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Articles filed under Gire, Dann

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  • Reel life: Winnetka native's 'Warren' debuts at festival Jan 29, 2015 6:00 AM
    “It started out as just an idea of something I wanted to do back in 2003,” he said. A few years after that, he buckled down and wrote an outline of the movie. “Two weeks later, on a rainy Friday in Chicago, I wrote 30 pages in one day. It was in my head for so long, it just finally came out!” The movie, shot in Chicago, follows the titular character (played by Beh) figuring what to do next after his dream of becoming a Chicago improv star hasn't come true.

     
  • Style doesn't best substance in 'Mommy' Jan 29, 2015 5:00 AM
    "Mommy" is audacious, jarring, pretentious and perfect. Gimmicky? Yes, but the style never suffocates the substance in this gritty, realistic examination of the kaleidoscope of conflicting emotions and tough decisions that all complex human beings experience daily.

     
  • Reel life: Woodstock Theatre honors Harold Ramis Jan 22, 2015 6:00 AM
    Late great Chicago comic actor and filmmaker Harold Ramis will be honored Saturday, Jan. 31, when a Woodstock Theatre auditorium is dedicated to his memory, followed by a free showing os his 1993 comedy classic, "Groundhog Day." The After Hours Film Society presents Oscar contender "Citizenfour" at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove Monday, Jan. 26.

     
  • Even Pacino can’t save ‘Humbling’ Jan 22, 2015 6:00 AM
    "The Humbling” presents a posterior-testing sexual fantasy about a once-great stage actor (Al Pacino) suffering from a midlife crisis and a perception problem: it’s becoming difficult for him to tell the difference between make-believe and reality. Not a fan of voice-over narration? Or lazy use of psychiatrists providing constant commentary on character motivations? This movie has both.

     
  • Gire: My ad-'Vice' — skip this film Jan 15, 2015 6:00 AM
    Dann Gire was so appalled by the movie's art-challenged brutality, general dumbness, juvenile writing and terrible acting that he feels compelled to warn an unsuspecting public who might mistake “Vice” for a bad “Die Hard” sequel, another “Westworld” movie, or worse, a cheap remake of Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner.”

     
  • Oscar buzzed: Academy pulls ‘Lego,’ doesn’t support ‘Life’ Jan 15, 2015 6:34 PM
    "The Lego Movie” was snubbed for an Oscar nomination, along with David Oyelowo in “Selma” and its director Ava DuVernay. But Oscar’s unkindest cut of all was saved for “Life Itself,” Steve James’ personal and empathetic documentary on Chicago film critic Roger Ebert. For Academy voters to fail to at least acknowledge “Life Itself” with a nomination? As the late Vizzini would say, inconceivable!

     
  • 'Predestination' twists, turns through paradoxical plot Jan 8, 2015 5:00 AM
    The less you know about “Predestination” the better. so as not to spoil the movie’s plentiful reveals while relating the joys to be had in wrapping your brain around a Rubik’s Cube repurposed as a film noiry crime drama with a just a touch of demented fantasy. “Trippy” and “brain-gouging” are perfect descriptions for the Spierig Brothers’ time-tripping, mind-blowing science-fiction thriller.

     
  • Reel life: 'Cannibal Holocaust,' 'Shining' get screenings Jan 8, 2015 5:00 AM
    Is it Halloween again? 1980's "Cannibal Holocaust" and Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" are being screened this week at the Music box Theatre and the Elk Grove Theatre respectively. And Dann & Raymond's Movie Club takes a look at the works of Alfred Hitchcock at the Schaumburg Township District Library Thursday, Jan. 15.

     
  • Gire: Dann & Raymond look at Bond Jan 2, 2015 5:45 AM
    “The Films of Sean Connery” will be discussed at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 8, and Alfred Hitchcock will be discussed at the Schuamburg Township District Library on Jan. 15.

