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Articles filed under Gire, Dann

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  • Gire: Congratulations to teen film fest winners Aug 21, 2014 8:54 AM
    Dann congratulates the student filmmakers who took home the prizes at the Eighth Annual Teen Film Festival sponsored by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library last weekend. Plus, he supplies his weekly list of movie events for the Northwest suburbs.

     
  • Gire: 5 minutes with 'The Giver' stars Aug 15, 2014 5:50 AM
    Dann interviews Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush, the young stars of the new fututistic sci-fi drama "The Giver."

     
  • How Robin Williams may have saved Christopher Reeve’s life Aug 13, 2014 10:33 AM
    In 1995, “Superman” star Christopher Reeve was about to undergo an operation after a devastating equestrian accident. “At an especially bleak moment,” Reeve reported, “the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown” speaking in a hilarious Russian accent.” He, of course, was Chicago-born Robin Williams, Reeve’s lifelong friend since they roomed together at Julliard.

     
  • Five visual cliches movies need to deep-6 Aug 7, 2014 5:00 AM
    Balloons, fireworks and the "Wild Bunch" march: Dann presents his five most tiresome visual cliches he'd be fine never seeing again in movies.

     
  • Reel life: Did 'Hercules' surpass studio's expectations? Aug 1, 2014 5:24 AM
    Did the studio screw up by burying the "Hercules" screenings until it was too late for positive reviews? Dann offers up his assessment. He also reveals the five hackneyed lines of dialogue he would like to never hear for the next five years.

     
  • Reel life: Five years of Blue Whiskey fest Jul 24, 2014 6:00 AM
    The fifth annual Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival got off to a strong start Sunday night at the Star Cinema Grill in Arlington Heights with the Illinois premiere of James Ward Byrkit's smart and inventive science-fiction thriller “Coherence,” about a group of friends whose dinner gets interrupted by a massive collision of alternate realities. Always a party buzz-kill, I say.Did anyone at Palatine-based Blue Whiskey ever think the fest would make it to five years? “Actually, yes,” managing director J. Spencer Greene told me.

     
  • 5 questions with actor/director Zach Braff Jul 17, 2014 10:16 AM
    Dann interviews Zach Braff about his second film “Wish I Was Here,” kickstarted by 47,000 contributors. “You have to do right by 47,000 people instead of just one person,” Braff said. “Plus, you've got to fulfill 47,000 individual promises. One person gets a free screening in Chicago. Another person you said you'd propose their wedding for them. It's an extraordinary amount of work to do.”

     
  • Reel life: Fests celebrate horror, 70 mm. films Jul 10, 2014 5:00 AM
    Dann reports that AMC is replacing old theater seats with cushy recliners across the county. No suburban theaters are currently getting upgrades, but film fans can check them out next year when new AMC theaters open in Vernon Hills. Dann also shares other film happenings in the city and suburbs.

     
  • Reel life: See, discuss 'Jaws' at Elk Grove Cinema Jul 3, 2014 6:00 AM
    See why "Jaws" heralded the era of blockbuster movies with a screening at the Elk Grove Cinema, followed by a discussion session. Also, quadruple amputee Travis Mills will attend and discuss a screening of the documentary "Travis: A Soldier's Story" at the River East 21 Theaters in Chicago.

     
  • Family-friendly ‘Earth’ an echo of ‘E.T.’ and other kid hits Jul 1, 2014 6:20 AM
    Another “found footage” film, “Earth to Echo” is the pleasant, family-friendly feature directorial debut of music video and shorts director Dave Green, who fashioned this admittedly derivative film as a nostalgic throwback to such kid hits as “E.T.,” “Stand By Me” and “The Goonies.” But Green fails to establish a separate identity for his film outside of its obvious cinematic inspirations.

