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03/06/14 'Bag Man' burdened down by nonsensical clichés
By Dann Gire - You know "The Bag Man" is headed for the cinematic toilet the moment it opens with bad guy Robert De Niro calmly eating dinner, alone, while conducting a business meeting with John Cusack. That's one of those absurd, nonsensical clichés... FULL STORY
03/06/14 'In Fear' packs some thrills, but lacks direction
By Dann Gire - The gimmick in Jeremy Lovering's atmospheric thriller "In Fear" stems from the director's idea to never tell his stars what will happen next, so that when something shocking occurs, cameras will capture true, visceral reactions. In... FULL STORY
03/06/14 Reel life: Catch the Geneva Film Fest wrap party
By Dann Gire - Dann highlights the 7th Geneva Film Festival, continuing through Saturday, March 8. Also, movies of the amazing Meryl Streep (record holder for most Oscar nominations) at Dann & Raymond's Movie Club, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Arlington... FULL STORY
03/06/14 The 'Empire' strikes out with pompous storytelling
By Dann Gire Daily Herald Film Critic - How many throats can be slashed, eyeballs pierced, limbs severed, and bodies decapitated before "300: Rise of an Empire" becomes monotonous, visual white noise? (Make that black noise, considering that's the color of most of the... FULL STORY
03/06/14 Expressive 'Lunchbox' a well-plotted romance
By Dann Gire - Not a moment goes by in Ritesh Batra's romance-of-the-heart "The Lunchbox" where we can't read the thoughts and feelings of its two main characters. In this movie, a single look speaks paragraphs and silence answers questions. It's a... FULL STORY
03/04/14 Elk Grove model, dancer making acting her priority
By Jamie Sotonoff and Dann Gire - Tiffany Panhilason could brag to Hollywood casting directors about how she's toured the world as a dancer, performed with stars like Justin Timberlake and Pharrell, and modeled for national ad campaigns. Instead, when she goes to auditions,... FULL STORY
02/28/14 Wes Anderson graces 'Grand Budapest' screening
By Dann Gire - Meet director/writer Wes Anderson when Chicago's Music Box Theatre hosts an advance screening of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 1. Plus, readers respond to Dann's Oscar snubs story. One wrote: "I concur with... FULL STORY
02/28/14 Dumb-downed 'Odd Thomas' not overly scary
By Dann Gire - "Odd Thomas" should have been a scary horror movie with comic overtones, or a flat-out comedy with horror overtones. Instead, Stephen Sommers opts for a live-action version of a dumbed-down Scooby Doo adventure in which evil cops... FULL STORY
02/28/14 Oscar's wild! Which film will win best picture?
By Dann Gire Daily Herald Film Critic - The Best Picture Oscar race boils down to this: Will voters go for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," a classically constructed, historically based prestige drama of the sort traditionally selected for Best Picture? Or will Academy... FULL STORY
02/25/14 Glenbard West grad '20 Feet' from Oscar documentary stardom
By Jamie Sotonoff and Dann Gire - Glen Ellyn native Caren Capotosto said, "I seriously think the filming of the first reality show 'Yearbook' at Glenbard West High School when I was a freshman may have subconsciously stuck with me." Sunday, Capotosto will... FULL STORY
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