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Film Feature

Trailer Tracking: ‘The Woman in Black,’ ‘Underworld: Awakening,’ ‘Trespass’

CHICAGO – The summer movie season is officially over (sigh), and now it’s time for Hollywood to show off what they’ve got planned for us next. (If we had to guess, we say bet on more “Pirates” movies and less “Green Lantern” sequels.)

Film Feature: 10 Most Controversial Moments in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

Deathly Hollows Feature

CHICAGO – Taken as one complete film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is easily the best installment of the series. By splitting J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding final book into two parts, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves had much more time to pace each sequence and develop each character to the best of their ability. The added minutes have enabled them to deliver a rousing finale to one of the greatest franchises in history.

Trailer Tracking: ‘Drive,’ ‘Contagion,’ ‘Paranormal Activity 3,’ ‘Haywire’

CHICAGO – However, unexpectedly, the past few weeks have seen the release of some major trailers for movies that are targeted for typically off-season release months (September, October, January), and most of them look fairly awesome. While a few underwhelm (looking at you, “Paranormal Activity 3”), the rest feature some of the coolest, most exciting movie trailers that we’ve seen all year.

Film Feature: Harry Potter and the Legacy of a Franchise

CHICAGO – For readers and moviegoers who have come of age with boy wizard Harry Potter, it’s impossible to look back on J.K. Rowling’s immortal series and not be engulfed in a bottomless Pensieve of memories. I wasn’t much of a fantasy buff when I began reading the books. My sister was a fervent fan, and she guaranteed that I would be hooked after the first few chapters.

Film Feature: Seven Things We Want From ‘Thor 2’

CHICAGO – Even though the summer movie season is barely halfway over, it seems clear that, when we reminisce about summer 2011 later this year, one of the biggest surprises of the season will have to be the simple fact that it was possible to make a “Thor” movie that actually works.

Film Feature: All Things Shine in Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’

CHICAGO – “Where is it that we were together? Who were you that I lived with? The brother. The friend. Darkness, light. Strife and love. Are they the workings of one mind? The features of the same face? Oh, my soul. Let me be in you now.

Film Feature: The Marvel Comics Movie Awards

CHICAGO – When “Thor” hits theaters this Friday, it will be 22nd Marvel Comics movie to make it to the big-screen since “Blade” rebooted Marvel’s box office potential back in 1998. There have been more Marvel movies if you count such Marvel-owned properties as “Men in Black” or “Kick-Ass” (or if you count the cheesy straight-to-VHS Marvel movies of the 80s and 90s), but “Blade” was the first “modern” Marvel superhero flick.

Film Feature: Terrence Malick Retrospective Lights Up Music Box Theatre

CHICAGO – The cinema of Terrence Malick has been a process of discovery, for its director and his devoted audience. His work is fueled by spontaneous miracles, typified by the moment when an illuminated cloud formation creates an image of astounding, temporary beauty. His films aren’t just breathtakingly brilliant and hauntingly provocative. They’re also curiously soul-cleansing.

Film Feature: Summer 2011’s 10 Most Anticipated Movie Moments

CHICAGO – Every summer movie season aims to be one thing above anything else – BIG. Summer movies are supposed to be spectacles, larger-than-life, they are specifically designed to overwhelm.

Film Feature: ‘The 27th Annual Music Box Christmas Show’ Brims With Nostalgic Warmth

CHICAGO – The most memorable moviegoing experiences of your life are often circumstantial. They may depend entirely on the audience that you see them with.

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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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