REVIEW: Nocturnal Animals [2016]

“Sometimes it’s not good to change things so much” One movie stood out in 2009: fashion designer Tom Ford‘s unlikely directorial debut A Single Man. It had style to spare and amazing performances (Colin Firth‘s Oscar loss was vindicated a year later), but its emotionality was its greatest strength. Ford created this tragic whirlwind and found a glimmer of hope—a way out of the darkness to acknowledge there’s more life yet to live. That was the trait I looked forward to experiencing on a larger scale with his follow-up Nocturnal…

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REVIEW: Sully [2016]

“A delay is better than a disaster” I found myself siding with snarky detractors when Clint Eastwood announced he was tackling a biopic about Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger because it seemed rather anticlimactic. Could you truly find a captivating feature length film in the paltry 208-seconds from engine failure to splash landing? We already know everyone survives and already hail the pilot as the hero he deserves to be known as. So where’s the drama beyond reenactment better suited for a documentary focusing on those who actually experienced the ‘Miracle on…

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REVIEW: The Fifth Estate [2013]

“Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth” As reporters from The Guardian and The New York Times are shown sifting through hundreds of thousands of leaked documents uploaded to the Wikileaks site by Chelsea Manning (then Bradley) in 2010, the acronym EOF is clearly defined as “Escalation of Force” in a blatant swipe at the US government’s penchant for unnecessary killing in the Middle East. While the term explains what America did wrong, it’s also relevant to the speed at which Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate…

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REVIEW: Hyde Park on Hudson [2012]

“I’ll have another!” Franklin Delano Roosevelt was much more than the President of the United States to Margaret “Daisy” Suckley—she was also his sixth cousin. The two knew each other in brief snapshots from family gatherings in upstate New York where the wheelchair-bound leader of America found his old home a refuge from the political chaos of Washington, DC. If he could run the country from Hyde Park on Hudson, he would. The land gave him peace of mind through long drives along winding roads and atop fields of tall…

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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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360|365FF10 REVIEW: The City of Your Final Destination [2010]

“How could any outsider understand this place?” A two and a half hour round trip to see a movie may appear crazy on the surface, but when it’s for opening night of something as well put together as the 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival, all is completely sane. Attending the first screening wasn’t in my original plans; I was supposed to just arrive for the weekend. Thankfully, though, I decided to throw caution to the wind and drive up for director James Ivory and his newest work, The City…

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The new (sort of) 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival preview

Previously known as the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival, the actual event will be holding its ninth annual incarnation, but it will be the first under the name 360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival. It’s a six-day ode to film, full of features, documentaries, shorts and children’s programs, bringing both new and restored old classics to the big screen. According to the press release, this will be the first time a major film archive will have aligned with a contemporary film festival, something that is an amazing…

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REVIEW: Jindabyne [2007]

“Your granddaughter had her first murder” Guilt and how it affects the lives of those it surrounds seems to be a big factor in the writings of Raymond Carver. A few of his short stories were interweaved together a while back by Robert Altman in his masterpiece Short Cuts. One of those stories caught the attention of Australian filmmaker Ray Lawrence who’s very Aussie Lantana was an enjoyable film that came out six years ago. With this new entry, Jindabyne, Lawrence has taken this tale, about a group of fisherman…

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REVIEW: The Squid and the Whale [2005]

“The filet of the neighborhood” I have yet to see Noah Baumbach’s debut film Kicking and Screaming, but I can only hope it shows the sarcastic wit and heart that his later effort The Squid and the Whale does. What is supposed to be a very personal story that mirrors his life growing up with his intellectual writer father and misfit family, really hits all its marks. While a film like Running with Scissors fails because its comedy is at the expense of flawed characters, Baumbach’s film succeeds because its…

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