Articles filed under Movies

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  • 'John' a Wick-ed, action-packed tale of stylish revenge Oct 23, 2014 3:31 PM
    Just when we thought we'd had quite enough of retired cops, hitmen and special-ops agents forced back into active duty to mete out justice, Chad Stahelski's “John Wick” shoots us between the eyes with an old-fashioned revenge tale directed with tongue-in-cheek humor, choreographed with bone-breakingly realistic stunts, and edited on Red Bull. Keanu Reeves stars as a retired Russian killer.

  • 'Dear White People' addresses race with comic touch Oct 23, 2014 5:15 AM
    “Satire is the weapon of reason,” one character tells another in “Dear White People,” a movie that exemplifies that sentiment with a potent combination of playfulness and pointed cultural critique. This alternately thoughtful and hilarious comedy of campus manners is the bracingly candid brainchild of first-time filmmaker Justin Simien, who has created that rarity in American society: a movie that simultaneously sends up the national “conversation about race” while advancing the conversation itself.

  • ‘23 Blast’ fumbles faith-based football tale Oct 23, 2014 6:00 AM
    Faith meets football in the film "23 Blast," the fact-based story of a high school player blinded by an aggressive eye infection. Just as the teen reaches his nadir of self-pity, his coach devises an outlandish plan for him to rejoin the team. It's a sweet story, but not nearly as strong as it could have been in more experienced hands.

  • Keaton nails quirky tale of artistic redemption Oct 23, 2014 5:30 AM
    Alejandro G. Iñárritu shot “Birdman” in 30 fleet days with Emmanuel Lubezki's superior camera work effortlessly piecing the story together in a seemingly seamless single take, or at least close to it. It's the kind of daring, accomplished work that critics and Oscar voters notice — along with other delectable cinematic elements to behold in “Birdman,” such as Michael Keaton's performance.

  • Jerry Lewis shoots for stage success at Aurora's Paramount Oct 23, 2014 3:34 PM
    What's the best thing about being Jerry Lewis? “When I open my eyes in the morning, I'm a hit!” Lewis tells Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire in an email interview for the comedy icon's on-stage appearance at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Lewis, 88, explains why he still goes out on stage and why he won't release his controversial Nazi concentration camp drama “The Day the Clown Cried.”

  • Ted Melfi takes questions about 'St. Vincent' Oct 23, 2014 6:30 AM
    Ted Melfi is a TV commercial director making his first feature (as director, writer and producer) with the Bill Murray comedy “St. Vincent"; local movie theaters are showing scary and family-friendly films for Halloween.

  • 'Stonehearst Asylum' a wasted opportunity Oct 23, 2014 6:30 AM
    The Edgar Allen Poe-inspired "Stonehearst Asylum" fails to be sexy, scary, revealing, suspenseful or even exciting, but it looks really good.

  • Time-jumping kills the tension in mysterious 'Blue Room' Oct 23, 2014 6:30 AM
    French actor Mathieu Amalric's "The Blue Room" is not exactly the classic “Double Indemnity,” but at least it's not the sensationalized “The Other Side of Midnight,” either.

  • ‘Fury’ blasts ‘Gone Girl’ from top of box office Oct 20, 2014 6:49 AM
    The bloody World War II drama “Fury” blew past “Gone Girl” at theaters this weekend. “Gone Girl” was tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and his rag-tag group of tank mates in “Fury” blasted the film to second place. Sony’s “Fury” captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Fox’s “Gone Girl” followed with $17.8 million.

  • Saldana, Luna talk Day of the Dead, ‘Book of Life’ Oct 19, 2014 6:32 AM
    The Mexican holiday that honors the dead is the backdrop for the new animated film “The Book of Life.” Stars Zoe Saldana and Diego Luna say Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with its grand celebrations and colorful altars, is perfect fodder for a PG-rated film aimed at families. Saldana knows the tradition from her Dominican roots, and Luna has celebrated the holiday since he was a child in his native Mexico.

