2014 election guide

Articles filed under Movies

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  • 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.

  • Gire: Meet Dan Aykroyd at Hollywood Palms Sunday Oct 16, 2014 3:00 PM
    Dan Aykroyd comes to the Hollywood Palms Theater in Naperville on Sunday, Oct. 19, to chat with fans, sign autographs and introduce his movies “Ghostbusters” and “The Blues Brothers.” Plus, Dann has four questions for "St. Vincent" director Ted Melfi.

  • With album, series and film, Minnie Driver in overdrive Oct 14, 2014 3:43 PM
    Talk about a career in high gear. Over the course of five weeks this autumn, Minnie Driver will have delivered a new album, performed in concert, appeared in a new big-screen musical and marked the start of the second season of her latest TV series when “About A Boy” returns to NBC on Tuesday night.

  • ‘Alien: Isolation’ delivers sci-fi terror Oct 13, 2014 5:45 AM
    Ridley Scott’s “Alien” has inspired dozens of video games since its debut in 1979, but “Alien: Isolation” is the first in a while that has aspired to the claustrophobic terror of the original film. Is “Isolation” that bone-chilling and nerve-wracking? Not quite, but it does deliver some thrills. It takes place 15 years after the events of “Alien.” The protagonist, Amanda Ripley, is searching for her mother, Ellen Ripley, when she gets a lead drawing her to the decommissioned space station Sevastopol.

  • The Zen of Bill: A Q&A with Bill Murray Oct 13, 2014 5:30 AM
    Sitting through the premiere of his latest film, “St. Vincent,” Bill Murray was unexpectedly moved. “I thought, ‘Well, I better not be crying when the lights come up,”’ Murray recalled in an interview shortly after the film’s Toronto Film Festival debut. “That would be bad for my image.”

  • Family reports actress Misty Upham missing Oct 12, 2014 6:07 PM
    Police in Washington state say an actress known for her roles in “August: Osage County,” “Frozen River” and “Django Unchained” is missing.

  • ‘Gone Girl’ still here at No. 1 Oct 12, 2014 6:04 PM
    Four new films couldn’t catch “Gone Girl” at theaters this weekend. According to studio estimates Sunday, the Fox thriller is set to top the box office for a second week with $26.8 million in ticket sales.

  • James Franco on work relationship with Scott Haze Oct 12, 2014 5:30 AM
    As James Franco gets set to open his latest film, “The Sound and the Fury,” the actor-director likes to think of star Scott Haze as the Robert De Niro or Leonardo DiCaprio to his Martin Scorsese. “Scott is one of my favorite actors. I would call him my De Niro. Umm, I would call him my Leo. He’s more my Leo,” Franco joked.

  • New documentary is witness to Snowden NSA leak Oct 11, 2014 10:04 AM
    A new documentary captures Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents as it unfolds from the vantage point of his Hong Kong hotel room. Laura Poitras’ highly anticipated documentary “Citizenfour” premiered Friday night at the New York Film Festival. The one-of-a-kind film presents a remarkably intimate portrait of Snowden, including his first meetings with the journalists with whom he would share thousands of documents revealing the previously undisclosed collection of Americans’ phone and email records by the National Security Agency.

  • DVD previews: ‘X-Men,’ ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ Oct 11, 2014 8:20 AM
    “X-Men: Days of Future Past” centers on the efforts of the mutant superhero Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to forestall World War III by traveling back in time — from the 2020s to the 1970s — to stop the assassination of an industrialist that leads to a dystopian future. It's one of the summer movies heading to DVD Tuesday.

  • 5 things to do before Polar Vortex grips us again Oct 10, 2014 2:31 PM
    Fall fests are in full force, providing the perfect incentive to pack up the family and enjoy some time outdoors before the temps drop too low. This weekend offers a number of different possibilities, from St. Charles’ Scarecrow Fest to historical cemetery tours in Naperville.

  • Reel life: Catch Amy Rapp’s ‘Alley Cat’ at festival Oct 9, 2014 5:30 AM
    Dann brings his weekly film notes up to date with the Chicago International Film Festival’s 50th anniversary underway at Chicago’s River East Theaters through Oct. 23. One of the movies is “The Alley Cat,” featuring Schaumburg native and actress Amy Katherine Rapp.

  • Paul Feig to make female-led ‘Ghostbusters’ Oct 9, 2014 10:21 AM
    After years of rumors, there are finally plans for a new “Ghostbusters,” and it will be led by a female cast. “Bridesmaids” filmmaker Paul Feig said Wednesday that he will direct a reboot of the ghost-fighting comedy franchise starring, as he said on Twitter, “hilarious women.”

  • 'Very Bad Day' a snappy but benign family comedy Oct 9, 2014 6:18 AM
    Given its premise, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” could have been a lot more horrible and no good than it is. At a quick 82 minutes, this straight-arrow family comedy about a day when misfortune comes to visit and stays awhile goes down relatively painlessly.

  • 'The Judge' guilty of diminished drama, recycled characters Oct 9, 2014 3:23 PM
    Under David Dobkin's delinquent direction (he previously handled “Shanghai Knights,” “Wedding Crashers” and “Fred Claus”), “The Judge” is never as humorous as it should be, seldom as compelling as it needs to be, and hardly as memorable as it wants to be. Early on, we see Robert Downey's hotshot Chicago attorney Hank Palmer, urinating on a prosecutor in the restroom, presumably for laughs.

  • Silly 'Dracula' should remain untold Oct 9, 2014 6:15 AM
    For a tantalizing half-hour or so, it actually seemed like the underlying idea of “Dracula Untold” — an origin story drawing its DNA from superhero flicks, not monster movies — might go somewhere. Unfortunately, in its search for fresh blood to rejuvenate the desiccated corpse of Bram Stoker's hero, long since drained of narrative power, it goes places it shouldn't.

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