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Articles filed under Gire, Dann

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  • Reel life: Bateman breaks out as 'Words' director Mar 20, 2014 2:35 PM
    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.

  • 'Almost Human' made of strong parts that don't fit Mar 13, 2014 5:00 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.

  • 'Particle' science makes for a doc that feels like a film Mar 13, 2014 5:00 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.

  • Expressive 'Lunchbox' a well-plotted romance Mar 6, 2014 12:48 PM
    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.

  • 'Bag Man' burdened down by nonsensical clichés Mar 6, 2014 2:55 PM
    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.

  • 'In Fear' packs some thrills, but lacks direction Mar 6, 2014 2:53 PM
    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.

  • Reel life: Catch the Geneva Film Fest wrap party Mar 6, 2014 5:00 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.

  • Wes Anderson graces 'Grand Budapest' screening Feb 28, 2014 9:52 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.”

  • Arcada hosts Shirley Temple film fest Feb 20, 2014 6:14 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.

  • Arcada to pay tribute to Shirley Temple Feb 18, 2014 5:30 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. or call (630) 962-7000.

  • Reel life: Ebert documentary director to speak Feb 13, 2014 5:00 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.

  • Reel life: 'Fantastic Fear' a bit of a bummer Feb 6, 2014 6:00 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.

  • Glover shares his love for Music Box Jan 30, 2014 5:45 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.

  • ‘At Middleton’ an honest, moving romance Jan 30, 2014 5:45 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.

  • 'Invisible Woman' tells tale of Dickens' loves Jan 23, 2014 6:14 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.

  • Hair stylists get brushed off in Oscar noms Jan 16, 2014 4:51 PM
    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.

  • Jon Heder's in town screening 'Napoleon Dynamite' Jan 16, 2014 6:00 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.

  • Swear words used like assault weapons in ‘Wolf’ Jan 10, 2014 6:00 AM
    Dann answers a reader’s concerns about the record number of swear words in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Plus, he previews some upcoming movie events in the area.

  • Dann & Raymond’s winning ‘Woofers’ Jan 2, 2014 5:30 AM
    Dann Gire discusses his 10 best movie list with a dissatisfied reader, reveals the year’s biggest box office losers, and previews Dann & Raymond's next movie club topic, "Hollywood Woofers: Dogs in the Movies."

  • 'Exorcist': The scary movie that opened the eyes of a future film critic Dec 26, 2013 6:00 AM
    Dann has a special affection for “The Exorcist” with its spinning heads, projectile pea-soup hurling, crucifix abuse and tinkling on the living room carpet. He thought of films as simple entertainment vehicles, disposable weekend activities to talk about on Monday mornings and forget about. He saw within “The Exorcist” the possibility of art, symbolism, style, craft, and something magical.

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