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 is a marketing ploy to boost box office numbers and give trailer makers something to put next to names of creative. That’s why theaters re-release nominees. That’s why boutique studios hold wide rollouts until foreign…

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REVIEW: The Two Popes [2019]

We need someone to blow the ash away. I’m a lapsed Catholic who cynically wonders why the Pope isn’t considered a false idol—a direct result of my loathing of the church as a corrupt and hypocritical institution. I adopted this position years ago for the same reasons many others have. Catholicism has constantly proven itself to be nothing but alienating to those who would rather see with their own eyes than ignore moral truths by wielding scripture as an excuse for hate. It’s unyielding on certain human rights issues, refuses…

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REVIEW: Bohemian Rhapsody [2018]

Good thoughts. Good words. Good deeds. There’s the story of Freddie Mercury and the story of his band Queen. One deals with complicated topics spanning fractured identity, the excess of fame, and AIDS while the other is apparently straightforward with little conflict besides creative squabbles that get ironed out before the argument is even finished. Is it weird then that Hollywood would deliver the latter? The sad truth is unfortunately no. Going the safe route to make sure all parties involved are happy about their depiction is exactly what Hollywood…

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REVIEW: Darkest Hour [2017]

“It’s not a gift. It’s revenge.” Did you know Winston Churchill was given the Prime Minister position during World War II as a means to appease the opposition party before quickly removing him (once he failed like he always did) for the Conservatives’ actual choice to replace Neville Chamberlain? It’s quite the bit of intrigue considering we all know of his rising to the occasion with back against the wall to rally his nation together for the fight to reclaim Europe against all odds that laid ahead. The great orator…

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Picking Winners at the 87th Annual Academy Awards

Things look pretty cut and dry where the Academy is concerned in 2015. The Oscars are always a somewhat watered-down look at what really mattered in the past year of cinema and this installment is no exception. In fact, it may be all water at this point. That doesn’t mean there can’t be some intriguing surprises in the second-tier categories like Best Animated Feature (I really hope How to Train Your Dragon 2 loses to one of the other much more aesthetically and conceptually unique nominees) or Short Film Animated…

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REVIEW: The Theory of Everything [2014]

“The little one has done it” To me Stephen Hawking has always been synonymous with physics I will never understand and that ubiquitous computerized voice cracking snide jokes. Until I saw the trailer for James Marsh‘s The Theory of Everything I never even knew he was once able to walk. It was kind of a mind blowing revelation for an ignorant fellow such as myself—one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century bound to a wheelchair without motor function suddenly shown to have been a once vibrant young Cambridge…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: Death of a Superhero [2012]

“Life is a sexually transmitted disease” Cancer is one of life’s great fears, a grand equalizer that takes without discretion. Children are lost while their parents watch, talents with the ability to make a difference in the world leave us before their impact can ever be felt, and loved ones pass when after we told ourselves we’d have so more time. For the person dying, however, the outlook becomes both bleaker and brighter. Sure, they are angry with God or whomever they blame for putting them in their impossible position,…

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