REVIEW: Run All Night [2015]

“Me and you” There’s something to be said about knowing exactly what you’re getting and Jaume Collet-Serra is proving consistent enough to deliver that promise through his films. Whereas Luc Besson spins a revolving door of directors to helm his actioners—mostly tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top fare (besides the original hit-maker Taken) he doesn’t deem worthy of his own eye behind the lens—Collet-Serra has carefully chosen a series of scripts from disparate scribes to supply him serious thrills with which to place his visual stamp. The common denominator between them being Liam Neeson…

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REVIEW: Gangster Squad [2013]

“Who’s the tomato?” Tragedies like last year’s Aurora, Colorado shooting on The Dark Knight Rises‘ opening night are just that—tragic. We can never image the pain, anger, and heartache of families and friends effected or ever want to think it could happen to us. So when art skews close to reenacting that suffering—albeit with no relation whatsoever to the actual event—one can understand the trepidation in not wanting to exacerbate things by belittling the horror or appearing callous and uncaring. This is why I’m not surprised Warner Brothers held their…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: The Company You Keep [2013]

“We made mistakes, but we were right” In Robert Redford and Lem Dobbs‘ adaptation of Neil Gordon‘s novel The Company You Keep, the personal futures fought for by the militant Weather Underground during the Vietnam War risk being destroyed as the last surviving members of a Bank of Michigan robbery find their past catching up to them after thirty years. Hidden with new identities and normal, domestic lives far from the bombings and murders of a previous era, they’ve begun to take stock and find the guilt of what they…

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The 84th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • Shut up Ryan Seacrest … Like the studio isn’t going to reimburse you. Cry about it #Oscars12 And with a little Bisquick, the 84th Annual Academy Awards show began before the camera even entered the Kodak “Chapter 11” Theatre. The is he or isn’t he banned from the show star of The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen, did what he does best by getting interviewed in character and causing a scene. Ryan Seacrest appeared to be enjoying the joke of it all and remained quite amiable until the comedian…

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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: Warrior [2011]

“I think I liked you better when you were a drunk” Considering it’s only its third Friday in theatres and already has been demoted to one screening per day should mean Warrior isn’t worth your time. The amount of praise heaped upon it by both critics and fans alike would disagree. A crowd-pleaser looking to earn the same hearts Rocky did over three decades ago—winning the Oscar for Best Picture—Gavin O’Connor‘s return to the sports genre has the appeal to transcend its MMA stigma. Like he did directing Miracle, O’Connor…

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REVIEW: Zookeeper [2011]

“I certainly wasn’t cleaning my basement” What is the point of giving Zookeeper a rating? There really is none. The people who want to see it will see it, the kids who its aimed for will eat up the fact animals are talking and singing and joking around, and the adults escorting them will at the very least chuckle when the raunchiness comes out to play. Its success is a foregone conclusion, just like that of its most kindred of spirits. Call it Night at the Franklin Park Zoo, call…

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REVIEW: Arthur [2011]

“A savant-like gift of defying death with fun” Having been a child during the 80s, Dudley Moore will always be Patch, the elf that saved Christmas in Santa Claus [The Movie]. I had seen Arthur, and probably Arthur 2: On the Rocks—they were PG after all, even though my parents could have done better than allow me to possibly cultivate an alcoholic as a role model—but I can admittedly remember very little besides the nondescript plot synopsis available on any movie site. So, while I didn’t really have any attachment…

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FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #3 – The Thin Red Line [1998]

“The only things that are permanent is dying and the Lord” Pure, unfiltered, raw emotion. That is what’s front and center in Terrence Malick’s adaptation of James Jones’s autobiographical novel The Thin Red Line. The term itself may describe a thinly spread line of defense holding position in war, but I think the metaphor towards a man’s tenuous grasp on humanity is also apt. It’s a battle for Guadalcanal during World War II, an island being used as an airstrip by the Japanese and a crucial piece of property for…

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REVIEW: Tropic Thunder [2008]

“Welcome to the goodie room” Despite my somewhat indifference, bordering on dislike, of Ben Stiller and most of what he does, Tropic Thunder has been on my much-anticipated list for some time now. The audacity of what he was attempting, spoofing the industry that was giving him the money to do so, blatantly and lovingly, was too great to ignore. And then there is the cast of stars with cameo after cameo of surprise faces joining in on the fun, not to mention the intense marketing strategy pushing it along.…

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REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk [2008]

“Days since last incident” Leave it to this drama lover to think that the new film The Incredible Hulk is more boring than Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003, despite the fact everyone in the entire world hated that version because it was “too slow”. Maybe it was the departure in genre tone that Lee brought to the movie making it a psychological tale of humanity rather than an action, comic-book romp, but I was pleasantly surprised after thinking it would just be Hulk-Smash over and over again. The funny thing is…

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