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: Wreck-It Ralph [2012]

“Who doesn’t like a brat with dirty hair?” The news that Disney bought Lucasfilm for four billion dollars had me thinking about another of the powerhouse’s key acquisitions—no, not Marvel and its potential for crazy property crossover. To me Mickey and friends’ best move this past decade was ensuring that Pixar Studios and its unparalleled team of creative visionaries would be their in-house animation studio with John Lasseter at its head. Not only would he have the foresight to re-open Walt Disney’s 2-D animation shingle, but he’d also find himself…

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REVIEW: Up [2009]

“A land lost in time” I don’t know how long Pixar can keep it up, especially with a second sequel to Toy Story coming and a first sequel to Cars on the way, but as of now, no one does it better. Over the years, the studio has gone from heartfelt children’s fare to more heady dramas—still with a youthful touch, but deeper and more resonate than your standard “stick the kid in front of the screen and have quiet for a couple hours”. It began with Ratatouille, a tale…

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Top 25 Films of 2007

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 114 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Away From Her directed by Sarah Polley . #24: Cassandra’s Dream directed by Woody Allen . #23: The Cake Eaters directed by Mary Stuart Masterson #22: Grindhouse directed by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez #21: Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn . . #20: Reign Over Me directed by Mike Binder . . #19: El Orfanato [The Orphanage] directed by J.A. Bayona…

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REVIEW: Ratatouille [2007]

“He calls it his Tiny Chef” Brad Bird is by far the best writer/director of animated films coming out of America in a long time. Besides Hayao Miyazaki, there is no one else with the track record that this guy has. From The Iron Giant to The Incredibles to now Ratatouille, Bird just gets better and better with each new move. This new Pixar installment is definitely the most intellectually stimulating yet, but really which of his films haven’t been intelligent first, kiddie-catering second? Ratatouille is by all means cinematic…

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REVIEW: The Iron Giant [1999]

“Duck and cover” I finally took the time to see writer/director Brad Bird’s first foray into feature length film with The Iron Giant. Hearing how great of a film it was and the success of his Pixar debut The Incredibles, I’ve been seeing the movie on my shelf for a while now, just waiting to finally be viewed. If you thought his last movie had heart, you need to see this one. While being based on a book, I’m not sure if it is the original source material or Bird’s…

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