Articles filed under Movies

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  • Aniston makes a bid for seriousness with ‘Cake’ Jan 22, 2015 5:15 AM
    A wintry pall enshrouds even the sunniest Los Angeles locales in “Cake,” a drab, dramatically inert redemption story enlivened by a sharp performance by Jennifer Aniston. Playing a deeply scarred woman coping with chronic pain, unresolved trauma and an alarming fascination with the suicide of an acquaintance, Aniston proves that her comic gifts of timing and delivery serve her well, even in the direst of circumstances.

  • 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.

  • Depp's 'Mortdecai' a frightful, crashing bore Jan 22, 2015 6:04 PM
    For all its minor offenses against taste and decency, the unforgivable sin that “Mortdecai” commits is one that would leave its rakish anti-hero aghast. Because the film that bears his name is ultimately a frightful, crashing bore. Johnny Depp plays aristocratic British art dealer Lord Charlie Mortdecai as a human Looney Tunes character, a snobbish playboy narcissist.

  • Lopez's 'Boy' an unimaginative plunge into paranoia Jan 22, 2015 6:45 AM
    Rob Cohen's “The Boy Next Door” turns out to be a domestic thriller just about as disappointingly conventional and unimaginatively hackneyed as its disappointingly conventional and unimaginatively hackneyed title. This hormonal-student-gone-wild tale becomes so desperate for shocks that it revives the old horror device of somebody tossing a screeching cat on to the set for an easy jump.

  • Budget-friendly fun: Woodstock era returns at Wauconda's Docks Jan 20, 2015 7:02 AM
    The Mustangs take listeners back to the famed Woodstock music festival of 1969 in a concert at Docks Bar & Grill in Wauconda Friday. Discover the South Indian dance form Bharata Natyam in the "Timeless Tales" dance concert by the Natya Dance Theatre Indian dance company Sunday.

  • Why a Lisle actor chose Chicago over Hollywood Jan 26, 2015 6:15 PM
    While New York and Hollywood beckoned, actor Grant Stokes, a Lisle resident and Waubonsee Community College teacher, decided to stay in Chicago and play big roles in small movies. He's starring in several independent films this year, including "Blood & Water," which will be in film festivals this spring. “I’ve been able to do things here that I’d never be able to do in New York or L.A.," he said.

  • Director Damian Szifron lives his own wild tale Jan 19, 2015 6:01 AM
    With an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film crowning a string of accolades, director Damian Szifron seems to be living his own wild tale. “Relatos Salvajes,” or “Wild Tales,” a widely honored comedy about violence, earned Argentina its seventh Oscar nomination Thursday. Praised for its narration and sense of humor, it has become the most-seen domestic film of all time in Argentina.

  • 'American Sniper' wins weekend box office Jan 19, 2015 4:21 PM
    Clint Eastwood's R-rated Iraq War drama "American Sniper" opened in January like a superhero movie in July, taking in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend. The film's unprecedented success obliterated forecasts and set numerous box-office records. It easily surpassed "Avatar" to become the biggest January weekend ever.

  • It’s very good to be Bradley Cooper these days Jan 18, 2015 7:21 PM
    There’s definitely a lot going on for Bradley Cooper, who turned 40 earlier this month. Along with eight Broadway performances a week, he’s been busy promoting one of his biggest movies to date, as both actor and producer: “American Sniper,” in which Cooper transforms himself into late Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle. And he earned his third career Oscar nomination for the role. “I think the fact that I had a chance to play Chris Kyle and Joseph Merrick in the same year is huge for me,” he said.

  • Julianne Moore goes inside Alzheimer’s in ‘Still Alice’ Jan 18, 2015 10:43 PM
    Julianne Moore didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s before taking on the role of Dr. Alice Howard. Adapted from Lisa Genova’s bestselling book, the tender and occasionally harrowing drama “Still Alice” tells the story of an accomplished Columbia University linguistics professor who discovers that she has early onset Alzheimer’s. “This is a movie about living with disease, not succumbing to it,” Moore says.

  • Nicole Kidman shows her silly side in ‘Paddington’ Jan 17, 2015 6:00 AM
    Nicole Kidman knows most people don’t consider her a comedic actress. So how did she end up in a modest role as a delightfully villainous taxidermist in the children’s film “Paddington” with a relatively unknown director at the helm? The answer is simple: She was asked.

  • DVD previews: ‘Boxtrolls,’ ‘The Drop’ released Tuesday Jan 17, 2015 5:30 AM
    “The Boxtrolls” creates a feast for fans of old-school animation art, and the story is a delight as well. It comes to DVD Jan. 20.

  • Inarritu’s ‘Birdman’ explores ego and art, on screen and off Jan 17, 2015 11:28 PM
    Director Alejandro Inarritu says the only way to communicate the struggle between a celebrity and his ego in “Birdman” was through long, uninterrupted shots that move at the pace of life. Those sweeping takes — the subject of much discussion this Oscar season — are intended to mimic the way people see the world, he says: “We open our eyes and go with a Steadicam all day, and we can’t escape.”

  • Academy president responds to Oscar firestorm Jan 17, 2015 11:28 PM
    Responding for the first time to the firestorm that erupted over the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says the all-white acting slate inspires her to accelerate the academy’s push for more diversity. The first black president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spoke out Friday night in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press about the Oscar nominations and the widespread criticism that followed.

  • ‘Boyhood,’ other top films already available at home Jan 16, 2015 6:01 AM
    Sunday’s Golden Globes winners and Thursday’s announcement of the Academy Awards nominations gave us plenty of moviegoing ideas: “Selma,” “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything” and other awards-season favorites are still exclusive to your local moviehouse. But many of 2014’s most acclaimed films and underseen films are already available to home viewers, beginning with the Globes’ big winner, “Boyhood.”

  • ‘Birdman,’ ‘Boyhood’ top winners at Critics’ Choice Awards Jan 16, 2015 7:16 AM
    Fresh off their Oscar nominations, “Birdman” and “Boyhood” added to their awards-season haul with multiple wins at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. The Broadcast Film Critics Associated presented “Birdman” with a leading seven prizes Thursday, but its top honor, best picture, went to Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age story, “Boyhood.”

  • Moore's raw performance elevates 'Still Alice' Jan 15, 2015 11:15 AM
    If you see “Still Alice” in the theater, be prepared to sit through the closing credits. You'll need that time to compose yourself. Julianne Moore's portrayal of a woman struggling with early-onset Alzheimer's garnered her an Oscar nomination Thursday. And she took home a Golden Globe on Sunday, too.

  • List of 87th annual Academy Award nominations Jan 15, 2015 11:53 AM
    Here's a complete list of 87th annual Academy Award nominations.

  • ‘Two Days’ looks at one life in a big world Jan 15, 2015 10:47 AM
    “Put yourself in my place.” It’s a line heard a number of times in “Two Days, One Night,” the exquisitely simple and moving new film from Belgium’s Dardenne brothers. about one woman's (Marion Cotillard) fight for her economic survival. Cotillard’s committed, selfless work as Sandra earned her a best actress Oscar nomination.

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