REVIEW: The Natural [1984]

“The only homer I know has four bases in it” There’s a lot going on in Barry Levinson‘s The Natural and baseball is the least of it. The film had always been a blind spot for me as I’m not a fan of the sport and thus could never bring myself to watch—”classic” status or not. So the opportunity to sit down and experience it on the big screen after enjoying a lengthy interview session between Ben Mankiewicz and Levinson courtesy of Turner Classic Movies became my excuse to drop…

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REVIEW: The 9th Life of Louis Drax [2016]

“More than all the fish in the sea” Ten years after Anthony Minghella optioned Liz Jensen‘s The 9th Life of Louis Drax to develop cinematically, it was his son Max who saw it begin production. The younger Minghella’s first credited screenplay, probably brought to director Alexandre Aja on set of their previous collaboration Horns, it would ultimately take another two for the finished film’s release. If I were to wager a guess as to why I’d say the distributors found themselves painted in a corner unable to figure out how…

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REVIEW: Answers to Nothing [2011]

“Why should I wait six months to be happy?” So much happens in Matthew Leutwyler’s Answers to Nothing, but how much is actually relevant? An adulterous husband with a rockstar mistress and lawyer wife, a police detective best friend and her key suspect in a child kidnapping case, a recently graduated police officer and his grade school teacher neighbor, a racist black television writer and the soundboard mixer she meets while walking their dogs, and a recovering alcoholic caring for her brain dead brother all cross paths in Los Angeles.…

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REVIEW: Insidious [2011]

“Last night I watched myself sleep … then I flew away” Ever since James Wan and Leigh Whannell collaborated on what became a franchised sensation in Saw, expectations for the two were high. I haven’t seen their second film, Dead Silence, but I do remember press being positive and the creepiness of dolls—a motif the two seem to champion, (look at the chalkboards for an Easter Egg here)—quite unnerving. So, with the buzz on their newest horror film, Insidious, almost universally great, I became excited for what could be an…

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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: Black Swan [2010]

“Get ready to give me more of that bite” The line from Darren Aronofsky’s debut feature Pi, ‘When I was a little kid, my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So when I was six, I did.’ wouldn’t get out of my head throughout his newest, Black Swan. After tackling a pretty straightforward tale in The Wrestler, the auteur went back to his roots, embracing the psychological terrors of humanity. Similar to Pi’s Maximillian Cohen—a reclusive genius driven mad by his work—Nina Sayers is a closeted young…

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