Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ ‘Boyhood’: Simple yet universal epic that feels like real life ]]> Lead story image

RICHARD ROEPER: Filming over 12 years, director Richard Linklater creates a living time capsule, the best movie of 2014 so far. ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:19:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Hercules’ pushes Dwayne Johnson to his limits ]]> Lead story image

“It was the most physically challenging role I’ve ever played,” the former wrestler says. ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:00:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’: Flying higher than the animated original ]]> Lead story image

Y ou’d think it would be fairly easy to make a sequel better than the original, especially when the first film was pretty lame. Sadly, that’s often not the case. The good news here: “Planes: Fire & Rescue” is a good improvement over “Planes,” which Disney released last year. The story is stronger, there are some wonderful additions to the voice talent and the 3D cinematography is well-utilized. “Fire & Rescue” picks up pretty much where the original movie left off. Dusty Crophopper (again charmingly and enthusiastically voiced by Dane Cook) is now an international air-racing hero. After his hard-to-believe … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:19:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘The Purge: Anarchy’: All the brutality, none of the irony of original ]]> Lead story image

Government-sanctioned mayhem continues unabated in the follow-up to last year’s surprise hit “The Purge,” but the wickedly satiric sense of humor that made the original worth watching is nowhere to be found. That’s a shame, because writer/director James DeMonaco created a classic action-exploitation concept when he came up with the Purge: a near-future American holiday making all crime legal for 12 hours, with murder strongly encouraged. It came with an edgy political subtext, namely that America’s ultra-conservative New Founding Fathers were using the Purge as a means to thin out the ranks of the poor. Hence the occasional flashes of … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:20:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Sex Tape’: Unfunny slapstick spoils the fun ]]> Lead story image

The winning chemistry of Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel gets lost when the promising comedy about family life turns into a preposterous chase. ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:20:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Wish I Was Here’: Whiny lead scrubs any hope of fun ]]> Lead story image

RICHARD ROEPER: Zach Braff directs and plays the insufferable Peter Pan at the center of this condescending exercise in self-indulgent pandering, ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:19:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Le Chef’: What’s good tonight? Not this warmed-over farce ]]> Lead story image

It’s meant to be a soufflé-light charmer, but the bland, predictable French comedy “Le Chef” basically falls flat. Written and directed by Daniel Cohen, better known here as an actor (in films including the 2010 comedy “Kill Me Please”), “Le Chef” actually has two chefs on the menu. Jean Reno, better known for heavier fare such as “The Professional” and “The Da Vinci Code,” plays culinary superstar Alexander Lagarde, who crosses paths with Jacky Bonnot (Michael Youn), a genius in the kitchen whose life is otherwise a disaster. The uncompromising Jacky has been fired from four cooking jobs in four … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:20:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘The Last Sentence’: Old-fashioned virtues boost Swedish biopic ]]> Lead story image

In the introspective “The Last Sentence” Swedish director Jan Troell invokes ’50’s and ’60’s Swedish cinema: masterly black-and-white cinematography, philosophical angst, a lifeless marriage and loved ones visiting from the afterlife. Troell, co-credited as cinematographer and editor too, co-writes this biopic of Swedish theologian-turned-journalist Torgny Segerstedt (Jesper Christensen). After writing a thesis on the origins of polytheism, Segerstedt became editor-in-chief of a newspaper in Gothenburg. Troell’s 2008 film “Everlasting Moments” was inspired by the life story of a Gothenburg photographer. Partly based on a 2007 biography, “The Last Sentence” spans the years 1933 to 1945. Eight newsreel excerpts mark the … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:19:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Also opening in Chicago: ‘Persecuted,’ Monty Python ]]> Lead story image

Preacher on the lam in ‘Persecuted’ The hero of “Persecuted” is a famous evangelist named John Luther (James Remar) who stands in the way of a seemingly innocuous bill that in reality would put more distance between the U.S. government and Christianity. Its chief backer, a senator (Bruce Davison), exacts revenge by framing Luther for murder and sending him on the run. The eclectic cast of the movie, opening widely on Friday, also includes Dean Stockwell, former Sen. Fred Thompson and Fox News personalilty Gretchen Carlson. Silly-walk to the cinema The last of Monty Python’s reunion shows at the O2 … ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 02:20:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’: A worthy entry in franchise takes the simians seriously ]]> Lead story image

RICHARD ROEPER: The battle sequences are terrific, but we also get some genuinely moving quieter moments. ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:13:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Also showing in Chicago: 70mm classics, ‘Walking the Camino’ ]]> Lead story image

Music Box revives 10 films in plush 70mm format Following up on the premiere fest last year, the Music Box Theatre presents “Son of 70mm Film Festival.” The historic moviehouse on Southport is one of the few cinemas still equipped to project in 70mm and is screening 10 titles over two weeks in the picture-rich celluloid format, beginning with “Lawrence of Arabia” at 7 p.m Friday. Also coming up: “Doctor Dolittle,” “Spartacus,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Brainstorm,” “The Master,” “Tron,” “Vertigo,” “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” and “Patton.” For details, see Sit back and watch others walk … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:25:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘As It Is in Heaven’: A disquieting drama about mindset of cults ]]> Lead story image

When a prophet dies, who prepares his followers to see his prophecy fulfilled? “As It Is in Heaven”— scripted by Ginny Lee Overbay and directed by her husband, Joshua Overbay — is a disquieting film about testing faith. As he lay dying, prophet Edward (John Lina) tells his small flock to pray for him and not call paramedics. Newly baptized David (Chris Nelson) assumes the leader’s mantle, displacing Edward’s only son Eamon (Luke Beavers). Believers will bury two more members, without county death certificates, during a 30-day fast David enforces with severity. Donning white robes, the cult awaits the Lord … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:25:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘The Perfect Wave’: Surf the swells or serve the Lord? ]]> Lead story image

An inspirational story is accented by the surfing life in Bruce Macdonald’s “The Perfect Wave.” Based on the true story of Ian McCormack, who grew up in New Zealand and at 24 set off to surf the great waves of Australia, Bali and Africa, it’s an uneasy mix of the hang-loose mindset (“the church of the perfect wave”) and reborn Christian fundamentalism. At first glance, it’s a story about the wandering search for that one-in-a-million wave that, as Ian says, is “a surfer’s glimpse into eternity.” Beautiful cinematography capturing the wave dancers shows why this just might be true. However, … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:25:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Everything seems to be right with ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ restoration ]]> Lead story image

After a 50th anniversary tune-up of the Beatles classic, one expert says “the experience has got to be better than when the film first came out in the ’60s.” ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:21:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ A lie lured teen actor Teo Halm into ‘Earth to Echo’ ]]> Lead story image

Teo Halm never figured that he would be the guy saving alien butt this summer. Before the Los Angeles teen actor auditioned for “Earth to Echo,” he recalls, “the producers gave me a quick synopsis and said, ‘It’s about some kids who go out and explore the woods and find some wolves.’ So I read the lines thinking that I was out there in the trees looking for some wildlife. I expected to hear howling sounds in the distance.” There weren’t any howls. But there were beeps. And other strange noises. “Earth to Echo” (now in theaters) has been called … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 20:53:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Keri Russell had to catch up for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ ]]> Lead story image

New to the movie series, the star of FX’s “The Americans” was drawn toward making “an epic, 3-D summer movie.” ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 20:35:19 -0500