REVIEW: Gremlins [1984]

“What’d you call this? The putrid stage?” There had been gremlins in existence before the diminutive green monsters screenwriter Chris Columbus, director Joe Dante, and creature creator Chris Walas imagined and yet theirs are the ones we immediately think about when the word is uttered. The design is a far cry from Bugs Bunny’s colorful adversary in 1943’s “Falling Hare” or the human sized counterpart opposite William Shatner in the 1963 “Twilight Zone” episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and by far the creepiest. From their reptilian skin, mucus covered sharp…

Read More

REVIEW: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters [2013]

“Dead camper walking” Much like he did on Harry Potter, director Chris Columbus ushered Rick Riordan‘s young adult world of demigods to film with sure-handed exposition and a fun flair for the fantastical—if not necessarily visual excitement. The Lightning Thief introduced its hero Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) just as he became aware of his true identity and the power at his disposal. A sprawling adventure followed with he and companions Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) wherein a plethora of Greek myths got thrown our way in an…

Read More

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…

Read More

REVIEW: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [2010]

“It’s like High School, but without the Musical” Who else could have the catchy pop beats to lull a trio of mythologically inclined heroes into a trance, keeping them from their task at hand, than Lady Gaga? Director Chris Columbus made the right call on that one as he takes the plunge into yet another popular fantasy series, hoping to achieve the success he had in starting the Harry Potter saga. My main gripe with the first two films there was that he stayed too true to the source material,…

Read More

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [2007]

“Naughty children deserve to be punished” **Spoilers Included** For starters: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was by far my least favorite book in the series. Not much happens until the end—which is actually pretty good. There is a lot of repetition through the beginning of the story and Harry’s adolescent anger and temper just get plain annoying. After enjoying how the fourth book was adapted into film, I was hoping we’d get more of the same here with a distilled version where main plot is paramount and…

Read More

REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code [2006]

“O’ Draconian Devil” Finally I can cross The Da Vinci Code off my list of movies to see. While I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I was on the fence when the prospect of going to the theater came up. In the end I realized it needed to be seen on the big screen and I’m glad that was my decision. It of course paled in comparison to the book, but all in all was still a successful adaptation that stayed true for its entirety. Unfortunately, because it stayed so true…

Read More