REVIEW: Chappie [2015]

“I want to go home” I understand the general public not wanting to go as far into sci-fi as Neill Blomkamp goes with Chappie—although they loved the similar lengths of District 9—but it’s hard to believe the critical sphere has taken such a hard stance against it. Actually, maybe it’s not too difficult to believe after they’ve railed against it for months, anticipating a bomb due to the writer/director’s admittedly failed sophomore effort Elysium. In direct contrast to their relish at taking it down, I found it to be very…

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REVIEW: Elysium [2013]

“The hippo wanted a friend” It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a guy like writer/director Neill Blomkamp would find his sophomore effort lacking in intelligently original storytelling despite an infusion of studio money to help elevate what was already a stellar visual aesthetic. His Academy Award nominated District 9 shocked the world via its biting political message in recreating his home country’s darkest days of Apartheid with amazing alien effects by Image Engine. If anything he was too good his first time out and as a result found his new high…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2012: Meet the new poster, same as the old one

“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. Not even superhero heaven can save this summer from continuing its uninspiring dearth of quality posters. But what do you expect when there are four sequels/reboots in the mix? A…

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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: BiutifulJeff Bridges: True GritJesse Eisenberg: The Social NetworkColin Firth: The King’s SpeechJames Franco: 127 Hours William Altreuter: If the Academy had wanted to make a statement Jim Carrey‘s amazing turn in I Love You Phillip Morris would have found its way onto this list. Wouldn’t that…

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REVIEW: Skyline [2010]

“What happens when the rest of the blinds fall?” How long does it take an alien invasion to wipe out Earth? According to the Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg, who last gave us Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem—a worse movie than this), less than three days. In that time, Matrix-like Sentinels morphed into a biometric composition a la “skin job” Cylons, can enter our atmosphere, mesmerize all who look into their light, and suck them up, leaving the streets and buildings below vacant. It all happens out of nowhere at…

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REVIEW: Parallel Lines [2010]

“Five very different films. One piece of dialogue” Bravo Phillips for coming up with one of the best marketing maneuvers I’ve seen this side of BMW, (I still love The Hire and have the DVD). Not only did they commission five short films to comprise Parallel Lines, helping showcase their new Cinema 21:9 LCD TV, they put a very specific constraint on the project. The directors involved—commercial and music video auteurs—could create whatever their heart desired, in whatever medium from live action to animation, yet they had to use the…

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The 82nd Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • NPH in sequins … i guess that’s something … The 82nd Annual Oscars ceremony begins, yet the hosts are nowhere to be found. Have we gotten to the point now where we need a lead-in for the most assuredly lame/very PC stand-up routine? We need to get the ball rolling for the ball that gets the show rolling? And they wonder why it always goes over its allotted timeslot. So, not only do we have to be introduced to all the lead acting nominees—because anyone watching doesn’t know…

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Picking Winners at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

Some Oscar nomination thoughts, the morning after: William Altreuter: Best Picture: The Hurt Locker. James Cameron backlash, plus Hollywood self-seriousness = victory! Best Actor: Jeff Bridges. Everybody loved Clooney, but he’s in something good every year. Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci. Just a hunch. Best Actress: Sandra Bullock. Did you realize she’s forty-five years old? Not exactly the best argument against the proposition that there are no roles for women over twenty-four, since she plays at least ten years younger, but still. Plus the Streep movie wasn’t that good (even though she…

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Top 25 Films of 2009

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 153 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: An Education directed by Lone Scherfig #24: The Box directed by Richard Kelly #23: Sunshine Cleaning directed by Christine Jeffs #22: The Road directed by John Hillcoat #21: District 9 directed by Neill Blomkamp #20: Fantastic Mr. Fox directed by Wes Anderson #19: Lebanon directed by Samuel Maoz. #18: The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow. #17: Los abrazos rotos[Broken Embraces]…

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REVIEW: District 9 [2009]

“There’s many secrets in District 9” Can we all agree that the demise of Halo the movie could possibly be one of Hollywood’s greatest moves in the past two years? Sure, Peter Jackson was behind the scenes and his handpicked, first-time director Neill Blomkamp was crafting some pretty nifty test footage, but would the studio machine have left their vision intact? I’m hard-pressed to say yes. Instead, however, that failure led to Jackson’s funding of an original screenplay for his new buddy Neil, titled District 9, that would eventually take…

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