REVIEW: An Ordinary Man [2018]

“I am myth” Despite being someone known for family friendly fare (Casper and A Series of Unfortunate Events), Brad Silberling was always the guy behind the under-rated Moonlight Mile to me. Beyond its sentimentality and contrivances, it cemented his name as one to follow. Besides 10 Items or Less, however, he career mostly shifted from film to television. I’ll admit I eventually forgot this name during the fifteen years since taking note, its appearance as writer and director of An Ordinary Man reminding me of the potential it held. Even…

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REVIEW: The Jungle Book [2016]

“You did not respond to reason so now you will know fear” Looking back at Disney’s 1967 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book objectively may surprise you as it’s little more than a sing-a-long loosely tied into a low-stakes adventure of escape from the big bad jungle that’s ultimately portrayed as sympathetic if still dangerous. Anyone over eight will be bored by its lack of substance and tired of its silly humor—Shere Khan’s menace providing the sole bit of resonant impact beyond its frivolity. So it’s not difficult to…

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REVIEW: The Walk [2015]

“The carrots are cooked” I’ve yet to watch the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, but it’s hard not to get swept up in its daredevil intrigue. Depicting the “artistic crime of the century,” Frenchman Philippe Petit illegally hung a wire between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and walked across multiple times to the dismay of New York City police officers on either side begging him to stop. Nik Wallenda may be the latest wire-walker to make international headlines—a man whose family has seen tragedy befall those taking up the…

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REVIEW: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb [2014]

“They’ll burn up like tiny scarabs in Sinai” It appears director Shawn Levy and new screenwriters David Guion and Michael Handelman have thrown the jokey nature of Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant‘s Battle of the Smithsonian away to bring the Night at the Museum series back to what first made it a success. Secret of the Tomb reminded me a lot of the original installment with a thinly veiled metaphor once again providing the dramatic arc for Larry Daley’s (Ben Stiller) adventure, this time showing a need to say…

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REVIEW: The Boxtrolls [2014]

“We’re exterminating justice!” If it didn’t take Laika so long to produce a feature film due to the meticulous process inherent with their stop-motion aesthetic, I have to believe they’d be as prolifically successful as Pixar. I might say I even like their sensibilities more because while they too deal with morality lessons every child should have an outlet to deal with, they do it without fear of the darker bits of humanity coming through. It’s not that fare like Coraline and ParaNorman are inappropriate for young children—on the contrary,…

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REVIEW: All Hail the King [2014]

“Bloody hell. It’s not exactly the Ritz is it?” I loved Iron Man 3. I know I might be in the minority, but Shane Black and Drew Pearce‘s creation was right up my alley comedy-wise and twist-wise. It really pissed off fans that thought the whole Mandarin thing was a giant cop-out: you know, him being Aldich Killian (Guy Pearce) by way of Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley). I get their affinity for canon and desire to have an over-the-top villain such as he brought to life, but Marvel has steeped…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2013: ‘Ender’s Game,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘Frozen,’ ‘Oldboy’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Summer is here! Well, at least the summer we hoped to have when the sun was still shining out my window. Yes, the requisite Oscar bait arrives with a few…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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REVIEW: Iron Man 3 [2013]

“How did you get out of the wormhole?” Phase Two of Marvel’s cinematic universe begins with the character that started their astronomically successful multi-narrative platform—Iron Man. And while a line of text following the always-assured post-credits sequence states that “Tony Stark will be back”, the question remains whether or not actor Robert Downey Jr. will be under the helmet. It’s therefore no surprise to see the studio looking to end this trilogy with a bit of arc closure just in case as the progression from a once billionaire playboy to…

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REVIEW: The Dictator [2012]

“Where’s the trashcan?” After starring in three films and on television in two countries by engaging unwitting audiences in a guerilla-style ambush of often cruel and lewd comedy proving he hadn’t a shred of modesty, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s days of anonymity have officially ended. Utilizing many of the same collaborators behind the scenes as his last few creative endeavors, The Dictator exists inside a fully scripted world because the Englishman’s antics have become too widely documented. Gone are the days when a ‘supreme beard’ could hide his identity from an…

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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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