TIFF19 REVIEW: Bad Education [2020]

What we have works. How much would you spend on your child’s education? Lori Loughlin money? Or more working class parent utilizing public schools while voting Republican to keep taxes low? What’s so crazy about America is that the ethical gap between isn’t that large. We’re a nation priding ourselves on a lie about having the best schools because we’re blind to our own self-sabotage. The kids aren’t the only victims either when overworked/underpaid teachers and administrators are treated like dirt by delusional parents. The same parents that share uplifting…

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REVIEW: A Happening of Monumental Proportions [2018]

Choose, commit, and move. Men have it tough don’t they? I mean they have to worry about married women they’ve engaged in inner-office affairs with ratting them out to the new boss. Some are forced to face the crushing existential crisis that comes with their failed pipe dreams of rock stardom revealing how they’re nothing but lowly private school music teachers who’ve accomplished nothing in their lives—including, apparently, educating the children in their class. And don’t get me started on the ones who must endure the untimely death of their…

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The 90th Oscars recap through tweets …

If you thought this year’s Oscars were going to do something crazy or exciting, you haven’t been paying attention. Between the envelope-gate incident of 2017 and the fact that this was a “multiple of ten” anniversary, the 90th Annual Academy Awards was going to do everything it could to right the ship and ensure nothing overshadowed the winners’ list. And for the most part they succeeded—often at the detriment of the show itself. But that’s their fault for alway trying to make it more than what it is: an awards…

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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 #1 Dunkirk #2 Call Me By Your Name #3 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri #4 Get Out #5 The Shape of Water #6 The Florida Project #7 mother! #8 Lady Bird ABSTAIN…

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REVIEW: I, Tonya [2017]

“I mean those bitches didn’t know what hit ’em” You don’t get more American than 1994, a year when O.J. Simpson was arrested in conjunction with the brutal murder of his ex-wife and her friend just five months after Nancy Kerrigan made a stunning recovery to win silver at the Winter Olympics despite having her knee clubbed barely thirty days earlier. The twenty-four hour news cycle was in its infancy to the point that one could say this year cemented it as the tragedy-driven entertainment enterprise it has become today.…

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REVIEW: The Girl on the Train [2016]

“I’m not the girl I used to be” I like unreliable narrators because it’s fun to witness actions unfolding without knowing whether anything onscreen is real. The person could be a liar, schizophrenic, a secondary source ignorant to pertinent facts, or simply mistaken. So I got excited upon learning of Paula Hawkins‘ The Girl on the Train and its lead Rachel (Emily Blunt). Here was a character who literally knew nothing but what she was told. A raging alcoholic prone to nightly blackouts, her reality becomes the stories told in…

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REVIEW: Spy [2015]

“I’ve swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer” The Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy train continues forward with James Bond spoof Spy after the box office successes of Bridesmaids and The Heat (with Ghostbusters still forthcoming). This installment sees McCarthy as the bona fide star, onscreen for practically the entire duration as CIA analyst turned field agent Susan Cooper. She’s been in the earpiece of top operative Bradley Fine (Jude Law) for so long that she’s probably saved his life more times than he’s killed people,…

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REVIEW: The DUFF [2015]

“Can I have some peaches and pears?” CBS Films and Lionsgate are using an interesting approach to pitch The DUFF. Watching their first trailer made me check the calendar, wondering if I had somehow been transported back in time. Not only were they openly calling someone a Designated Ugly Fat Friend to her face as though it’s merely a fact worth noting, they were doing so to someone who isn’t close to being either pejorative. This atrocity set itself up to go the tired ugly duckling route, telling girls they…

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REVIEW: Tammy [2014]

“You wanna go ride a cow?” I like Melissa McCarthy and her trademarked hard-edged, scumbag persona in films. She’s often the best part of things that don’t work—Identity Thief—and those that do—Bridesmaids. So I’d love to blame someone else for how tired and frankly unfunny her latest Tammy is despite knowing I can’t. She co-wrote the road trip comedy with her husband Ben Falcone while he also directed. Maybe there was some interference courtesy of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell lending their shingle to the production, but I’d be surprised…

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REVIEW: Mr. Peabody & Sherman [2014]

“But that’s not fair! All my friends are fighting the Trojan War!” It’s been a decade in the making but director Rob Minkoff has finally brought Mr. Peabody and Sherman to theaters. He tried with Sony in 2003, got the ball rolling again with Dreamworks in 2006, and saw the latter studio’s purchase of the Classic Media library in 2012 as the clincher to guarantee it’d come to fruition. With characters known from segments of the 60s television series “The Bullwinkle Show”, they’re virtually a brand new property for today’s…

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