Articles filed under Gire, Dann

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  • '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 Cédric 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.

     
  • Director takes a journey making 'Locke' May 1, 2014 6:00 AM
    Dann interviews British novelist and filmmaker Steven Knight about his new movie, "Locke," starring Tom Hardy as a man undergoing a crisis while driving in his car. Dann also supplies film notes from around the Northwest suburbs.

     
  • Tivoli hosts special screening of 'Tim's Vermeer' Apr 24, 2014 5:30 AM
    The After Hours Film Society presents Penn & Teller's documentary “Tim's Vermeer” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. Dann & Raymond's Movie Club usually convenes on the first Thursday of the month (that would be May 1) at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Schaumburg. But a schedule change has bumped us to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15. We decided to present 14 motion pictures we both really like, but have never presented so far in our seven-year partnership. Raymond tilted more toward the classics in his choices; I went more for movies I know may be flawed, but I love them nonetheless.

     
  • Trial and error lead to Kinnear's career Apr 17, 2014 5:00 AM
    Greg Kinnear, star of the new movie “Heaven is for Real,” grew up in Indiana, and he said, “The Midwest is funnier than people on the coasts. They get it, you know? It's those cold winters, man. Keeps them inside and keeps them thinking! I know it sounds like a silly generalization, but I do think there's a warmth and a real sense of community when I come back to this part of the country.”

     
  • Are you ready for 16 hours of Sci-Fi Marathon? Apr 10, 2014 5:30 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.

     
  • Reel life: The goods and bads of 'Noah' Apr 3, 2014 5:00 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?

     
  • Reel life: Join Dann for more comedy clips Mar 27, 2014 5:00 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.

     
  • 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.

     
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