REVIEW: Gloria Bell [2019]

We could all die tomorrow. I hate the argument that remakes of foreign films allow English-speakers to invest more in the story and performance because they aren’t dividing attention between dialogue and imagery, but I can’t deny some validity to the thought. There’s more to it than just what you hear, though, because a new environment also brings new context. But so does a subsequent viewing of the original. A second viewing provides something the first couldn’t because you are different while watching—emotionally, energetically, etc. So we ultimately appreciate some…

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REVIEW: Molly’s Game [2017]

“I’ll bet heavy on the favorite” There’s a common theme throughout much of Aaron Sorkin‘s work the past few years of focusing on the unlikely redeemable qualities of figures easily reduced and reviled by a general public quick to judge without all the facts. You see it in The Social Network and its quest to humanize the abrasive wunderkind at the back of Facebook. It’s there in “The Newsroom” and its desire to show what a media network with integrity in the face of ratings wars can look like. And…

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REVIEW: The Lego Batman Movie [2017]

“‘Puter, overcompensate” It was always going to be an uphill battle. The success of The LEGO Movie was so surprising and legitimate that a sequel was going to have to work five times harder to match it. So maybe pushing the follow-up off to focus on a spin-off was the way to go. Expectations would be lowered, Will Arnett‘s Batman was a fan favorite to carry the weight, and you wouldn’t necessarily be beholden to the previous installment’s plot or ingenious use of human omniscience. Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith could focus…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2013: ‘Only God Forgives,’ ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Fruitvale Station’ & 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. Welcome to the heart of the summer folks—where giant robots, faux Native Americans, retired CIA operators, and mutants come out to play. It’s a tough time of year for true…

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REVIEW: This is the End [2013]

“Is the power of Christ compelling me? Is that what’s happening?” Way back in 2007 there was a YouTube trailer for a short film entitled Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse that whetted fans’ appetites only to never seen by the public. Time went on, nothing appeared to be happening—which wasn’t necessarily a horrible thing since the trailer wasn’t all that funny—and eventually word came down it was being retooled by the titular Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg into their directorial debut This is the End. Now six…

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REVIEW: The Arrested Development Documentary Project [2013]

“I like that guy, Mitch” Something had to suffer once the critically acclaimed and criminally under-watched television comedy “Arrested Development” was announced to be in production with new episodes courtesy of Netflix. That victim is Jeff Smith’s The Arrested Development Documentary Project. Completed in 2012 from interview footage filmed before the show’s phoenix-like rebirth (a trailer was released on the movie’s website back in 2009), what was to be a posthumous love letter is now merely a glorified DVD extra of actors and writers talking about their connection to and…

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Top Ten Films of 2010: Dark Fantasy Cinema

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all—141 seen is this year’s number—the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I remember thinking around April that there hadn’t been a truly great film released yet. After summer came and went with little to cheer about, I feared 2010 would be a gigantic bust containing a ton of decent to good films, but only a handful of great ones. And then—like it seems…

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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: The Green Hornet [2011]

“Don’t thank him. He did nothing.” Don’t be surprised when you find that the new incarnation of The Green Hornet has taken a very different path from its predecessors. The trailer should address this issue, but the simple fact Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the duo tackling the escapades of George W. Trendle’s characters will if not. The two had great success with their semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale of high school angst in Superbad and took a well-orchestrated shot at making action funny with Pineapple Express. It’s not hard to…

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REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [2010]

“You punched the highlights out of her hair” Some might say a tagline such as “An epic of epic epicness” is a tad too much. I might have even said that two hours ago, but alas, I saw the finished product. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is appropriately summed up in those five words—both epic in the Playstation lexicon synonym of 8-bit NES era ‘totally rad’ and in the Homer’s Illiad sense of a heroic journey of great achievements by the tale’s protagonist. But 22-year old Scott Pilgrim isn’t on…

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The Most Anticipated Films of 2010

2010 looks to be a very intriguing year for the film world. A lot of big name directors are coming in with new work, hopefully continuing on their winning ways, while others are returning to perhaps erase some recent blunders and get back on track. There are two true sequels on the list, four depending on your definition, (and Harry Potter isn’t one since I’m not quite sure what to think, being only a Part I of a final chapter), a couple television shows getting big screen love, and a…

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