Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ ‘To Be Takei’: The joyful, painful life of ‘America’s Gay Uncle’ ]]> Lead story image

RICHARD ROEPER: ‘Star Trek’ alum and rights activist George Takei a glittering diamond of a documentary subject. ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:26:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Frank’: Headgear hinders an earnest pop-music comedy ]]>

“Frank” can be hard to wrap your head around, and it’s impossible to sing along to one of his tunes. But that’s the point of the clunky-if-earnest comedy about a literal band of misfits led by a singer who never takes off his mascot-size headgear. Ever. Michael Fassbender plays the title character, but Frank really is about Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), a wannabe keyboardist and full-time office drone who pens songs about his daily-grind world. When he stumbles on alt-band the Soronprfbs — and its current keyboardist, who is attempting suicide — Jon suddenly has a gig. Aside from Frank, the … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:42:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Film noir festival finds darkness from afar ]]> Lead story image

Taking an international focus, Noir City 6 presents movies from Argentina, France and elsewhere ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:26:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘As Above/So Below’: Lame scares far beneath Paris ]]> Lead story image

‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” is the inscription uncovered by a gang of 20-something treasure hunters in the catacomb-hopping horror flick “As Above/So Below.” But the warning could easily apply to viewers checking out this rather hopeless mash-up of “The Descent” and “[Rec],” not to mention a dozen other found-footage movies that have clogged the screens over the last five years. Hardly credible, even for a film claiming that the gates of hell lie a few hundred feet below Paris (if anywhere, they can be found in an overcrowded Metro car with no air conditioning), this low-budget effort … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:25:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Cantinflas’: Nostalgic, occasionally schlocky look at the Mexican icon ]]> Lead story image

His mouthful of a moniker was not exactly a household name in the USA. But from the mid-1930s up until his death in 1993, Cantinflas was Mexico’s most beloved and iconic comedian. He became known to U.S. audiences for his award-winning role in 1956’s “Around the World in 80 Days.” The man born Mario Moreno is the subject of “Cantinflas,” a biopic that ambitiously tries to appeal to die-hard fans, honor his legacy and showcase his clownish brand of humor to those unfamiliar with it. It’s a lot to take on, and the film doesn’t achieve everything it sets out … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:06:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Pierce Brosnan entangled in a knotty spy story in ‘The November Man’ ]]>

Nothing fresh is being brought to the table, but it’s a sufficient bit of fun for anyone who longs for the days of Brosnan’s spy swagger. ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:31:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Love Is Strange’: Carried by John Lithgow, Alfred Molina chemistry ]]> Lead story image

Love may be weird, complicated and uncertain, but it is also wondrous. “Love Is Strange” makes that case with a remarkable blend of tenderness, wit and intelligence. A deftly written and sensitive film about a longtime New York City couple dealt professional, economic and emotional blows, it is, above all, terrifically acted by leads John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. Consummate professionals, Molina and Lithgow have terrific chemistry. We fully believe these vital older men have been together in a loving, committed relationship for nearly four decades. The film takes their long-standing romance in stride and opens on the day of … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:26:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Yves Saint Laurent’: Biopic plays up designer’s dark side ]]> Lead story image

A number of interesting films about fashion icons have been released in recent years with topics ranging from Coco Chanel, Valentino to Diana Vreeland and even Vogue magazine. Legendary French designer Yves Saint Laurent also is on the list. He first got the big-screen treatment with the 2010 documentary “L’Amour Fou,” which recounted his 58-year relationship with Pierre Berge, his partner in life and business. Now joining the pack is Jalil Lespert’s “Yves Saint Laurent.” Based on Laurence Benaim’s biography, the biopic is a sometimes sluggish, sometimes fascinating account of a precocious talent on the verge of being overshadowed by … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:26:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘A Letter to Momo’: Girl meets goblins in lesser Japanese animation ]]>

“A Letter to Momo” is a sweet tale of a sad girl who moves to a new place and meets supernatural pals. Writer-director Hiroyuki Okiura, however, does not match the high expectations for story and design set by other Japanese animators. Screened last fall at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the unrated “A Letter to Momo” (2011) is suitable for children younger than its 11-year-old title character. The letter in the title is one Momo finds on her late father’s desk after his funeral. Before sailing on a doomed research mission, he had begun a letter to her. Momo … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:16:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mark Duplass faces marriage, Bears in his acting jobs ]]> Lead story image

You swear that you know him. Maybe it’s his work as Pete Eckhart on FX’s “The League,” returning in early September. Or perhaps it’s from his early indie work in 2005’s “The Puffy Chair” or 2012’s “Safety Not Guaranteed.” Mark Duplass might not be a household word just yet, but he’s working on it. He stars in “The One I Love,” a project he calls “a little bit of following my bliss and making my kind of movies.” In the film, now showing at the Music Box and available on demand, he and Elisabeth Moss play a couple struggling to … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:36:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘If I Stay’: A teen in lame sort of limbo ]]> Lead story image

RICHARD ROEPER: Chloe Grace Moretz stars in a love story that plays like a high school version of “Ghost,” only less romantic and a little creepier. ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:40:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’: A dark, exhilarating sequel ]]> Lead story image

RICHARD ROEPER: There’s a lot of movie going on in these multiple storylines about cheating, gambling and plenty of killing. ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:42:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘The One I Love’: Routine romance takes a ‘Twilight Zone’ turn ]]> Lead story image

In addition to being fine actors, Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass share another trait: They’re attractive in a real-world, couple-that-lives-across-the-street sort of way. If that’s a backhanded compliment, hey, I’m still saying they’re pretty great. Moss and Duplass have, shall we say, challenging roles in “The One I Love,” which starts as a standard and borderline bland relationship movie, and then becomes something unique. One minute they’re in a therapist’s office, the next they’re in the Twilight Zone. I’m going to keep this review short as I stay away from the major plot development in the film. It’s something you … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:42:35 -0500