REVIEW: Savages [2012]

“Money’s not enough. You’ve got to give your heart.” Who’s crueler: a vicious Mexican cartel decapitating men to send a message or a couple Laguna boys willing to do whatever it takes to protect the emotionally damaged girlfriend they share? Being a trick question, the answer is yes. Plain and simply, humanity has forever been plagued by the capacity for evil since the dawn of time, whether a monkey discovering the blunt force trauma capability of a stick or Eve biting that gosh darned apple in Paradise. We yearn for…

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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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REVIEW: Haywire [2012]

“Oh, God. There’s a deer in the car.” If not for the cast list, I would treat Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire as the newest entry to the experimental, off-the-beaten path section of his oeuvre. Without mentioning the larger scale Che—which is quite possibly his least mainstream film of the aughts—this quiet actioner fits right in as a sibling to Bubble and especially The Girlfriend Experience by using an untrained dramatic actress inside a plot playing to her strengths. Mixed Martial Arts fighter Gina Carano won’t be winning awards for her thespian…

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REVIEW: The Girlfriend Experience [2009]

“If they wanted you to be yourself, they wouldn’t be paying you” I like the Ocean’s movies as much as the next guy, but something about Steven Soderbergh’s indie films show how much of a paycheck job those blockbusters are. His artistic endeavors may not always work—see the disappointing Ché Parts 1 & 2—but they do consistently show an auteur trying something new, challenging himself and his viewers. I have not yet seen Bubble, but 2009 brings us his second feature under the HDMovies deal, bringing his films to theatre,…

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Top Ten Films of 2008: The Year of World War II

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all, the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I don’t know what precipitated 2008 being the year of the World War II movie, but of the 100+ releases I saw, six of them concerned it in some regard. The year saw more than its share of war from all decades with Che, Stop-Loss, Waltz with Bashir, and even Tropic Thunder, however, the Holocaust spent…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: Che: Part Two – Guerrilla [2008]

“Maybe our failure will wake them up” After the mild disappointment from Che: Part One – The Argentine, I began to anticipate something better with Che: Part Two – Guerrilla. I probably should have taken the subtitle more literally than I did as I thought maybe this would show us the political conversations and aftermath of the Cuban fight for freedom from Batista. The black and white flash forwards of The Argentine showing the UN speeches and fervor surrounding Che Guevara showed what I hoped would comprise a big chunk…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: Che: Part One – The Argentine [2008]

“Homeland or death” You walk around college campuses and visit concerts or any other place young people may congregate and probably see someone in a t-shirt with some famous Latin American’s mug proudly displayed. Who is that guy and why is he so important? Director Steven Soderbergh has taken it upon himself to open the world’s eyes to the legend that is Ernesto “Che” Guevara, an Argentine revolutionary who helped bring freedom to the Cuban people under the leadership of Fidel Castro. It all sounds so wonderful, until you remember…

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