood, Alfredo De Villa’s “Nothing Like the Holidays” was probably a lot more interesting than the cookie-cutter dramedy that ended up on the big screen.