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January 2011 Archives

Brew Reviews: The Rite

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Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


The Rite



At first I thought this movie was about Rush Limbaugh, but when I read the synopsis, I found out it's about Ann Coulter. Actually, it's about an American priest who goes to to exorcist school in Italy. Apparently it's based on a story involving a Chicago guy who did go to such a place (See our interview with that priest in today's paper, "Exorcist priest knows how to fight evil"). Anthony Hopkins plays an old priest who gets possessed, which, judging by the ads, looks a lot like having the flu and being drunk at the same time. Me? I'm gonna wait for the musical.

Beer rating: Anything made by Belgian monks.


WHAT?! You were looking for a REAL movie review? Our Sun-Times Media colleague Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times does a swell job at that.


--
Mike Danahey, Staff Writer




Thumbnail image for emily.jpgAnd the award for today's most clicked story goes to... The list of this year's Academy Awards nominees, announced today!

"The King's Speech" leads the pack with 12 Oscar noms, including Best Picture and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.


The Best Picture nominees are...

  • "The King's Speech"
  • "Black Swan"
  • "The Fighter"
  • "Inception"
  • "The Kids Are All Right"
  • "127 Hours"
  • "The Social Network"
  • "Toy Story 3"
  • "True Grit"
  • "Winter's Bone"


Check out the rest of the nominees on The Courier-News website: 'The King's Speech' gets 12 Oscar nominations.

Any surprises on that list for you? Which movies, actors and actresses are you rooting for?


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


The Company Men



A movie about some middle-aged, white-collar types who lose their jobs. I will be there to view this Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. so I can have the theater to myself.

Beer rating: Is there a Death of a Salesman Ale?


WHAT?! You were looking for a REAL movie review? Our Sun-Times Media colleague Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times does a swell job at that.


--
Mike Danahey, Staff Writer




Thumbnail image for emily.jpgIn case you hadn't heard...

The moment of silence returned to U46 schools -- and schools across the country -- yesterday after a judge lifted a two-year injunction on an Illinois law requiring the quiet reflection during each school day. But for all the controversy that caused that injunction, brought by a Buffalo Grove parent, an atheist who equated the silence to prayer in schools, it met a pretty quiet start in area schools.

Here's your moment to be heard on the moment of silence. Is it a prayer, a breach of the separation of church and state? Or is it, as one U46 principal said, "a nice way to start the day?"


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

PHOTO: Bri by the Lake

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Thumbnail image for emily.jpgWho is Bri?

Is she a high-school or college student, posing for her senior portraits? Is she an actress or model, for her professional headshots? Or maybe an author? Will we be seeing this photograph on the book jacket of the next New York Times best-seller?


Bri by the Lake


Photos of the mysterious and lovely Bri appeared in the photo stream for The Courier-News Flicker group this fall. There she was by the lake, by the bridge. Always with the same dazzling smile.

If you're Bri (or navyb0b, who posted the photos), share the story behind your photos with us! And if you're on Flickr, share your photos in The Courier-News Flickr group, and we'll post some of them here on the blog.


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reader

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgEvery year, we reporters at The Courier-News revisit the key players in what we think were the biggest stories from our beats. We run them as the "Faces" of the year, the people and events that shaped out communities that year.

We ran more than 10 Faces of 2010, and while we could tell you which we thought was the biggest local news story of the year, we set up a poll to hear what you'd pick. Turns out, we'd probably agree.

The Face of 2010, according to our readers, is...

The generous people in our communities.

You're the group of Elgin firefighters still planning a trip to help train fellow firefighters in a Chilean city still recovering from an 8.8-magnitude earthquake earlier this year. You're the Elgin Academy students who collected warm winter clothes for less-fortunate students in the Elgin area earlier this month instead of collecting birthday gifts. You're Chris Doing of Palatine, who donated his kidney to 2-year-old Nathan Saavedra of Carpentersville after reading about the little boy in The Courier-News.

And you took 43 percent of the vote. More, actually, if you count the write-in vote for "Elgin People Helping People - How our community has come together so faithfully throughout this year helping each other."

And even more than that if you count the 36 percent of the vote that went to late Elgin businesswoman Pat Keeney, the not-too-distant second-place finisher. Keeney's also is a story of a community rallying together around a true friend.

Check out how the rest of the votes shook out.

And thank you for voting. Even more than that, thank you for being part of our communities, which as you noted, have come together so faithfully throughout the past year.


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


The Green Hornet



Seth Rogen stars as a newspaper publisher by day, crime fighter by night. A newspaper publisher? Those still exist? And one who can fight crime and is not committing them (Google "Conrad Black" as best example)? Or one who is a human being and not a corporate monolith? Wow, when is this movie set? 1950? Anyway, it looks like a mildly amusing take on the comic book or 60's TV show.

