Articles filed under Movies

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  • Best films for families from 2014 Jan 4, 2015 7:01 AM
    Little kids had their moviegoing experiences enlivened in 2014 by some outstanding animated features. For tweens and teens, there were quality sci-fi epics and a few outstanding dramas and documentaries, but too few suitable-for-kids comedies. This list organizes the Family Filmgoer’s faves (and a few box office hits she just tolerated) by age recommendations, while also taking parents into account.

  • Images: Palm Springs film fest Jan 4, 2015 9:38 PM
    The first film-award ceremony of the new year was a star-studded affair Saturday night. The Palm Springs International Film Festival, which attracts numerous locally based Academy voters who now have ballots in hand, traditionally is the first of each calendar year’s award-season ceremonies, which include approximately two-dozen events significant enough to attract major movie stars between now and the Oscars, set for Feb. 22 in Hollywood.

  • DVD previews: ‘Boyhood,’ ‘Get On Up’ Jan 3, 2015 5:30 AM
    In "Boyhood," Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) grows up from a little boy into a nearly grown young man, solidifying his relationship with an unsteady father, struggling through schools and step-parents and girlfriends and himself until, in the film’s final scenes, he starts college. In the hands of writer-director Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” turns from a classic coming-of-age story into something epic, transcendent and monumental.The criitically acclaimed drama comes to DVD Jan. 6.

  • Gire: Dann & Raymond look at Bond Jan 2, 2015 5:45 AM
    “The Films of Sean Connery” will be discussed at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 8, and Alfred Hitchcock will be discussed at the Schuamburg Township District Library on Jan. 15.

  • Civil rights drama captures history-making movement Jan 2, 2015 5:45 AM
    To say Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” feels relevant is a mammoth understatement. It’s altogether animated, propelled and enlivened by its contemporary urgency. “Selma” is a history lesson that throbs with today.

  • Rep. John Lewis reflects on ‘Selma,’ memories it brings to life Dec 31, 2014 5:45 AM
    Live long enough and life can be filled with strange symmetries. Rep. John Lewis has seen that to be true several times this year. He has twice viewed the Golden Globe-nominated movie “Selma,” which depicts a series of historic civil rights marches from a small Alabama town to the state’s capitol. Lewis, who is portrayed by an actor in the film, helped to lead the protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 and found the experience of watching the events reenacted on film to be surreal.

  • Young fans can’t let go of ‘Frozen’ in Vernon Hills Dec 30, 2014 6:42 PM
    While they may not have cared for the frigid temperatures outside Tuesday, children loved bundling up in their coats, gloves and ear muffs indoors at the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills to sing along to a screening of the hit Disney movie “Frozen.” About 75 children and their parents gathered in the library’s meeting room for the “Frozen” Sing-Along event.

  • Egypt: Biblical epic ‘Exodus’ banned over errors Dec 29, 2014 7:27 AM
    Egypt on Sunday said it banned Ridley Scott’s biblical epic “Exodus: Gods & Kings” because the Hollywood blockbuster distorts Egypt’s history and presents a “racist” image of Jews. The Culture Ministry explained its decision for the first time in a statement issued a few days after the ban was announced. It said the film put forth a reading of Egypt’s history that is at odds with the story of Moses told by the world’s monotheistic religions. Egypt is a conservative country with a Muslim majority and a sizable Christian minority.

  • Mark Wahlberg rolls the dice with new type of role Dec 28, 2014 5:15 AM
    Mark Wahlberg admits he’s not Hollywood’s go-to guy for teacher roles. In “The Gambler,” released Christmas Day, he plays the brilliant but troubled English professor Jim Bennett. The role gave Wahlberg particular anxiety. The 43-year-old actor-producer dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and he only recently went back to get his diploma.

  • Will ‘The Interview’ change how Hollywood does business? Dec 28, 2014 5:45 AM
    “The Interview” was never supposed to be a paradigm-shifting film. But unusual doesn’t even begin to describe the series of events that transpired over the past few weeks, culminating in the truly unprecedented move by a major studio to release a film in theaters and on digital platforms simultaneously. Sony is in uncharted waters now with the film, which earned $1.04 million from 331 locations on Thursday, according to studio estimates, in addition to the untold VOD grosses.

