REVIEW: The Foreigner [2017]

“Trust or fear” I like a good action thriller without a clear target because it allows the story to develop where cat and mouse chases usually reside. Martin Campbell‘s The Foreigner is a good example as it shows what happens when a sharp plot is made paramount. We know who the bad guys are—a group of young IRA rebels rekindling a fight long since dormant—but not their identities. So distraught dad Quan Ngoc Minh (Jackie Chan) must improvise along his quest for vengeance after his daughter is killed in a…

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REVIEW: The World’s End [2013]

“Lets Boo-Boo” The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy—a label jokingly coined during the press tour for its second entry—has come to a close with a mint chocolate chip wrapper flapping in the wind. Following horror comedy Shaun of the Dead and bromance actioner Hot Fuzz, The World’s End‘s sci-fi apocalypse makes good use of its title with some fire and brimstone and robots spraying blue blood. The old “Spaced” team took a hiatus when writer/director Edgar Wright delved into comic adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and writer/star Simon Pegg and…

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REVIEW: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters [2013]

“Dead camper walking” Much like he did on Harry Potter, director Chris Columbus ushered Rick Riordan‘s young adult world of demigods to film with sure-handed exposition and a fun flair for the fantastical—if not necessarily visual excitement. The Lightning Thief introduced its hero Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) just as he became aware of his true identity and the power at his disposal. A sprawling adventure followed with he and companions Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) wherein a plethora of Greek myths got thrown our way in an…

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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: Knight and Day [2010]

“Your timing to open that door was sublime” Maybe Tom Cruise has the right idea changing gears into comedic fare. Ever since the brilliant cameo in Tropic Thunder, his want to branch out has been obvious—although the Les Grossman film is a scary thought in my mind—but until seeing Knight and Day, I had my doubts he could pull it off. Cruise has always had the capacity to deliver lines with humor, but here he does so without fail from start to finish. I think the fact it’s an action/comedy…

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REVIEW: The Ghost Writer [2010]

“It’s in the beginnings” I remember being so perplexed during the 2008 Oscars because Michael Clayton was up for Best Picture of 2007. To me it was a solid thriller and just didn’t seem to deserve the vaunted status or the company it was keeping. That all changed minutes after the completion of Roman Polanski’s newest The Ghost Writer, however. Through the entire thing I kept recalling how taut Tony Gilroy’s movie was—lean, mean, and edge of your seat thrills in the dangerous world of political intrigue. With all the…

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REVIEW: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [2010]

“It’s like High School, but without the Musical” Who else could have the catchy pop beats to lull a trio of mythologically inclined heroes into a trance, keeping them from their task at hand, than Lady Gaga? Director Chris Columbus made the right call on that one as he takes the plunge into yet another popular fantasy series, hoping to achieve the success he had in starting the Harry Potter saga. My main gripe with the first two films there was that he stayed too true to the source material,…

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REVIEW: The Matador [2005]

“The best cocktail party story you’ve ever met” No matter what you say about Pierce Brosnan’s acting talent, you have to give him credit for being able to make fun of the roles he has made a living on. From TV’s “Remington Steele” to his stint as James Bond, Brosnan has always been the suave killer with the serious demeanor and ladies aplenty. Even as of late you see him doing variations of the part like his diamond thief in After the Sunset. With The Matador, however, we see a…

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REVIEW: Casino Royale [2006]

“Shaken or stirred?” I am not a very big action movie fan. Explosions, violence, and sex don’t make a good movie unless there is some semblance of a story involved. Therefore, I’ve never really had an interest in watching the twenty or so James Bond films. Hearing about the gadgets and the suave hitman persona told me it wouldn’t be too intellectually fulfilling and if I didn’t want to be challenged at the movies I’d see a comedy not a film pretending to be sophisticated. My fears were made true…

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