Beer rating: A 12-pack of Old Style in cans so we can play "find the frog" that's on the labeling.


The Dilemma, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgWe wrapped up our "Faces of 2010" series in The Courier-News this weekend.

Every year, we start running "Faces" around Christmastime, catching up with the people and events that shaped our communities in the past year. We realize we're wrapping up almost two weeks into 2011, but what can we say? We met some compelling people last year. We lived through some powerful events. All told the story of 2010.

Some of those stories, chosen by our staff, include:



Which of these faces, and the stories they told, would you pick as the biggest news story of 2010? THE Face of 2010?

VOTE in our poll below. And let us know if there are any big local news stories that we missed!




-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here's one movie playing this weekend...


Season of the Witch



At first I thought this might be based on a really stupid song from the 60s, by the hurdy gurdy man himself, Donovan, who sang with a fey, lispy, irritating voice and wrote this dreadful couplet from the aforementioned tune:

"You've got to pick up every stitch / Must be the season of the witch."

What the hell does that even mean? I hate hippies.



Then, after seeing the TV ads for the last two weeks, I think I feel about this movie the way I do about dopey Donovan's song. Nicolas Cage in a sword-and-sorcerer epic? With a "dude" accent, no less! And all the standard medieval dungeons and dragons doom and gloom are thrown in for good measure. Of course, the witch is hot. In other words, it's a video game with actors.

Beer rating: Four bottles of Chaucer's Mead Wine.


WHAT?! You were looking for a REAL movie review? Our Sun-Times Media colleague Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times does a swell job at that.


--
Mike Danahey, Staff Writer




Thumbnail image for emily.jpgRemember The Courier-News Flickr group?

No?

Well, back before we had this easy-squeezy-lemon-peasy photo submission site, we started a Flickr pool so you could submit your photos for publication in our Our Towns pages. We still get submissions once in a while, and while you need to go this route (sorry!) to get your photos in our pages, it's still an awesome place to share your photos of our towns with other Web-savvy readers.

Like this one, by user vidular...


Stearn Road Corridor Bridge (New Fox River Bridge)


Check it out! Join the group. Share your photos.

And let's make this a regular thing, shall we?


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

Thumbnail image for jason.jpgNOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and occasionally blogs about the local music scene (usually Wednesdays) on Between the Bylines.


Octogenarian rock n' roll icon Chuck Berry collapsed in disappointment at his keyboard about an hour into his set on New Year's Day at the Congress Theater in Chicago.


Chuck Berry at the Congress

Chuck Berry, before collapsing Sunday at the Congress Theater in Chicago


He opened the show with "Roll Over Beethoven," but it quickly took a turn for the worse as Berry would just stop playing mid-song. He became obviously frustrated with his backing band, whom he never practiced with.

The band seemed to do everything it could to follow Berry, but it wasn't enough. Berry kept changing songs mid-song and then tuned his guitar for half the show, either stalling or being legitimately out-of-tune the entire time. He walked over to the keyboard player, and would hit the keys, to tune to the notes and then told the keyboard player his keyboard was the one out of tune.

"I'm not saying it's your fault," Berry said.

It was horribly sad witnessing an 84-year-old man's intent and then watching him struggle and fail to deliver. He walked over to the keyboard, sat down and started playing/hitting keys, and then slammed his hand on some low notes and put his head down for a minute before being walked off stage by the Chicago Fire Department.

When he came back out later, he said he had "no strength." He looked defeated.

We were all thanked for coming out. Most of the people left. My friends and I stuck around with a bunch of others, and towards the back of the stage, Chuck suddenly walks out, puts his guitar on, and tries to play.


What happened next, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgHanukkah. Eid. Christmas. New Year's Eve. The holidays officially are over.

But, as reporter Mike Danahey, pointed out in this weekend's Storyteller, "Life Is A Party At Villa Verone," well... at least every Thursday is a party at the downtown Elgin bar and restaurant, 13 Douglas Ave., all year round. That's when restauranteur Pietro Verone hosts his Person Of The Week.

And at least one Wednesday; that is, when The Courier-News staff was honored as "People of the Week."

Thanks to all of you who turned out for the event (as if Danahey singing karaoke wasn't thanks enough!). I spied some of our Twitter followers in photographer Andrew Nelles' online gallery: @elginista, @gibbyphd, @Elgin2030, @stevemunson and @joseavillalobos.

See if you can't spot yourself in our online photo gallery.


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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