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08/04/11 'Apes' prequel proves itself an action-packed thriller
By Dann Gire - "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" may have too many prepositions in its title, but it's a smart and scary prequel to Charlton Heston's 1968 "Planet of the Apes," endlessly referenced in this new film. FULL STORY
08/04/11 Reel life: 'Future' seems flawed
By Dann Gire - Miranda July's "The Future" seems not-so-bright (albeit snappy), and Lee Tamahori's "The Devil's Double" simmers with rage and sensationalism. Also, a reader calls him out on skipping "The Smurfs," but was it his fault? FULL STORY
08/04/11 Crassness trumps cleverness in 'Change-Up'
By Dann Gire - Body-switch movies enjoyed a great run back in the 1980s. "Change-Up" adds little to the argument they should return. FULL STORY
08/02/11 Grayslake's 'Glee Project' finalist learns the ropes
By Jamie Sotonoff and Dann Gire - Ellis Wylie of Grayslake made it to the final 11 in "The Glee Project," but dealing with online critics was tough, she says. "There was one person on Twitter who got to me. She wrote, .. 'You blew your only shot.' That hurt." FULL STORY
07/28/11 Reel life: Family on the decline needs 'Help'
By Dann Gire - Dann reviews the dysfunctional family drama "A Little Help" and the time-jumping, historic "Sarah's Key." Also, suburban students get a world premiere and Elgin gets its short films on. FULL STORY
07/28/11 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.' a wise, funny rom-com
By Dann Gire - Want to see a smart and funny movie about sex, love and soul mates? "Crazy, Stupid, Love." celebrates both the transformative nature of romance and the messy chaos it causes. FULL STORY
07/28/11 Miscast star mars fun, effects-laden 'Cowboys & Aliens'
By Dann Gire - "Cowboys & Aliens" starts out strong with mystery, action and suspense, then slowly devolves into a bloated, special effects extravaganza featuring a hilariously surly Harrison Ford and a wincingly miscast Olivia Wilde. FULL STORY
07/26/11 How Wheaton kid became a 'Cowboys & Aliens' stuntman
By Jamie Sotonoff and Dann Gire - Wheaton native Joe Bucaro wanted to be a stuntman ever since he saw Burt Reynolds in "Hooper" and witnessed Evel Knievel jump 10 buses at the old Chicago Amphitheater. FULL STORY
07/21/11 Dann in reel life: Quirky 'Terri' an anti-John Hughes movie
By Dann Gire - "Terri," starring Chicago's own John C. Reilly, skips over Hollywood formulas to present a quirky coming-of-age tale that underscores a key line of dialogue: "Life is messy." FULL STORY
07/19/11 Beach Boy's former St. Charles house for sale
By Jamie Sotonoff and Dann Gire - The St. Charles house where former Beach Boys member Brian Wilson lived has a rich history. Famous people stayed there, music was written and recorded there, and now it's for sale. FULL STORY
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