TIFF14 REVIEW: 归来 [Gui lai] [Coming Home] [2014]

“So you do have a heart” I kept trying to think about what films Zhang Yimou‘s 归来 [Gui lai] [Coming Home] reminded me of while watching. Obvious ones came to mind like Away From Her and Amour where Gong Li‘s Yu was concerned and even Atonement for Huiwan Zhang‘s Dandan. But it was a fellow […]

TIFF12 REVIEW: Anna Karenina [2012]

“If you’re a good man you’ll forget everything” When TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling introduced the newest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s Anna Karenina by saying director Joe Wright appropriately played up the theatricality of the novel, I wasn’t quite prepared for the blatant transparency where his stylistic approach’s artifice was concerned. As the camera […]

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: Biutiful Jeff Bridges: True Grit Jesse Eisenberg: The […]

The Most Anticipated Films of 2011

While Jon Favreau may say that 2011 looks to have a bloodbath summer on its hands with blockbusters galore taking 3D screens from each other, I’ll say right now that those aren’t the movies most intriguing me. Next year sees a return for Jack Sparrow, Lightning McQueen, Holmes and Watson, the Witwickys, Ethan Hunt, and, […]

Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the […]

REVIEW: The Soloist [2009]

“You couldn’t stop that earthquake” Director Joe Wright’s new film The Soloist seemed an odd follow up to his great Pride and Prejudice and Atonement adaptations. To go from a period drama to a WWII romance to … the discovery of a homeless Julliard dropout on the streets of LA isn’t quite the trajectory I […]

REVIEW: The Bank Job [2008]

“Knee-deep in fried chicken” I think the fact that The Bank Job is based on a true story makes it more intriguing then it possibly should. As a whole, the film is pretty standard fare for the genre, a bunch of amateurs attempting a huge heist, government conspiracies behind it all, secrets at every turn, […]

REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice [2005]

“You have bewitched me, body and soul” Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice is a truly solid bit of filmmaking. I can’t say whether it is a good adaptation or not, being I have not read the novel nor seen the other film treatments, however, as a piece of work in its own right, it succeeds […]

Top 25 Films of 2007

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 114 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Away From Her directed by Sarah Polley. #24: Cassandra’s Dream directed by Woody Allen. #23: The Cake Eaters directed byMary Stuart Masterson #22: Grindhouse directed byQuentin […]

Top Ten Films of 2007: The Year of the Adaptation

It was a year of many genres. We had some musicals, a few dramas, comedies galore, a little sci-fi, and a couple bio-pics sprinkled in to satiate the kiddies and Oscar voters. If anything, I guess one trend seemed to rise above, that being the adaptation, whether from plays (Sweeney Todd), novels (Zodiac), or comics […]

REVIEW: Atonement [2007]

“No rhymes and no embellishments” Ladies and gentlemen, a hand for director Joe Wright; he has crafted a masterpiece. With resemblances to films like Cold Mountain and A Very Long Engagement, Atonement is just so much more. Visually stunning, intellectually stimulating, and forever heartbreaking, Wright has made a movie like no other this year. Sure […]