  • ‘Hobbit’ wins box office, ‘Interview’ has strong VOD sales Dec 28, 2014 8:03 PM
    “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the final installment in Peter Jackson’s trilogy marched to the top spot at the box office once again with an estimated $41.4 million take across the weekend ($54.5 including Christmas day earnings), according to studio estimates Sunday. “The Interview,” meanwhile, wowed with $15 million from its more than 2 million online rentals and purchases.

  • DVD previews: ‘The Equalizer,’ ‘Tusk’ Dec 27, 2014 6:45 AM
    For all of “The Equalizer’s” overkill, Denzel Washington retains an admirable air of seriousness, embodying Robert McCall as a believable figure of purity and protection, even when he’s going after his opponents with methodical, thoughtfully choreographed sadism. This and other movies come to the small screen on Tuesday, Dec. 30.

  • The top 10 movies of the year Dec 27, 2014 7:47 AM
    Do you agree with film writer Jake Coyle that “Ida” was the best movie of 2014? Yes, an austere, black-and-white Polish film doesn’t sound like the most appetizing stuff. But it’s a hauntingly beautiful film, and thanks to the tremendous Agata Kulesza, there’s humor here, too, he says.

  • Jazzy 'Whiplash' leads a most violent year of excellence in cinema Dec 26, 2014 5:45 AM
    The best film of 2014 should be one that speaks to a critic on a personal level, one that captures the eyes, ears, brain and heart in a way other movies almost do, but don't. That movie would be “Whiplash,” from first-time director Damien Chazelle. “Whiplash” explodes with the manic energy of a first-time filmmaker stoked to show the world what he can do. Every scene bristles with tension.

  • No problems at sold out ‘Interview’ screenings Dec 25, 2014 9:29 PM
    Moviegoers seeking laughs or looking to make a political statement rushed to two of the suburban movie theaters that elected to show “The Interview” on Christmas. So many people came to see “The Interview” at midnight that owner Debbie Benjamin had to open an additional screen at Buffalo Grove Theatres.

  • Streaming release of ‘Interview’ test for industry Dec 25, 2014 6:05 PM
    Sony’s “The Interview” has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Now, with its release online at the same time it debuts in theaters, it has a new role: a test for a new kind of movie release. “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists tasked by the CIA with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Its Christmas Day release was canceled by Sony after threats of violence by hackers linked to North Korea. But after an outcry, the release was reinstated in some independent theaters and now, through a few online video services.

  • Our picks for some of the year's best performances Dec 25, 2014 5:00 AM
    The best of the movies of 2014 are celebrated with a run-down of the actor and actress of the year and other notable honors, as selected by our film critic, Dann Gire.

  • 'Zero Motivation' jumps around a lot for a military comedy Dec 25, 2014 5:00 AM
    Talya Lavie's military comedy “Zero Motivation” has been aptly described as “Private Benjamin” meets “M*A*S*H*” meets “Office Space,” and that's a fair description of the subject and style the Israeli filmmaker employs in her third feature, a crazy, lumpy mix of feminism, supernatural possession, attempted military rape, friendship and brainless bureaucracy.

  • Jolie goes for broke in ‘Unbroken’ Dec 27, 2014 10:58 AM
    “If you can take it,” Louis Zamperini’s older brother tells him, “you can make it!” This serves as the theme to Angelina Jolie’s new fact-based World War II drama “Unbroken.” Plus, it describes Jolie herself, who proves that a woman other than Kathryn Bigelow can direct a male-dominated military drama in a fiercely male-dominated industry. Jack O’Connell rules as Olympic runner Zamperini.

  • ‘Gambler’ remake squanders great cast Dec 27, 2014 10:59 AM
    “If you’re not a genius, don’t bother,” the English professor played by Mark Walhberg in “The Gambler” blithely tells his students. That should be one clue that you’re not gonna like this guy. But there’s a bigger problem: If you’re not doing a genius remake of an old movie, why bother?

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