INTERVIEW: William Fichtner, actor and Cheektowaga, NY native

Even if the name William Fichtner hasn’t procured a place on your cinematic Rolodex, you definitely know his face. He had a successful run on hit TV series “Prison Break” as complicated FBI Agent Alex Mahone, recently starred opposite the latest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and found himself standing in the way of Heath Ledger‘s Joker during The Dark Knight‘s opening heist. There’s also his Colonel Willie Sharp sternly uttering my father’s favorite Armageddon quote: “Get off the nuclear warhead … now.” He’s coming into focus now,…

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REVIEW: The Maze Runner [2014]

“Wicked is good” There’s really no better way to start The Maze Runner than Wes Ball‘s opening. I’ve not read James Dashner‘s novels and probably knew less than the trailer foretold since it’s been so long since I last saw it. So watching the pitch-black screen stare at me while scrapping metal creaked until a scared boy as disoriented as I gets illuminated was brilliant. He and we enter this crazy situation together—running for our lives, being introduced to our new family, and realizing everything that came before this moment…

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REVIEW: Stoker [2013]

“We are not responsible for what we have come to be” Despite being a new venture for both screenwriter and director, Stoker is the type of film that sticks with you whether you want it to or not. There’s an unsettling feeling from the first frame with Mia Wasikowska‘s India talking in voiceover as she roams through an overgrown field, spouting omnisciently philosophical musings while the image hitches as each credit appears. Clint Mansell‘s score helps create a foreboding sense of dread leading perfectly into the disembodied, blood-curdling scream that…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2013: ‘Stoker,’ ‘Place Beyond the Pines,’ ‘Spring Breakers’ & 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. I’m honestly not sure if it is possible to cram more movies in one 31-day period (five Fridays!). Let’s just say the dump month doldrums have ceased and we’ve moved…

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REVIEW: Man on a Ledge [2012]

“I can see his leg shaking from here” I’ll give TV movie scribe Pablo F. Fenjves light applause for hooking me during the first two thirds, but the real kudos go to documentarian Asger Leth and his ability to make even the implausibly contrived and impossibly far-fetched finale not take away from the entertaining little gem his fiction debut Man on a Ledge surprisingly ends up being. It’s convenient, convoluted, and pretty hard to stomach in terms of realism, but something about the acting and sporadic bits of humor kept…

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BNFF11 PREVIEW: The 5th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (April 8-17) has hit year number five—not a small feat when you consider the amount of work that goes into pulling such an event off. I’ve attended the past three years and have to say that it’s gotten better each and every time. From the level of cinema, the recognition of filmmakers in attendance, and the overall day-to-day handling of the festival itself, the experience is pretty great when you consider the $10 ticket price (cheaper if you partake in a Multi Pass) per movie.…

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REVIEW: Resident Evil: Afterlife [2010]

“Star Power, Bitches” Is it bad to say I think Paul W.S. Anderson gets a bad rap? This guy has been getting David S. Goyer type flack for years now, but while Goyer can write great work for other directors, saving himself the drivel, Anderson has seen a pretty solid slate of work. I think both Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon are vastly underrated and the first Resident Evil was a fantastic mood piece/sci-fi/actioner. After marrying muse Milla Jovovich, however, he took a back seat by writing the next two…

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FILM MARATHON: Julia Roberts #4 – My Best Friend’s Wedding [1997]

“This is my whole life’s happiness; I need to be ruthless” Okay, for some reason the opening credit sequence to My Best Friend’s Wedding is sort of brilliant. Showing four women dressed for a wedding, they lip-synch the words to “Wishin’ and Hopin’” (with a version surprisingly sung by Ani Difranco) while performing choreography on a solid pink backdrop. It’s equal parts cute, endearing, and over-the-top, much like the film itself. I’ll admit that my first viewing and impression of the movie was a bit harsh. Watching again, over a…

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FaneXpo 2009: Day One Recap

“What, do I moderate myself?” – James Kyson Lee Oh, the amusement I get from watching grown adults dress up like characters from their favorite anime/movie/game/etc. Surprisingly, I thought there would be more cosplaying, (I learned a new term), but thankfully I wasn’t alone in my lack of imaginative wardrobe. I did however pimp my Thor tee, so give me some credit. What was first a somewhat subdued looking scene—a scattering of people waiting outside lecture rooms for whatever person/screening was about to start—soon became mayhem once entering the actual…

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REVIEW: The Escapist [2008]

“Too old to die young” While The Escapist may not have an all-star A-list cast, it has a pretty recognizable international one. When I saw the names attached to this thing, I couldn’t believe that it had trouble finding distribution. Luckily IFC Films stepped up to the plate and will add it to their VOD schedule to get some exposure for its DVD release. Much like Unknown from a few years back, Rupert Wyatt’s film is a hidden gem of intrigue and suspense. A disjointed narrative tells the story of…

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REVIEW: Transporter 3 [2008]

“Boss, can I say something?” Was Transporter 3 really directed by a guy named Olivier Megaton? I mean how perfect is that? In a film, let alone a series, that seems to enjoy using as many accents to confuse the audience as possible and action that diverts us from actually thinking about the thin plot, this guy has it all—European flavor and what seems to be the amount of explosives used on the film. Really, though, what does one expect going into a film like this? Myself, I look forward…

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