REVIEW: The Nun [2018]

Mary points the way. There’s a scene in Corin Hardy‘s The Nun where a young postulant receives her vows inside an unholy abbey while the ashes of a dead sister smoke in the background and an unlikely alley loads a shotgun in the fore. It’s the type of moment that should conjure laughs via its absurd juxtaposition and yet anyone who follows The Conjuring franchise knows the inherent severity of its subject matter renders such comically ripe material unintentionally hilarious instead. That’s why so many of these movies find an…

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REVIEW: The Hateful Eight [2015]

“Well I’ll be double-dog damned” It appears Quentin Tarantino has decided to go back to his roots by making his eighth feature film The Hateful Eight in the same vein as his debut Reservoir Dogs—namely keeping sets and actors to the bare minimum for added tension without room for escape. The maneuver couldn’t have come sooner with its predecessor Django Unchained, despite earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, proving to me his weakest work. Not only was it pretty much a watered-down rehash of Inglourious Basterds, it was also…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Dom Hemingway [2013]

“A peasant at heart—with good hair and a strong liver” After finding a ton of work on television recently, it’s good to see writer/director Richard Shepard back in theaters with Dom Hemingway. I’m a big fan of both The Matador and The Hunting Party for their infectious humor despite somewhat mainstream stories. So, learning his latest work centered around an extremely short-tempered, alcoholic safecracker just out of prison whose vain ego was no worse for wear got me excited at the prospect of him possibly going for broke. To a…

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REVIEW: The Heat [2013]

“She’s looking for my balls” The simple fact producers worried a film like The Heat wouldn’t find an audience because females don’t like action and males don’t like women leads is more a commentary on society’s absurd lack of faith in itself than it is on the industry. It’s 2013 and we haven’t yet looked past gender tropes to accept that universal thing called comedy underneath? Whether or not the movie is good shouldn’t take a backseat to the fear of alienating a group of people money managers treat as…

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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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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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