REVIEW: Get Out [2017]

“Magic isn’t real” If you ever watched “Key & Peele” you’d know the line between comedy and horror is very fine. Their sketches would often devolve into a horrific situation that you’d have to cry about if you weren’t already laughing. I think of “Aerobics Meltdown” where there’s this hilarious conceit of Keegan-Michael Key and […]

REVIEW: The Croods [2013]

“Never not be afraid” One credit has fascinated me since The Croods opened in theaters: story by John Cleese. That John Cleese? Surprisingly, yes. It’s a somewhat convoluted journey from his failed adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Twits with Kirk DeMicco catching the eye of Dreamworks and earning them the pick of the litter as […]

REVIEW: Enough Said [2013]

“I like your paddles” While many are quick to label it as James Gandolfini‘s final cinematic role, Nicole Holofcener‘s Enough Said shouldn’t be dismissed as mere eulogy. The writer/director’s first foray into the studio world—albeit with indie shingle Fox Searchlight—it retains the voice and sensibility her fans have enjoyed over the past two decades regardless […]

REVIEW: Captain Phillips [2013]

“A little air might do him some good” Despite my affinity for director Paul Greengrass‘ entries to the Bourne Saga, his cinéma vérité style will always in my opinion be better suited for gritty, true-life tales such as the contemporary classics Bloody Sunday and United 93. (We’ll just forget Green Zone ever squeezed its way […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: Begin Again [Can a Song Save Your Life?] [2014]

“Yeah. I just phased out my cassettes.” To answer the title’s question—Can a Song Save Your Life?—writer/director John Carney says, “Yes.” A song can save someone from jumping off a subway platform and someone else from the searing emotional pain of being scorned in love. Music in general is an art form that can move […]

TIFF12 REVIEW: A Late Quartet [2012]

“You just took a quality violin from a real musician” When the cellist of a world-renowned string quartet discovers early onset Parkinson’s is taking away the dexterity needed to continue playing, the will of the entire group is shaken. Conversations about a replacement, questions about continuing, and attempts to keep their friend’s desire to play […]

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 […]

REVIEW: Cyrus [2010]

“Its like a crippled tree reaching for heaven” I’m not sure anyone makes awkward comedies quite like Jay and Mark Duplass. Even though their newly found mainstream status as filmmakers has caused an evolution from the old days of Mumblecore, it hasn’t knocked those off-kilter sensibilities away. Their latest endeavor, Cyrus, is a huge step […]

TIFF10: Day Three Recap

Day Three at TIFF was by far our craziest of the year—seeing five films back-to-back from 11AM to 2:30AM. The late start allowed for a bit of sleeping in for preparation, as well as a semi-lengthy breakfast at Timmy Ho’s, both of which probably kept us from falling asleep during the marathon sittings. And while […]

TIFF10 REVIEW: Trust [2010]

“Just because she didn’t scream doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape” While writing my 2010 Toronto International Film Festival preview, I scoured the internet for poster images of the films I was to see. When it came to David Schwimmer’s sophomore effort Trust, all I discovered was a promo poster featuring a large, determined, floating head […]

REVIEW: Please Give [2010]

“You gonna go see the leaves?” I’ve never seen a film by writer/director Nicole Holofcener, although each has struck my fancy to keep on the shortlist at the back of my mind for future reference. So, when the opportunity came about to view her newest work, Please Give, I knew I had to take it. […]