Blog Post:

The Biggest Oscar Upsets

Sylvester Stallone's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

American movie fans seem to have a love-hate relationship with the annual announcement of Oscar nominees. Time has vindicated the Academy with several flicks that have become cherished classics, but isn't it more fun to remember Hollywood's biggest upsets? Here are a few controversial choices for best picture from history's annals. Dances with Wolves over Goodfellas, […]

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Blog Post:

Film Noir: Playing in Shadows

FABIO, Flickr
(Dis)Appeared
New York, NY 2008

    Film noir is a style of black-and-white movies that first appeared in the early 1940s. The term film noir (literally "black film") was initially used by French film critics to describe and comment on the dark, downbeat looks and themes of many of the American crime movies released in French theaters following World War […]

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Blog Post:

Happy Birthday, Preston Sturges

The Palm Beach Story

Next week marks what would have been the 116th birthday of the director, playwright and screenwriter Preston Sturges (August 29, 1898-August 6, 1959). Born in Chicago as Edmund Preston Biden, Sturges began a life in the theater at a young age when he traveled with his eccentric actress mother to Europe to work with Isadora Duncan. Later, as […]

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Blog Post:

May the 4th Be with You!

Photo by KAMiKAZOW via Wikimedia Commons

May the 4th has been adopted by fans as Star Wars Day due to its similarity to the movie's catchphrase, "May the Force be with you." With Episode VII  slated to open December 18, 2015, interest in the series is intensifying again. But let's not forget where the phenomenon began. During it its initial release […]

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Blog Post:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Like any lifelong Chicago resident and child of the ’80s, I will watch any John Hughes film they show on cable, no matter how many times I've seen it before. But Planes, Trains and Automobiles holds a special place in my heart. Every Thanksgiving my family sits down to watch it after we've stuffed ourselves with traditional […]

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Blog Post:

The Story Behind “The Coreys”

I shyly asked my coworker to check out the book for me, avoiding eye contact. (Whenever I'm reading something I consider "trashy," I'm afraid my fellow librarians will judge me.) But her face brightened and she said, "You'll have to let me know how this is. I was a Coreys fanatic too!" Yes, I am reading Coreyography by […]

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Blog Post:

Sir Alec Guinness

Sir Alec Guinness

April 2, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of  Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000). In his career of more than 50 years, this British actor appeared in a wide range of roles in plays, films and TV shows, including star turns in drama, comedy, spy stories and more. We have many of Guinness’ movies […]

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Blog Post:

Down with G-O-D? Yeah, You Know Me

Jena Malone stars in Saved! as Mary, a girl who apparently has it all: a sweet boyfriend, a close relationship with her mother, and best of all, a membership in the Christian Jewels music group, which doubles as the popular crowd at American Eagle Christian High School. That is, of course, until she secretly gets pregnant trying […]

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Blog Post:

Everybody Loves Bernie

Viewing_(museum_display)

Need a favor? Any favor at all? In Carthage, Texas, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) is your man. While he is especially good with the performing arts, his vocation is as a funeral director, and he will even sing at your final ceremony if you ask. Bernie is especially good with widows, calling on them with care packages, which is how he […]

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Blog Post:

Horror Films for the Jaded

Haunted house with tree in front

Every fall at the first whiff of mulled cider I get excited about the prospect of the season's new crop of horror movies. “Prepare to be scared!” states the promotional poster of one. “Simply terrifying!” intones the voiceover on the trailer of another. However, as horror film aficionados well know, it is the rare film that lives up […]

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