REVIEW: Love, Antosha [2019]

I never eat the boogers. In an attempt to comfort after the death of their son, Viktor Yelchin suggested to his wife Irina Korina that they should just pretend he’s off on a very long movie shoot. That’s what Anton Yelchin often did anyway with sixty-plus film and television credits to his name by the age of twenty-seven, but things aren’t so simple when it comes to someone as caring as their child. Because even when he was thousands of miles away, Anton would inevitably call, email, or write his…

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REVIEW: Money Monster [2016]

“It’s time to throw some punches” The show must and will go on. This is the lesson Jodie Foster‘s latest thriller Money Monster provides above its suspense-fueled look into corporate greed and Wall Street’s seemingly Teflon-covered skin. I don’t know if it was written this way by Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, and Jamie Linden or if Foster put the more global arena spin of humanity’s craving for disaster on the other end of a television screen during the editing process, but you can’t help get slapped in the face by…

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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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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: The Beaver [2011]

“Look at you—stone-drunk and flattened by a television” We hear it all the time and we know it’s a lie: Everything will be okay. No it won’t; it’s impossible and anyone who thinks different is deluded. There will always be missteps, depression, tragedy, guilt, remorse—they are unavoidable. But those instances of darkness should never become who we are. And just because we are all misunderstood doesn’t mean we are invisible. Yes, we all go through the same rotten system of life’s lesser gifts, but we are still unique creatures. What…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #10: Bugsy Malone [1976]

“I’ve spent my entire life coming back tomorrow” A director with a career infused by music for three decades, Alan Parker’s feature length debut came in the form of Bugsy Malone. Completely populated by kids under seventeen, it’s a gangster film that exists as though in an alternate reality, working on all levels whether treated seriously or as farce. The child actors are in Prohibition-era specific costumes, attend a popular speakeasy run by the biggest crime boss in town, and talk the talk as though they’ve lived the life, seen…

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REVIEW: RED [2010]

“Did you vacuum?” My only knowledge of director Robert Schwentke was that he helmed the Jodie Foster vehicle Flightplan that didn’t interest me in the slightest and the sub-par adaptation yet very effective film version of The Time Traveler’s Wife. So, I wasn’t sure on whether his newest comedic actioner RED would end up being a hit or miss despite a couple of very fun trailers. Ends up Schwentke directed a couple well-received German language works to begin his career trajectory to Hollywood too, he isn’t just some hack brought…

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FILM MARATHON #3: Movie Musicals (Broadway & Original)

The reason I started doing my marathon series was to finally start seeing films I’ve neglected and needed to see. Doing the filmography of Terrence Malick couldn’t have turned out better with some of the greatest works of cinema I’ve ever seen. Days of Heaven easily vaulted itself into my top 10 of all-time and The Thin Red Line wasn’t too far behind. Checking out Julia Roberts films might have made me realize I’ve been wrongly ignoring her abilities as an actor, but Malick has given me a new auteur…

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INTERVIEW: Debra Granik, writer/director of Winter’s Bone

While attending the 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival in Rochester, I was struck by the selection of festival winners screening for its Upstate New York audience. With so many award-winners, I went in blindly to whatever fit into my schedule, experiencing work I wouldn’t have a chance to see in theatres for months, if at all, here in Buffalo. After three straight days of movies, Winter’s Bone, the winner of the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Drama, ended up being the final film of my tenure there. I…

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REVIEW: The Runaways [2010]

“I want to hear you fun girls growl” Welcome to the coming out party for the new, adult Dakota Fanning. The movie may be called The Runaways, after the band for which it depicts, but this is most definitely the Cherie Currie story. When I first heard about the film beginning production, as well as all the hype surrounding Kristen Stewart’s casting as Joan Jett, I really couldn’t have cared less about the project. I chalked it up to being just another ‘making of the band’ tome of sex, drugs,…

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REVIEW: The Brave One [2007]

“It’s not cream, it’s vanilla” It appears all the critical response I read was true when it came to Neil Jordan’s The Brave One. Derivative, predictable, repetitive, and slow are all words that can be used to describe it. I remember hearing that Jordan himself was never too enthused about the movie either, pretty much saying that it wasn’t his, he was just a hired hand to get it all on screen. Well, it sure felt that way as there is no originality or flair at all, just a very…

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