     
  • Our picks for some of the year's best performances Dec 25, 2014 5:00 AM
    The best of the movies of 2014 are celebrated with a run-down of the actor and actress of the year and other notable honors, as selected by our film critic, Dann Gire.

     
  • 'Zero Motivation' jumps around a lot for a military comedy Dec 25, 2014 5:00 AM
    Talya Lavie's military comedy “Zero Motivation” has been aptly described as “Private Benjamin” meets “M*A*S*H*” meets “Office Space,” and that's a fair description of the subject and style the Israeli filmmaker employs in her third feature, a crazy, lumpy mix of feminism, supernatural possession, attempted military rape, friendship and brainless bureaucracy.

     
  • Gire: 'Babadook' filmmaker: 'I love horror movies' Dec 18, 2014 6:25 AM
    Australian director Jennifer Kent was nominated as “Most Promising Filmmaker” by the Chicago Film Critics for her debut movie, the horror tale “The Babadook.” In an interview, she talks about her film, her love of horror and what really scares her.

     
  • Boogeyman wins as movie theaters cave to threat Dec 18, 2014 9:17 AM
    In the end, the boogeyman won. Big theater chains such as Regal, Cinemark, Cineplex and AMC Theatres, along with regional chains such as Classic Cinemas, announced they would not show “The Interview” after a mysterious, unknown entity online threatened the lives of all who might watch it. This is a dark day for Americans, a pivotal moment in how we as a nation deal with cyberthreats made against our citizens, our culture and our way of life.

     
  • Theaters go all in with holiday screenings this weekend Dec 11, 2014 6:16 AM
    The holiday movies are upon us, including a series of family-oriented comedies free or at greatly reduced admissions from the Classic Cinema chain.

     
  • Reel life: Dann & Raymond aim for the stars Dec 4, 2014 8:51 AM
    What are the greatest science fiction films from the 1970s into the 21st century? Easy. Check out Dann & Raymond's Movie Club at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library to see “The Final Frontier — Science Fiction Part 2.” Free admission! Clips from “Blade Runner,” “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan” and “Star Wars” and more.

     
  • Reel life: 4 questions for Darryl Roberts Nov 20, 2014 6:00 AM
    Chicagoan Darryl Roberts, director of “America the Beautiful 3,” says he took up women’s issues because he knew nothing about them. “I’ve been shallow all of my life when it came to women and relationships. And I missed out on some pretty good relationships because of that... Making the film, their pain became mine. It sucked me into this thing of becoming an activist for women’s issues.”

     
  • Dramatic material the driving force behind 'Invisible Front' Nov 13, 2014 5:15 AM
    The post-World War II documentary “The Invisible Front” had everything going for it to become a riveting, bigger-than-life story. Yet, “The Invisible Front” settles to be a standard-issue History Channel report. Fortunately, the importance of the subject matter fills “The Invisible Front” with fascination and awe.

     
  • Reel life: Follow that yellow brick road Nov 13, 2014 5:15 AM
    “The Wizard of Oz” will be shown four times each on Saturday, Nov. 15, and Sunday, Nov. 16, starting at noon at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville. Heads up for the world's first Catlow Local Shorts Festival starting at noon on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Barrington's Catlow Theater.

     
  • VHS tapes bring trouble in 'Jessabelle' Nov 6, 2014 5:00 AM
    “Jessabelle,” directed and edited by “Saw” horror veteran Kevin Greutert, comes loaded with gothic charm and southern Louisiana atmosphere. Yet, its meager gross-outs and tepid scares feel disappointingly derivative, and its central premise proves to be so preposterously stupid that it threatens to collapse into comic claptrap.

     
  • Appealing actors can't lift struggling 'Low Down' Nov 6, 2014 5:30 AM
    Jazz musicians struggling with personal demons and drugs have become a subgenre on their own. “Bird,” “Man With the Golden Arm” and “Lady Sings the Blues” lead the list, with Jeff Preiss' moody but dramatically lackluster “Low Down” hovering around the bottom.

     
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