     
  • 'Once' director scores 'Again' with musical optimism, restraint Jul 1, 2014 10:05 AM
    The title of John Carney's “Begin Again” doesn't do justice to this polished little gem of a street musical, a joyously optimistic film. The plot and characters don't rack up many originality points. On the romantic rebound, a poet/singer girl comes to the big city, falls in with a bunch of dysfunctional musicians, and the power of music compels them to become better versions of themselves.

     
  • 5 questions for ‘Ivory Tower’ director Jun 26, 2014 5:30 AM
    Dann Gire interviews Andrew Rossi, the director of "Ivory Tower," about what motivated him to tackle the question of why college costs so much, and is it really essential for success.

     
  • Reel life: Catch special movie screenings in the suburbs Jun 19, 2014 5:00 AM
    Dann’s film notes highlights the upcoming showing of Ridley Scott’s classic “Alien” at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. (It’s the 35th anniversary!) Plus, the Chicago Film Critics Assn. presents RIcky Gervais’ underrated 2009 comedy “The Invention of Lying” June 25, at Wheaton’s Studio Movie Grill. And the After Hours Film Society presents “Finding Vivian Maier” June 23 at the Tivoli.

     
  • Reel life: Catch special 'Friday the 13th' screaming, er, screening Jun 12, 2014 5:30 AM
    In my hometown of downstate Charleston, the local Will Rogers Theater would often run a special bill of horror movies on Friday the 13th. So, I was pleasantly surprised to read that Naperville's Ogden 6 Theatre has revived that tradition by offering the classic horror film “Friday the 13th.”

     
  • Reel life: Trailers of the past weren’t spoilers Jun 5, 2014 5:30 AM
    Dann explains why he hates movie trailers. Most of them anyway.He avoids them at all costs before seeing the actual movies because, as he has learned the hard way, they will ruin the jokes, kill the surprises and generally spoil what should be a wonderful movie experience.

     
  • 'Chinese Puzzle' tries to tie up loose ends May 29, 2014 5:00 AM
    In CÚdric Klapisch's French domestic romance “Chinese Puzzle” — the third entry in his “Auberge Espagnole” trilogy — Romain Duris reprises his role as Xavier, a successful novelist whose personal life has gone the opposite way of his professional one. But finale doesn't quite add up the way it should.

     
  • Reel life: Meet 'Animals' cast, crew at indie film fest May 29, 2014 5:00 AM
    If you missed the Chicago-shot drama “Animals” — winner of the Audience Award at this month's Chicago Critics Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre — you can catch it at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at the Century Centre, Chicago.

     
  • Arlington Heights native screens trilogy of shorts in Chicago May 22, 2014 5:15 AM
    Arlington Heights native Collin Souter will show a trilogy of his short films at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 25, at Chicago Filmmakers in Chicago. All three films star 14-year-old Winnetka actors Teddy Fischer and Eliza Tilson. Also, celebrate Memorial Day with a double feature of war movies this weekend at the Skokie Theater.

     
  • Reel life: 'Macbeth,' 'Kane' screenings honor Welles May 15, 2014 5:45 AM
    The first Orson Welles Film Festival takes place over the weekend at the Woodstock Theatre in Woodstock with four of the master's cinematic works being shown. (Yes, Woodstock does celebrate more than just “Groundhog Day.”) “MacBeth” will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, May 16. “The Lady From Shanghai” will be shown at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 17, followed by “The Stranger” at 7 p.m. “Citizen Kane” will be shown at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 18. Admission for each costs $5.

     
  • It’s time for the Chicago Critics Film Festival May 8, 2014 5:00 AM
    The second annual Chicago Critics Film Festival begins Friday night, May 9, at the Music Box Theatre with the Midwest premiere of David Wain’s spoof of rom-coms, “They Came Together.” More than two dozen movies will be shown at the festival, including features, documentaries, plus two programs of film shorts selected by Chicago film critic (and Arlington Heights native) Collin Souter. The Chicago Critics Film Festival is the only movie fest of its kind, programmed and produced by actual film critics. A schedule of events can be accessed at chicagocriticsfilmfestival.com.

     
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