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Sean Connery revealed

November 29, 2013


Sean Connery revealed

Join me and film historian Raymond Benson as Dann & Raymond's Movie Club presents "Connery. Sean Connery: A Life in the Movies" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg. Free admission. Clips from the James Bond movies (of course!), plus "Marnie," "The Hill," "Zardoz," "The Untouchables," "The Man Who Would Be King" and many more. Go to for details. Bring your license to be thrilled.

Other film notes:

* The After Hours Film Society presents "Short Term 12" (? ? ? ?), one of the best movies of 2013. It's an indie drama about the inner workings of a state-run foster-care facility and the young people who staff it. An excellent lead performance by Brie Larson. Admission costs $9. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove. Go to .

* The Blue Whiskey Cinema Series presents the hilarious black comedy "The Ref" (? ? ? 1/2), starring Hoffman Estates High School grad Robert Steinmiller as the son of bickering parents Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis. The 1994 release stars Denis Leary as a fugitive gunman who takes the family hostage. The R-rated movie (for language) will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Emmett's Brewing Company, 110 N. Brockway St., Palatine. Free admission, but registration requested at Or go to .

* Attention horror buffs! "Terror in the Aisles" bills itself as "the ultimate horror triple feature." The program includes "Devil in My Ride" (from Chicago director Gary Schultz, who will be there), a 35 mm print of Dario Argenta's classic "Suspiria" and a 35 mm print of Lucio Fulci's "The Black Cat," along with film shorts and vintage trailers. It begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Patio Theater, 6008 Irving Park Road, Chicago. $12 at the door. .

* The annual "Sound of Music Sing-a-Long" returns to Chicago's Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., starting

this weekend. Go to or to to purchase tickets. Easy as do-re- mi.

* If you're a fan of the $6 million cinematic catastrophe cult film "The Room," you might want to drop by the Music Box Theatre at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, to see its star, now author Greg Sestero. He'll talk about his new book, "The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made," then introduce "The Room" at 10 p.m. Advance tickets cost $20; $45 if you want to purchase a book. For tickets, go to .

Mini-review: 'Contracted'

Eric England's indie horror thriller "Contracted" combines the styles of two of the genre's giants.

From David Cronenberg, England's movie makes liberal use of the Canadian filmmaker's fascination with oozy, gooey organic alterations in the human body.

From zombie king George Romero, "Contracted" borrows characters who, despite being confronted with horrible certain death, simply cannot let go of their petty concerns, self-absorbed egos and self- righteous attitudes, even to save themselves.

"Contracted" stars doe-eyed actress Najarra Townsend as Samantha, a young lesbian waitress who, at a party thrown by her buddy Alice (Alice Macdonald), becomes overly intoxicated and easy prey for a mysterious guy called B.J. to have his way with her in the tight confines of a Toyota Prius.

We only see B.J. as a blurry figure, fitting, since we never know his true identity or why the cops are tracking him down.

Starting the countdown with "Day One," writer/producer/director England chronicles poor Sam's slow deterioration into Cronenberg hell.

She vomits and urinates blood. Her eyes start bleeding. Her teeth and hair start falling out. Worms emerge from orifices we can't talk about in a family newspaper. Eeek!

Sam's cold-blonded lover Nikki (Katie Stegeman) is more upset that Sam engaged in relations with a hated male than she is about Sam's obvious health problems.

"I'm sick!" Sam tells her mom (Caroline Williams). Mom asks, "Are you pregnant?"

We quickly pick up that Sam has a history with drugs and alcohol that has driven a stress wedge between the mother and daughter.

"I don't need any help!" Sam shrieks, determined not to let Mom run her life, what's left of it through Day 2 and 3 (the last day) as she paddles down Denial River.

"Contracted" possesses enough physically gross shocks to gratify fans of transformational horror (thanks to Mayera Abeita's superb makeup effects), but the entire movie feels like Act One in a regular feature film. You want much more at the end, but not in a good way.

Blame it on the "auteur" theory gone wrong. By being the director/ writer and co-producer, England the writer didn't have an independent director to say, "Hey, the ending needs to be stronger!" or "What's the movie saying about lesbians having sex with men?"

If nothing else, England's more-gross-than-scary tale makes for a great Public Service Announcement reminding women not to excessively drink, especially at parties and with guys called B.J.

"Contracted" opens at Facets Multimedia in Chicago. Go to . Not rated; for mature audiences. 78 minutes. ? ? 1/2

* Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire's column runs Fridays in Time out!

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