Fittest loser

Articles filed under Gire, Dann

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  • “King Kong Vs. Godzilla” is one of several genre thrillers presented at the 16-Hour Sci-Fi Marathon at the Patio Theater in Chicago.

    Are you ready for 16 hours of Sci-Fi Marathon?Apr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    Sixteen hours worth of Sci-Fi Marathon hits the Patio Theater this weekend. Prepare yourself! Plus, Dann talks to a reader about the non-biblical inspirations for Darren Aronofsky's epic "Noah," and provides his weekly quota of film notes.

     
  • Eva (Gina Carano) interrogates a witness in the mysterious disappearance of her newlywed husband in the action thriller “In the Blood.”

    Reel life: The goods and bads of 'Noah'Apr 3, 2014 12:00 AM
    Dann reacts to seeing those petrified fallen angels in Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic “Noah” that resemble a Flintstones' version of “Transformers.” He thinks these character would be right at home in another sequel to “The Never-Ending Story.” But in a serious biblical drama? These guys don't rock at all. And what's up with the depiction of Adam and Eve as ambulatory yellow glow sticks?

     
  • Dann & Raymond’s Movie Club looks at the greatest film comedies. Included is “The Graduate,” starring a young Dustin Hoffman.

    Reel life: Join Dann for more comedy clipsMar 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    Dann Gire and Raymond Benson present Part 2 of the Greatest Comedy Movies of All Time at the Schaumburg Township District Library. Also, don't miss the Chicago Film Critics Association's screening of Otto Preminger's 1954 western "River of No Return" at the Elk Grove Cinema.

     
  • Actor Jason Bateman breaks out as a director with his new movie “Bad Words.”

    Reel life: Bateman breaks out as 'Words' directorMar 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    Time to play Five Questions with Jason Bateman, the popular and critically acclaimed actor now making his directorial debut with “Bad Words,” opening this weekend. Then Dann goes after Hollywood screenwriters for murdering the English language.

     
  • The real star of the documentary “Particle Fever” is the most expensive scientific experiment created: a super collider for smashing protons together.

    'Almost Human' made of strong parts that don't fitMar 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    Writer/director/photographer Joe Begos loves campy, exploitation midnight movies, maniac massacres, sci-fi films and graphic horror tales so much, he stuffed a whole bunch of them into his feature film debut “Almost Human.” Look carefully and you'll notice not-so-subtle references to a kajillion other genre films. It's a bloody valentine to the low-budget shockers of the sort that once flooded the screen at New York's seedy Liberty Theater on 42nd Street.

     
  • The real star of the documentary “Particle Fever” is the most expensive scientific experiment created: a super collider for smashing protons together.

    'Particle' science makes for a doc that feels like a filmMar 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    You don't normally think of documentaries as being material for a film franchise, but the smart and ultimately suspenseful “Particle Fever” certainly qualifies. It possesses a wonderful mystery — the search for the elusive “god particle” by physicists — and a benign rivalry between two scientific factions — the theorists and the experimentalists — amid the backdrop of what appears to be the greatest 007 movie set ever built.

     
  • Irrfan Khan, right, stars as a Mumbai claims adjuster in the carefully crafted romance “The Lunchbox.”

    Expressive 'Lunchbox' a well-plotted romanceMar 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Not a moment goes by in Ritesh Batra's romance-of-the-heart “The Lunchbox” where we can't read the thoughts and feelings of its two main characters. In this movie, a single look speaks paragraphs and silence answers questions. It's a subtle and infinitely restrained ode to the need for human connection and appreciation, executed with superbly nuanced performances.

     
  • A hooker and two henchmen beat up a mob delivery guy (John Cusack) in “The Bag Man.”

    'Bag Man' burdened down by nonsensical clichésMar 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    You know “The Bag Man” is headed for the cinematic toilet the moment it opens with bad guy Robert De Niro calmly eating dinner, alone, while conducting a business meeting with John Cusack. That's one of those absurd, nonsensical clichés passed around from one Hollywood movie to another. David Grovic's directorial debut “The Bag Man” loves these clichés so much, there's hardly room for invention to breathe.

     
  • A hooker and two henchmen beat up a mob delivery guy (John Cusack) in “The Bag Man.”

    'In Fear' packs some thrills, but lacks directionMar 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    The gimmick in Jeremy Lovering's atmospheric thriller “In Fear” stems from the director's idea to never tell his stars what will happen next, so that when something shocking occurs, cameras will capture true, visceral reactions. In theory, this sounds intriguing. Except the actors' “real” reactions can't hold a torch to the fake ones cast members create, augment and flavor as needed in other thrillers.

     
  • A hooker and two henchmen beat up a mob delivery guy (John Cusack) in “The Bag Man.”

    Reel life: Catch the Geneva Film Fest wrap partyMar 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Dann highlights the 7th Geneva Film Festival, continuing through Saturday, March 8. Also, movies of the amazing Meryl Streep (record holder for most Oscar nominations) at Dann & Raymond's Movie Club, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Arlington Memorial Library, plus the Chicago Film Critics Assn. presents “Love, Actually” at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at the Elk Grove Theatre.

