TIFF15 REVIEW: Into the Forest [2016]

“It reveals character” The farther we advance towards a world of complete convenience, the further we distance ourselves from self-sufficiency. Every new generation loses more skills and know-how of what humanity was capable of for millennia to survive. We choose careers in dance and the arts, leave books collecting dust when the internet is at our fingertips, and take comfort in the assumption we’re only minutes away from acquiring what we need so technology can continue sustaining us into the future. So what happens when the power goes out? What’s…

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Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Preview

We may have two consistent film festivals here in town showcasing small releases and restored classics, but you might not realize how close we are to one of the biggest in the world. Most “in the know” will center on five events when thinking about the best of the best film festivals and while Venice, Cannes, and Berlin are an ocean away and Sundance is across the country, The Toronto International Film Festival is less than a two-hour drive via the QEW into Canada. Even better than proximity, though, is…

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Queen City Roller Girls: New Venue Planned and More

With all the hoopla surrounding Buffalo’s football and hockey seasons despite not having fielded a bona fide winner in far too long, it’s easy to forget our city has more than just the Bills and Sabres to satisfy its lust for sports victory. We have Bisons baseball, Bandits lacrosse, and even FC Buffalo soccer all calling downtown home. But there’s another league you may have missed—possibly due to their residing in suburban North Tonawanda or maybe because they don’t play the kind of sport you see regularly on ESPN’s “SportsCenter”.…

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REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past [2014]

“Mind the glass” If you have a storyline at your disposal capable of continuing two separate iterations of a single cinematic franchise simultaneously, you’d be a laughing stock not to take it. Credit Fox for seizing this opportunity to create something not even Marvel proper has dared to do quite yet. Would they have made the attempt had Star Trek not already used time travel in a way that didn’t completely alienate its summer blockbuster movie-going audience? I’d be interested to hear the producers’ thoughts on this because I’m not…

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REVIEW: X-Men: The Last Stand [2006]

“Same as the Professor: visiting an old friend.” I’m sad to inform you that X-Men: The Last Stand did not age well. Not that anyone called it great when it was released—it was little more than serviceable then—but boy does it falter when viewed in close proximity with the two stellar entries coming before it. I’d like to blame Bryan Singer for jumping ship to DC so he could helm Superman Returns or even Matthew Vaughn and his family issues preventing him from taking the reins. Heck, I’d love to…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & More

“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. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2013: ‘Stoker,’ ‘Place Beyond the Pines,’ ‘Spring Breakers’ & More

“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. I’m honestly not sure if it is possible to cram more movies in one 31-day period (five Fridays!). Let’s just say the dump month doldrums have ceased and we’ve moved…

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REVIEW: Super [2010]

“Now you have no legs!” Writer/director James Gunn definitely has a unique sensibility. His debut feature, Slither, was a comedic horror than crossed the line into farce often while still retaining a great eye for gore and violence, appealing to both genres equally. So, when I heard his newest film, Super, was a look into the world of a down-on-his-luck sadsack who decides to become a superhero avenger, recruiting a young female sidekick along the way, I couldn’t help think it was the perfect setting to let Gunn’s imagination run…

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REVIEW: Inception [2010]

“True inspiration is impossible to fake” Say what you will about Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, while both may be great, they simply show Christopher Nolan’s skill at telling a good story with emotion, action, and drama. What sets the auteur on another level of genius than pretty much anyone working in or out of Hollywood today is the imagination let loose in his other films. The ingenuity of storytelling, the intellectual gravitas, and the visionary worlds he leads us through are, quite simply, without compare. But, no matter…

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Jammers skating through the pivots and blockers … Queen City Roller Girls

After watching Drew Barrymore’s surprisingly good film Whip It, I had roller derby on my mind. A couple weeks earlier I had been in Toronto for the city’s International Film Festival and watched as they constructed an outdoor rink to be played on as promotion for that film and a couple months later Buffalo Spree did a cover story on Buffalo’s own league, The Queen City Roller Girls. Leave it to our fair city to have a roller derby league able to capitalize on all the new hype—we have it…

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REVIEW: Whip It [2009]

“Cause shoes are a gateway drug” Bravo Drew Barrymore, who thought you had it in you? I am a self-proclaimed hater of this former child actress turned mediocre adult actress/producer. I did love Donnie Darko, though, and she did play a part in getting it made, but her role was atrocious. So, one may infer where my head was upon sitting down at the screening for Whip It—complete with Buffalo’s own roller derby girls in attendance—to see if she could pull an Affleck, (which isn’t fair since I think he’s…

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