REVIEW: The Revenant [2015]

“As long as you can still grab a breath … you fight” If we’re to go by the setting of Michael Punke‘s novel The Revenant on which Mark L. Smith based his script—director Alejandro González Iñárritu gets a co-writing credit after coming onboard—the year is 1822 and the Central American frontier is loaded with fur traders pillaging Native American land, animals, and women. Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) leads a band of men under the authority of his employer to procure pelts and return to camp with Hugh Glass (Leonardo…

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REVIEW: Terminator Genisys [2015]

“If there was another way I would have taken it” Much of the success attributed to “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” stems from it using its time travel-centric mythology to erase the franchise’s failures—mainly Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. You’d think Terminator Salvation would have followed suit, but for whatever reason it held onto that sub-par entry if only through the character of Kate Brewster, otherwise known as Mr. Savior of Humanity John Connor’s wife. The real issue, however, was that it also retained a desire for big theatrics…

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REVIEW: Lincoln [2012]

“This isn’t usual, Mr. Pendleton. This is history.” Images of brother fighting brother, President Lincoln orating the Emancipation Proclamation, and his tragic demise at the end of John Wilkes Booth’s gun are conjured when most think about the Civil War. For many the abolition of slavery was merely one of the resulting terms of surrender on behalf of the Confederates, the goal of the Union and the Republican Party from the start finally becoming reality. But the details of this historic event are never really explained save a couple dates,…

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REVIEW: War Horse [2011]

“There are big days and there are small days” Thirteen years since Saving Private Ryan and six since his last ‘serious’ work in Munich, Steven Spielberg pulls out all the stops for his newest WWI epic War Horse. Based on the 1982 children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo that was recently adapted into a Tony Award-winning stage play earlier this year, the title deceives as far as explaining the true subject of the work. While we follow Joey the horse from birth to the savage conditions of the Great War, he…

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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: Green Zone [2010]

“Don’t be naïve” Yep, that line above pretty much sums up the film Green Zone to perfection. It is not only used once, sober and matter-of-fact, but a second time as a retort with dry sarcasm. America invaded Iraq with the sole purpose of giving Saddam Hussein the boot and entrenching themselves into the very infrastructure of the country, causing it to not only have a puppet leader, but pretty much put their hand up the backside of the entire nation. At least this is what screenwriter Brian Helgeland would…

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REVIEW: Empire of the Sun [1987]

“Like God taking a photograph” Empire of the Sun is definitely a Steven Spielberg film. It has the epic scenery and action, the sentimental underlying tale of survival, and tragedy made the best of. Sure, like all Spielberg films, this one has the eventual happy ending, however, it really can be taken many ways. Most of his recent films have gone too far into the area of sap and/or ending happier than one would expect the context of the film to have gone to—see AI, Minority Report, and Catch Me…

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Top 20 Films of 1998

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 71 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #20: Very Bad Things directed by Peter Berg. #19: The Big Lebowski directed byJoel Coen & Ethan Coen #18: Following directed byChristopher Nolan #17: Shakespeare in Love directed by John Madden #16: Pi directed by Darren Aronofsky #15: Elizabeth directed by Shekhar Kapur #14: Rounders directed by John Dahl. #13: Fear and Loathingin Las Vegas directed by Terry Gilliam #12: Fallen directed…

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