  • 'Fury' aims for an unvarnished look at war Oct 19, 2014 10:19 AM
    At one point during “Fury,” the World War II drama starring Brad Pitt out Friday, a tank commander's head is blown off while he's hunched outside his vehicle during a fiery battle with a combatant. “Fury” writer-director David Ayer insists he didn't include the surprise decapitation simply to shock moviegoers. “That was a very common thing that happened,” said Ayer.

  • Simmons moves to head of the class in ‘Whiplash’ Oct 18, 2014 6:30 AM
    Jonathan Kimble (J.K.) Simmons is sitting in a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, recalling the myriad names he’s gone by over the years. But by any name, you’re more likely to know Simmons by his rubbery face, seen in everything from Broadway to insurance ads. In Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” he plays a drill sergeant of a jazz conductor at an elite New York music conservatory, pushing a young drummer (Miles Teller) to extremes.

  • DVD previews: ‘Sex Tape,’ ‘Snowpiercer’ Oct 18, 2014 6:30 AM
    A married couple accidentally makes takes their "Sex Tape" public. An uprising unfolds on a futuristic train in "Snowpiercer." And a young woman returns from the dead in "Life After Beth." All three films are available on DVD Tuesday.

  • Lucas fills in details on Chicago museum Oct 19, 2014 3:05 PM
    George Lucas is filling in some details on his planned art and movie memorabilia museum, including how the California native settled on Chicago as a location over San Francisco. It was his wife’s idea.

  • ‘Walking Dead’ just won’t die Oct 17, 2014 7:23 AM
    “The Walking Dead” returned to AMC last week to huge ratings, and Sean doesn't really get why. But who cares what he thinks? The show is so big, it has its own pinball table. And speaking of pinball, Wheeling is the place to be this weekend for enthusiasts of the game.

  • Neil Patrick Harris says he’ll host Oscars in 2015 Oct 16, 2014 7:15 AM
    Neil Patrick Harris is going for an awards-show trifecta, set to host the 2015 Oscars after four hosting stints at Broadway’s Tony Awards and two at TV’s Primetime Emmy Awards. “To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true,” Harris said in a statement Wednesday released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

  • Macy’s directorial debut ‘Rudderless’ struggles to set sail Oct 16, 2014 3:44 PM
    The music sounds fine, but actor William H. Macy’s iffy first-time direction prevents “Rudderless” from becoming more than a quasi-pleasing, mediocre first effort from a filmmaker struggling to set sail on a firm course.

  • Bill Murray finds virtue in comically sentimental 'St. Vincent' Oct 16, 2014 1:22 PM
    In “St. Vincent,” Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher share an amazing chemistry between a super polite boy and his rude, world-weary baby-sitter. Director Ted Melfi does a remarkable job of pulling back on the treacly potential of this project by keeping it real and organically funny, something he openly credits Murray for accomplishing in a sentimental comedy that stops short of schmaltz.

  • ‘Good Lie’ spins compelling tale of Sudan’s ‘Lost Boys’ Oct 16, 2014 5:45 AM
    “The Good Lie” tells a fascinating story of the so-called “Lost Boys” (and girls) of Sudan, youngsters orphaned by the bitter war that engulfed their country beginning in 1983, forcing many to trek for hundreds and hundreds of miles — over several years in some cases — to safety. And, admirably, the filmmakers keep these youngsters — and the young adults they became — central in their storytelling.

  • 'Whiplash' drums up stinging tale of obsession, manipulation Oct 16, 2014 12:37 PM
    An explosive, ingeniously constructed drama titled “Whiplash” gives character actor J.K. Simmons the meatiest and mightiest role of his career. Simmons radiates ominous terror as Terence Fletcher, a driven music conservatory instructor who psychologically tortures his jazz band students (among them Miles Teller) to rip the best of their talents out of their instruments at all costs but his.

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