Picking Winners at the 90th Annual Academy Awards

The 90th Annual Academy Awards hits airwaves Sunday, March 4th, 2018 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: This new look Academy is really starting to pay dividends. The fight for representation might have begun with a focus on the acting categories (there are four POC actors nominated this year out of twenty slots), but it’s expanded much further in a very short period of time. This 90th year of Oscar becomes…

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Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2017

Below is my December 24th ballot for the 21st annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2017 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. (We were only allowed to vote for one nominee per category this year, but I ranked them all like previous years anyway.) Best Picture #1Dunkirk #2Call Me ByYour Name #3Three BillboardsOutsideEbbing, Missouri #4Get Out #5The Shapeof Water #6The FloridaProject #7mother! #8Lady Bird ABSTAINA Ghost Story DIDN’T SEEPhantom Thread Best Animated Film #1Coco #2The Breadwinner #3In This…

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REVIEW: Molly’s Game [2017]

“I’ll bet heavy on the favorite” There’s a common theme throughout much of Aaron Sorkin‘s work the past few years of focusing on the unlikely redeemable qualities of figures easily reduced and reviled by a general public quick to judge without all the facts. You see it in The Social Network and its quest to humanize the abrasive wunderkind at the back of Facebook. It’s there in “The Newsroom” and its desire to show what a media network with integrity in the face of ratings wars can look like. And…

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Picking Winners at the 88th Annual Academy Awards

For those handicapping at home, here are the guesses of Buffalo film fanatics Christopher Schobert, William Altreuter, and myself. Jared Mobarak: Here’s hoping Chris Rock does his best Ricky Gervais as far as not caring about political correctness or duty to kissing up to the celebrities all dressed-up nice because having him host the 2016 Oscars ceremony amidst the whole #OscarsSoWhite controversy is an opportunity not to be squandered. Two years in a row with no black actor/actress up for gold? That’s a major problem with The Academy and the…

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REVIEW: Steve Jobs [2015]

“Computers aren’t paintings” Despite being an Apple guy from way back playing with LOGO the turtle in grade school before eventually swapping out MacBook Pros every five years or so from college on, I never really cared who Steve Jobs was beyond the kindly looking genius in a black turtleneck. To me the appeal was ease of use—I embraced the closed system Aaron Sorkin’s script readily attributes to Jobs—and the design. How can you not love the packaging, look, and logo during the Jobs 2.0 era? It’s impeccable. Whether or…

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Picking Winners at the 84th Annual Academy Awards

For the next week and a half, Spree contributor William C. Altreuter, our online film reviewer Jared Mobarak, and me will share our thoughts on who will take home the Oscars. Let’s kick things off with … Best Supporting Actress. —C. S. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy MillerJessica Chastain – The Help as Celia FooteMelissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids as Megan PriceJanet McTeer – Albert Nobbs as Hubert PageOctavia Spencer – The Help as Minny Jackson Christopher Schobert: Bill, it seems like every time you and I tackle…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: Moneyball [2011]

“Now we’re gutted—organ donors for the rich” Did Billy Beane change the game of baseball? If the epilogue to Moneyball is to be believed, he did—to a point. General Manager of a team that was one win away from a World Series birth and watching his star trio walk for giant paydays, anyone would be dejected and unsure how to move forward. The Oakland A’s owner had no money to spend, his scouts were pushing sixty years old and cared more about whether their ballplayers had pretty faces than if…

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The 83rd Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • Oscar time … congrats to The King’s Speech … why bother with the show when everyone thinks they know the winner? The 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony was quite possibly its worst incarnation the past decade. And things finally seemed to be going the right way. Hugh Jackman was fun; Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were lukewarm, but the show was fun; and Neil Patrick Harris is Neil Patrick Harris. NPH can do no wrong. Much in that vein, I thought the pairing of James Franco and Anne…

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Top Ten Films of 2010: Dark Fantasy Cinema

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all—141 seen is this year’s number—the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I remember thinking around April that there hadn’t been a truly great film released yet. After summer came and went with little to cheer about, I feared 2010 would be a gigantic bust containing a ton of decent to good films, but only a handful of great ones. And then—like it seems…

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Picking Winners at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards

Spree contributing writer William Altreuter, graphic designer Jared Mobarak, and I are going to share our thoughts on this week’s Oscar nominations. Let’s kick things off with a category whose victor—Colin “Mr. Darcy” Firth—seems to have already been agreed upon. — Christopher Schobert Best Actor:Javier Bardem: BiutifulJeff Bridges: True GritJesse Eisenberg: The Social NetworkColin Firth: The King’s SpeechJames Franco: 127 Hours William Altreuter: If the Academy had wanted to make a statement Jim Carrey‘s amazing turn in I Love You Phillip Morris would have found its way onto this list. Wouldn’t that…

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REVIEW: The Social Network [2010]

“Farm animals …” We all might have shook our heads when dark noir extraordinaire David Fincher signed up to direct this so called “Facebook Movie”, but in a matter of five minutes all reservations are rendered moot. It begins with a Mamet-esque tit for tat between Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg (perfect casting anyone?) and his soon to be ex-girlfriend Erica, played by Rooney Mara. Don’t get me wrong, Aaron Sorkin is no screenwriting slouch, the Mamet notion just popped into my head and I say it complimentary. The cuts between…

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