• The 92nd Oscars recap through tweets …

    What a weird, wild night. After the debacle that was Kevin Hart’s appointment as Oscar host last year and the straight-up refusal by everyone else to dare take the baton in the wake of his dismissal, The Academy chose right from the start to not have a host for their 92nd annual event. So what […]

  • Picking Winners at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards

    The 92nd Annual Academy Awards hits airwaves Sunday, February 9th, 2020 at 8:00pm on ABC. For those handicapping at home, here are the guesses of Buffalo film fanatics Christopher Schobert, William Altreuter, and myself. Jared Mobarak: Let’s face it. The Oscars have been irrelevant from a creative standpoint since … probably forever. The whole thing […]

  • Top 100 Films of the Decade: 2010-2019

    If you asked me in 2010 which studios’ films would be amongst my favorites over the next ten years, I probably would have answered two correctly: Fox Searchlight (11) and Sony Pictures Classics (7). Those are two independent shingles of big Hollywood names that have been pumping out quality pictures for decades. Next up would […]

  • Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2019

    Below is my December 26th ballot for the 23rd annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2019 calendar year. Group winners were announced on January 6th, 2020 and are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1Parasite #2Portrait of aLady on Fire #3Marriage Story #4Knives Out #5Us #6Uncut […]

  • REVIEW: Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of a Lady on Fire] [2019]

    “Don’t regret. Remember.” An eighteenth century Italian countess (Valeria Golino) still residing at the French estate of her late husband has decided she’d like to return home. The best way to accomplish this is marrying off one of her daughters to an affluent Milanese suitor since doing so would secure both their futures while also […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Standing Up, Falling Down [2020]

“Regret is real” Sometimes your dream isn’t much of a dream at all. Maybe reality sets in after you’re already well along the path taken in error. Perhaps the epiphany arrives before you’ve sacrificed the correct choice in order to choose wrong. Ask Scott Rollins (Ben Schwartz) and he’ll probably tell you it can even […]

REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog [2020]

“Gotta go fast” While a Nintendo kid growing up with Mario forever winning the mascot war against Sega in my mind, relatives did have a Genesis and played Sonic often enough for me to have watched the little blue guy somersault around loop de loops before losing his golden rings after hitting enemies or spikes. […]

REVIEW: The Night Clerk [2020]

“Loneliness makes us do things” There’s a scene in Michael Cristofer‘s The Night Clerk where lead character Bart Bromley (Tye Sheridan) misreads a situation and kisses a woman. His Asperger’s kicks into overdrive, merging a contrite apology with verbal self-flagellation before promising to never do anything so misguided and potentially damaging again. Impulse conquered conditioning […]

REVIEW: The Lodge [2020]

“She can’t go to Heaven!” It’s almost too perfect. After reading Sergio Casci‘s spec script and wondering who’d be best to steward it towards its next stage, Hammer Films saw Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala as easy marks. Their debut Goodnight Mommy dealt with the psychological strife that occurs when two young children are trapped […]

REVIEW: The Fall [2019]

Taking from his music video background of surreally nightmarish visions, director Jonathan Glazer delivered a surprise seven-minute short last year entitled The Fall. The description says it all: “a masked mob cruelly punish a lone masked man.” We see them shake the tree to which their victim clings tightly, pick him up off the forest […]

REVIEW: Les misérables [2019]

“Never sorry. Always right.” You have to give Ladj Ly credit for seeing the potential in expanding his acclaimed short film about a trio of Anti-Crime Brigade cops outside of Paris in Montfermeil while also knowing it wasn’t perfect. There was a lot packed into Les misérables that could use some room to breathe, but […]

REVIEW: Les misérables [2017]

“We’ll shake down Cosette” How do toxic traits shared by plenty of police officers around the world (they exist regardless of whether they’re exceptions or the rule depending on your viewpoint) manifest? Is the attitude that your fraternity trumps abuse taught? Or is it learned? Because we want to believe that this brotherhood only goes […]

REVIEW: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn [2020]

“Paying is for dummies” It still surprises me that the so-called DC Extended Universe has a pulse after what’s transpired. Warner Bros. hasn’t helped matters with their muddying of the waters thanks to a standalone Joker film (alongside Jared Leto‘s unceremonious dumping), a newly announced Batman movie (sans Ben Affleck with some ambiguity as far […]

REVIEW: The Assistant [2020]

“What can we do?” There will be people that walk out of Kitty Green‘s The Assistant with a confused shrug and that’s precisely the point. They will wonder why they just sat through an 80-minute distillation of a woman’s workday because they won’t have felt the drama or been able to read between the lines […]

REVIEW: Klaus [2019]

“A true act of good will always sparks another” For a figure as ubiquitous as Santa Claus, the myriad ways in which his origin can be reborn, refashioned, and retrofitted seem infinite. Those seeking a new direction generally take the old and filter it through a contemporary generational lens wherein the jolly man’s title is […]

REVIEW: Olympic Dreams [2020]

“I really want it to be that thing I want it to be” Director Jeremy Teicher and writer/actor Alexi Pappas already made a film about the latter’s Olympic ambitions entitled Tracktown. Shot two years before she placed 17th in the women’s 10,000 m event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, it dealt with a physically injured […]

REVIEW: And Then We Danced [2019]

“It’s the spirit of our nation” To be a Georgian male is to be masculine—especially in dance. Merab’s (Levan Gelbakhiani) teacher Aleko (Kakha Gogidze) demands that he stand straighter and stronger, a monument that can withstand any blow. While his country’s aesthetic had allowed for a softer tone, conservative tradition prevailed a half century ago […]

REVIEW: The Gentlemen [2020]

“Doubt cause chaos and one’s own demise” It begins with a murder: out-of-frame, bloody, and a punctuation mark on Mickey Pearson’s (Matthew McConaughey) monologue about kingdoms and having to be the king when history ceases to be enough. By that he means the criminal underworld and intentionally getting his hands dirty to ensure the level […]

REVIEW: Mémorable [Memorable] [2019]

“Don’t let go of me” Animation allows an artist so much more room to breathe than live action—especially when confronted by issues we can’t see with the naked eye. Bruno Collet‘s topic is dementia and his short film Mémorable [Memorable] depicts it with a stunning beauty via post-modern styles. As Louis’ (André Wilms) falls further […]

REVIEW: Dcera [Daughter] [2019]

Our lives are full of regret. Sometimes we possess the strength to overcome it. Sometimes we don’t try until the opportunity is already lost. This risk is present at the heart of Daria Kashcheeva‘s Dcera [Daughter] and its father/daughter duo quietly at odds while he lies in a hospital bed. Neither is willing to break […]