     
  • Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin), right, confronts a very irate dead person in Stephen Sommers' “Odd Thomas,” based on a Dean Koontz novel.

    Wes Anderson graces 'Grand Budapest' screeningFeb 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Meet director/writer Wes Anderson when Chicago's Music Box Theatre hosts an advance screening of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 1. Plus, readers respond to Dann's Oscar snubs story. One wrote: “I concur with your feeling that 'Out of Africa' winning best picture over 'Color Purple' was a farce.” Other unjust Best Picture wins include “Titanic” over “L.A. Confidential.” “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan.” “Terms of Endearment” over “The Right Stuff.” A reader considers this as “the worst injustice of all time.”

     
  • Legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki uses “The Wind Rises” to pay tribute to aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, a designer of the Zero fighter plane.

    Arcada hosts Shirley Temple film festFeb 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    A Shirley Temple Film Festival takes over the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. The After Hours Film Society shows the Oscar-nominated “The Hunt” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. Plus, Dann Gire will do an Oscars prediction program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the St. Charles Library.

     
  • Shirley Temple’s “Poor Little Rich Girl” is one of four movies being shown at a special tribute to the late star at St. Charles’ Arcada Theatre.

    Arcada to pay tribute to Shirley TempleFeb 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Arcada Theatre will host a Shirley Temple Film Festival beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Arcada, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. The tribute will feature a career retrospective and four of the late tap-dancing star’s most noted motion pictures. Adult admission costs $10 (for one or all films); tickets are $3 for kids younger than 10. www.oshows.com or call (630) 962-7000.

     
  • Tim Jenison investigates a master painter's work in the documentary “Tim's Vermeer.”

    Reel life: Ebert documentary director to speakFeb 13, 2014 12:00 AM
    Dann sees George Clooney's WW II "Monuments Men" again to make sure his review was right. He also reports on the Chicago premiere of the new Roger Ebert documentary "Life Itself," and continues with Oscar prediction programs.

     
  • Simon Pegg struggles to keep his comic edge in the dreary "A Fantastic Fear of Everything."

    Reel life: 'Fantastic Fear' a bit of a bummerFeb 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Simon Pegg is a very talented comic actor, but you would never guess that in this claustrophobic, strained, sinking cinematic showboat. Pegg plays a former children’s novelist-turned-crime novelist. Now obsessed with researching Victorian serial killers, Pegg’s paranoid nut job prances in his undershorts while hiding out in his junked-up London apartment, holding a knife and waiting with Norman Bated breath for Jack the Ripper to arrive at his door.

     
  • Actor Crispin Glover premieres 10 minutes of his new movie with his actor father Bruce Glover at Chicago's Music Box Theatre.

    Glover shares his love for Music Box Jan 30, 2014 12:00 AM
    Dann Gire interviews actor Crispin Glover on his way to Chicago's Music Box Theatre this weekend. (“I always get a little nervous,” Glover confessed, “that I'll get there and no one will show up!”) Dann also previews Dann & Raymond's Movie Club Oscars show.

     
  • George (Andy Garcia), a heart surgeon, shares an affair of the heart with Edith (Vera Farmiga) in the literate and witty romance "At Middleton."

    ‘At Middleton’ an honest, moving romance Jan 30, 2014 12:00 AM
    Here comes a witty, smart, perfectly cast and delicately executed romance of the heart between two unhappily married strangers who meet for one day on a college campus. That’s before the story dives into clichés and ridiculous theatrics involving parents gone wild. Adam Rodgers’ movie takes place on the fictional campus of Middleton College where stuffy George (Andy Garcia) drags his unsure son Conrad to orientation at the same time a sassy Edith (Vera Farmiga) has her testy daughter in tow. After some initial probes of each other’s personalities, George and Edith veer off on their own campus tour, slowly and joyfully discovering they share the same sense of humor.

     
  • Felicity Jones' nuanced performance practically steals the period drama "The Invisible Woman," the story of Charles Dickens' secret love life.

    'Invisible Woman' tells tale of Dickens' lovesJan 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    Ralph Fiennes' impeccably mounted period drama “The Invisible Woman” is a tidy and immersive look at the secret romantic life of British novelist Charles Dickens. It's a movie that should have garnered more Academy award nominations than its single nod for Michael O'Connor's impressive costume design.

     
  • Supporting actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence demonstrates the power of hair to define a character in David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” shut out of the hair and makeup category.

    Hair stylists get brushed off in Oscar noms Jan 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    Not to split hairs, but the voters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got everything right in the Oscar nominations announced Thursday morning. Except for the hair and makeup category. Hair styles are practically characters in “American Hustle.” Yet, the 12 credited hair stylists and wig makers on it were given the brush off in the hair and makeup category.

     
  • A renegade Israeli cop (Lior Ashkenazi), right, is pressed into helping a distraught father torture a suspect in the case of his murdered daughter in “Big Bad Wolves.”

    Jon Heder's in town screening 'Napoleon Dynamite' Jan 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    Cult star Jon Heder drops by the suburbs this weekend to introduce showings of his movie “Napoleon Dynamite,” for which he was reportedly paid a paltry $1,000.

     
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