REVIEW: War Dogs [2016]

“What would a bad man do?” Of course director Todd Phillips would gravitate towards a Rolling Stone article titled “The Stoner Arms Dealers.” If the man behind The Hangover trilogy was ever going to delve into more dramatic territory a la contemporary Adam McKay and last year’s The Big Short, Guy Lawson‘s piece on two twenty-somethings who landed huge military contracts with the US government before federal indictments was the perfect segue. It’s as though the characters from his Old School decided to make connections with black market arms organizations…

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Summer Fun Film Festivals in WNY

With the dwindling numbers of drive-in theaters across the country, independent theaters finding it difficult to compete with huge chains, and the ever-fluctuating national box office needing too many 3D films to turn a profit, certain cities somehow find a way to keep the medium alive. Buffalo is one of them and always has been since I can remember. My days as a high schooler trying to figure out plans with friends for the weekend always ended up being decided between catch the latest blockbuster or hit up the local…

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REVIEW: Monsters University [2013]

“Technically I caught the pig” I entered the theatre with low expectations and a willingness to be surprised, curious towards Monsters University’s trailers lacking plot description besides a generalized notion of witnessing Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and Jimmy “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) becoming best friends. What would first-time Pixar feature-film director Dan Scanlon and co-writers Robert L. Baird and Daniel Gerson have up their sleeves? How would they fill the inevitable gaping hole of not bringing back the adorable Boo from Monsters, Inc. due to their newest installment’s status as…

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REVIEW: The Other Guys [2010]

“Aim for the bushes” My loathsome attitude to ‘full-blown’ Will Ferrell is common knowledge with those who have been reading my reviews the past few years. He just has a knack to go too far and regress into a large, blithering child. It used to work with small supporting roles or comic relief parts such as in Old School, but once the American public grabbed hold, the joke wore thin when needing to sustain itself for a two-hour duration. But then something happened a couple years ago with Step Brothers.…

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REVIEW: The Hangover [2009]

“Couldn’t find a meter, but here’s four bucks” The success of Old School pretty much vaulted Todd Phillips onto the A-list for comedy directors. We waited and waited for his second hit, (I didn’t forget about Road Trip which was good as a precursor to Old School), but only got the mediocre Starsky and Hutch and—what I can only imagine as disappointing—School for Scoundrels. Maybe what Phillips needed was a script from the guys that brought us Four Christmases and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past … wow, this is sounding worse…

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REVIEW: Step Brothers [2008]

“A combination of Fergie and Jesus” I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d ever utter these words about a Will Ferrell vehicle, especially one with Adam McKay as collaborator—besides that Pearl video The Landlord on the internet last year—but here it is. Step Brothers is an absolutely hilarious film. From end to end, I don’t remember the last time I’ve laughed this hard, without stop. This is what Ferrell needs to do, no more of those bio-spoofs of idiots that fall flat due to their tired joke. He is…

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REVIEW: Blades of Glory [2007]

“Sex on ice” It’s a real shame that Hollywood churns out some utter crap passed off as entertainment. The new low-brow comedy Blades of Glory has a great premise: two old skating rivals team together, after being banned for life in competition, as the first all male pair to fight for gold at the World Championships. This was ripe for some social commentary, a little out of their element shtick, and a touch of big laugh action sequences. What we get instead are two lead actors doing what they do…

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REVIEW: Pulse [2006]

“Do you want to meet a ghost?” Why does Hollywood insist on remaking movies from foreign countries when they haven’t even been out for five years? If Asian horror is really the best form of the genre out there, why don’t production companies buy distribution rights and show them stateside? Instead they spend that money to get rights and then invest even more to get actors and a production off the ground for a full-blown reshoot. I mean when has an American remake ever been better than the original? Yeah,…

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REVIEW: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby [2006]

“Shake and Bake” If Talladega Nights did anything for me, it confirmed my previous bias that racecar driving is boring to watch. While filled with some great, random one-liners, and some really good performances, Ricky Bobby’s ballad crawls along at a sluggish pace. What’s weird about this outlook is that the slowest talking character, played hilariously by Sacha Baron Cohen, was actually a part that moved the scenes forward. It was flashy, fast-talking, yet ultimately uninteresting. I will admit to not being much of a Will Ferrell fan. I find…

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