Reel life: Dann & Raymond aim for the stars

Updated 12/4/2014 8:51 AM

Film critics notebook:

• What are the greatest science fiction films from the 1970s into the 21st century? Easy. Check out Dann & Raymond's Movie Club at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, 500 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights to see "The Final Frontier -- Science Fiction Part 2." Free admission! Clips from such classics as "Blade Runner," "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan" and "E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial." plus some little-known movie titled "Star Wars." Visit or call (847) 392-0100.


• The original black-and-white holiday classic "Miracle on 34th Street" will be shown free at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Ogden 6 Theatre, 1227 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville. (Santa will make an appearance before the movie. So bring a camera or smartphone!) Go to

• The Tivoli Theatre's Annual Holiday Film Festival runs from Sunday, Dec. 7, through Thursday, Dec. 11, at 5021 Highland Avenue in Downers Grove. The 1954 musical "White Christmas" starts the program. The 1989 comedy "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" closes the series. Admission costs $5. Go to

• In one of the strangest press screening bookings I've ever witnessed, Columbia Pictures is showing the new musical "Annie" to Chicago film critics at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.

I have no idea why the studio would schedule a movie screening on a Sunday morning. Except, maybe, it wants to make the screening difficult for critics to attend. (I don't know about others, but I have church duties at that time.) At any rate, this doesn't speak well for a studio's faith in its product. We shall see.

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• The Chicago Film Critics Association announces its annual CFCA Awards on Monday, Dec. 15, at Zia's Restaurant in Chicago. First-round ballots are due on Dec. 11 with final nominees announced on Dec. 12.

• The Chicago Film Critics Association also presents John Hughes' comedy "Planes Trains & Automobiles" at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at the Elk Grove Cinema, 1050 Arlington Heights Road, Elk Grove Village. Admission costs $5. It's part of Classic Cinemas' "Critics' Classics" series. CFCA critic Patrick McDonald will introduce the evening screening and conduct a brief Q&A afterward. Go to

• Dann Gire's Reel Life column appears Fridays in the Daily Herald's Time out!

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