ANOMALY19 REVIEW: VFW [2019]

Same mud. That co-writer Matthew McArdle remains shocked even after seeing the film he and Max Brallier wrote on the big screen shows how tough the accomplishment proves. Best friends since childhood, the two began their script for VFW with transparent intentions as far as harkening back to the no-holds-barred VHS gems they’d scour video store shelves to find. Using John Carpenter‘s Assault on Precinct 13 as inspiration, they created a group of aging vets decades-removed from service yet still thick as thieves with a drug-fueled, zombie-esque horde threatening to…

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REVIEW: Don’t Breathe [2016]

“If we do this right we never have to do this again” The best thing you can do to distance yourself from the big budget remake of a cult classic that serves as your feature directorial debut is to pare things down and deliver an original gem of your own. Fede Alvarez took the criticisms of his Evil Dead—gore for gore sake (something many of its proponents surely use to also explain its greatness)—and decided to utilize them during the writing process on Don’t Breathe. The supernatural aspect is gone…

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INTERVIEW: Timothy J. Cox, star of Simple Mind, Choosing Sides, and more

Becoming a working actor is hardly an easy career path chosen lightly. For character actor Timothy J. Cox the journey towards independent film began by accident in 8th grade yet became a calling it would seem he was born to follow. Still, it took him almost a decade of living in New York City before making the decision to focus his professional efforts onto the film set above the theatrical stage. Whether performing in student thesis projects, indie shorts, contests, or features, Cox has made a name for himself through…

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BNFF10: The 4th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Recap

The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival closed out its fourth annual entry, ending a pretty great eight days of cinema. Attendance might have been stunted due to a plethora of activities in Buffalo, including a Salman Rushdie talk that prevented me from going to opening night and the brief return of Sabres hockey to the playoffs, but that did little to dampen the spirits of organizers, volunteers, or filmmakers. What makes this event uniquely great in comparison to an event like the Toronto International Film Festival is that you don’t have…

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BNFF10 REVIEW: Christina [2010]

“To the end of Berlin and the beginning of America” After some ill-received thrillers and a misfire with the script of Halloween: Resurrection, I’m not exactly sure why Larry Brand gravitated to writing and directing a very small, three character piece dealing with emotional turmoil at the end of WWII. I can only assume that this has been a passion project of his for some time and I applaud the newly formed Michigan-based 8180 Films for supplying the money to get this expertly acted and shot piece into theatres. Reminiscent…

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BNFF10 PREVIEW: The 4th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

Year four is here for the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival taking place at both Dipson’s Market Arcade Centre downtown and the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. I’ve attended the past two entries and have been impressed by the quality of films and improvements made. 2009 saw the world premiere of Steve Coogan and Hillary Duff’s What Goes Up, a sub-par movie with only lackluster guests in attendance, but a cool event to be a part of anyway. To date, 2008’s The Cake Eaters and last year’s Boppin’ at the Glue…

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Picking Winners at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

Some Oscar nomination thoughts, the morning after: William Altreuter: Best Picture: The Hurt Locker. James Cameron backlash, plus Hollywood self-seriousness = victory! Best Actor: Jeff Bridges. Everybody loved Clooney, but he’s in something good every year. Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci. Just a hunch. Best Actress: Sandra Bullock. Did you realize she’s forty-five years old? Not exactly the best argument against the proposition that there are no roles for women over twenty-four, since she plays at least ten years younger, but still. Plus the Streep movie wasn’t that good (even though she…

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REVIEW: Avatar [2009]

“I see you” I have one major problem with Avatar and that is what it means for the future of my home entertainment system. How can I ever replicate the visceral spectacle I experienced with a five-story screen, digital sound blaring, and 3D technology that is so beyond any I’ve seen before that nothing short of ‘blown away’ can describe it? I’m not sure I ever could and that is what may make this film as successful or more than its creator’s last, Titanic. People aren’t going to want to…

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REVIEW: The Men Who Stare at Goats [2009]

“It’s a man sitting in a chair” When looking in retrospect, it’s always nice to know that you made the right decision. While at the Toronto International Film festival this year, my friend and I had a conflict of movies with Up in the Air and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Both stared George Clooney, but only the one had any trailers and/or marketing push at the time. We picked the Reitman film in the end—and it was one of the best movies we saw at the fest—figuring to…

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