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Life

Life struck me as several cuts above “meh” but never made me jump out of my seat.

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CHiPS

A buddy film about overcompensating characters that seems to have also been made by overcompensating comedians.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Stars under the stars, for free

Great movies under the stars for free. The lineup has been released for this summer's 10th annual Chicago Outdoor Film Festival, presented by the Mayor's Office of Special Events and programmed by the Chicago Film Office. In honor of two recently passed movie giants, Paul Newman in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and director Sydney Pollack's "Tootsie" are included. And a John Ford classic will screen in honor of the Abraham Lincoln centenary.

Films begin at sunset on seven Tuesdays between July 14 and Aug. 25, in Grant Park at Monroe and Lake Shore Dr. Crowds begin arriving earlier, bringing blankets, picnics and lawn chairs for what has become an annual ritual.

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As before, projection wizard James Bond will display the films flawlessly on his giant 25' x 58' screen.

This year's schedule:

July 14: Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) with Gloria Swanson and William Holden

July 21: Leo McCarey's "Duck Soup," (1933) with the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont.

July 28: Richard Brooks' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1950) with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor.

Aug. 4: George Cukor's "Born Yesterday" (1950), with Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford and William Holden.

Aug. 11: Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960), Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh.

Aug. 18: John Ford's "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939), Henry Fonda, Alice Brady.

Aug. 25: Sydney Pollack's "Tootsie" (1982), Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray.

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