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.
After years in development hell, Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s beloved “Oldboy” is finally here. Does it live up to the high expectations set by the original? Does it mark a return to form from the director of some of the most important movies of his era or is it another disappointment? No and no. Sadly, what’s so remarkable about “Oldboy,” especially when one considers the darkness of its themes and graphic violence, is that it’s just so forgettable. It’s an echo of Park’s film and will be quickly dismissed in the legacy of its director.
CHICAGO – “I ain’t pawning my responsibility off as a parent and saying she’s in God’s hands.” What a powerful line. The idea that religion has been used as a crutch, an excuse for communities who preach that God will save their young ones when they need to do their part is a passionate and powerful one.
CHICAGO – It wasn’t that long ago when Ben Affleck was an unknown. Fortune eventually smiled upon him and along came quality performances in independents and an Academy Award for screenwriting.