The 91st Oscars recap through tweets …

What a wild ride this Oscars season has been. After so much recent talk about inclusivity and a changing of the guard, it was bound to happen that we’d receive an awkward period of flux. There’s the young crowd cheering a Marvel Cinematic Universe chapter to the franchise’s first Best Picture nominee and the older sect feeling warm and gooey about a story pretending to talk about racism despite really just glossing over the struggle to say most racists are simply misunderstood until sharing a bucket of KFC with the…

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Picking Winners at the 91st Annual Academy Awards

The 91st Annual Academy Awards hits airwaves Sunday, February 24th, 2019 at 8:00pm on ABC. For those handicapping at home, here are the guesses of Buffalo film fanatics Christopher Schobert, William Altreuter, and myself. Jared Mobarak: It’s the type of year where hashtags rhetoric simply won’t work. There’s just not one all encapsulating buzzword to touch upon the myriad problems these nominations face. What do you do when you have a film up for Best Picture that was directed by a known presumed sexual predator who was fired for not…

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Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2018

Below is my December 27th ballot for the 22nd annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2018 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. (No option to abstain was supplied this year.) Best Picture #1 If Beale Street Could Talk #2 You Were Never Really Here #3 Hereditary #4 Eighth Grade #5 BlacKkKlansman #6 The Favourite #7 Annihilation #8 Roma #9 A Star Is Born #10 First Reformed #11 Suspiria Best Animated Film #1 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse #2 Mirai…

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REVIEW: A Star Is Born [2018]

I love the way she sees them. It began with Hollywood as William A. Wellman and Robert Carson won an Oscar for their story about a young actress dreaming of super stardom in 1937. From there it went the way of the movie musical thanks to Judy Garland taking the lead before earning six nominations in 1954. Next came Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson to shift things to the music world with its aging rock star and hopeful songstress adding a 1976 Best Song to the awards cabinet. Now—almost a…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Rock the Box [2015]

“I’m out to destroy that virgin whore dichotomy” The story Katherine Monk brings us in Rock the Box isn’t necessarily unique when you only have to look at the Pop charts to see Miley Cyrus—or Lady Gaga to a more art-house abstraction—doing much of the same thing. What’s different between them and Rhiannon Rozier (DJ Rhiannon) is that EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is far from the same universe as Pop. While it’s become the biggest moneymaking sector in the industry, its not-so-radio-friendly tunes and messages keep it from gaining the…

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The 87th Oscars recap through tweets …

I’m not sure why I keep filling myself with false hope that the Oscars will one day be an entertaining show to watch. The optimism is almost completely unfounded by this point. Whether they go weird (Anne Hathaway and James Franco), safe (Billy Crystal), hip (Seth MacFarlane), or try and steal another show’s success (Neil Patrick Harris), the result is the same. NPH should have been the shot of adrenaline the 87th Annual Academy Awards needed—a song and dance guy who’s young, fun, and funny. Sadly—and I do blame the…

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Top 100 Songs of 2013

#100: Let Us Move On by Dido #99: City of Angels by Thirty Seconds to Mars #98: Exit Wounds by Placebo #97: Flashbacks, Memories, And Dreams by The Virgins #96: Ready to Go by Guards #95: If I Could Change Your Mind by HAIM #94: After the Fire by Andrew McMahon #93: Close Enough by I Can Make a Mess #92: Surrender the Night by My Chemical Romance #91: Come Here by Talib Kweli (ft. Miguel) #90: Mermaids by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds #89: Bad Girls by M.I.A.…

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BNFF13 REVIEW: Submit the Documentary: The Virtual Reality of Cyberbullying [2013]

“Perhaps we were unprepared. Or maybe just naïve.” After the tragic events surrounding Williamsville teen Jamey Rodemeyer’s 2011 suicide helped spark a public outcry against the phenomenon known as cyberbullying, it’s only fitting to see Muta’Ali Muhammad’s Submit the Documentary: The Virtual Reality of Cyberbullying make its second appearance on the festival circuit here in Buffalo, New York. Inspired by Lady Gaga’s music, this openly bisexual young man posted on YouTube, Formspring, and other Social Media sites to share his experiences and work towards preventing the act of which he…

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REVIEW: Sexy Baby [2012]

“What’s snowballing?” Welcome to the digital age of a sexual generation raised on the ever-expanding internet where objectification has become self-inflicted before outside influences can gain the upper hand. By posting photos, videos, and comments on Facebook; sexting friends; dressing provocatively; and projecting an image of desire whether one is actually game to hook-up with whomever is close by or not, America’s children are no longer in the dark. Some accidentally stumble upon porn—images or movies—by the age of 9 depending on parental restrictions and by 12 have cultivated their…

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REVIEW: Kaboom [2011]

“Are you, like, gay or whatever too, or, like, normal?” Using a soundtrack as the score to a generation’s penchant for drugs, sex, and enlightenment, Gregg Araki’s Kaboom portrays a college of liberated psyches running wild to the sounds of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cut Copy, The xx, and Interpol. It’s a collection of music that can define the new century’s beginning—one ruled by a youth without borders, without limitations, and without fear. But the songs don’t blare over the visuals, the characters don’t make blatant reference…

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REVIEW: The Karate Kid [2010]

“They call me Ping Pong Dre” Not only does Sony have the audacity to remake a classic 80s film from my childhood such as The Karate Kid, they change the heritage from Japan to China and the titular karate to kung fu. At one point the new movie was named The Kung Fu Kid, an appropriate alteration considering the very disparate cultures being utilized, but wait, we are dumb Americans that don’t know the difference between the two anyway. China and Japan? You mean Asia right? Don’t they all practice…

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