REVIEW: The Spanish Prisoner [1998]

Dog my cats. Anyone who’s on social media has seen the “name” memes where your “whatever name” is formed by that of the first pet you owned and your grandmother’s maiden name—or some riff on this pattern. Everyone does it because it’s fun and they’ve been trained like sheep to participate in such activities so their feeds remain pop culturally relevant. But then you hear the jokes about how the meme is perfectly suited to mine a person’s security question answers due to the specific nature of those details being…

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REVIEW: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk [2016]

“What else is there?” Here’s an Oscar-winning director doing something no one else has—shoot an entire film at 120 frames per second (standard is 24, the previous high 48 with The Hobbit)—and movie theaters couldn’t accommodate. At a time when it’s difficult to get butts in seats with Netflix and VOD, an opportunity for a legitimate must-see theatrical event is squandered. Venues dropped the ball. Buffalo, NY isn’t the biggest of cities, but you’d think sustaining six-plus movie houses earns a chance to see Ang Lee‘s vision as intended. Sorry,…

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REVIEW: Home [2015]

“I’m the interrupting cow! Moo!” While it didn’t need help on its way to a fifty million dollar opening weekend, Home may have benefited from a G-rating. Its journey in search of family taken by Oh the Boov (Jim Parsons) and Tip the Human (Rihanna) skews very young in message and comedic style—unexpectedly so for me. So sweetly cute, it’s hard to think many children of PG-viewing age would find worth considering it’s slightly more juvenile than they’d admit is ‘cool’ in the presence of their peers. Only once they’ve…

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REVIEW: Almost Home [2014]

“Next!” I’m not really sure what Dreamworks is doing, but the existence of Almost Home rubs me the wrong way. A four-minute short shown before Mr. Peabody and Sherman—replacing the Gary Trousdale helmed Rocky and Bullwinkle piece that was inexplicably removed—I thought it was mildly humorous in a charmingly prolonged gag sort of way. But now I discover it’s actually a prequel for a full-length feature entitled Home that’s being release this November? So the studio pretty much decided to shoot a glorified trailer to pique the interest of those…

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The 86th Oscars recap through tweets …

Welcome to the 86th Annual Academy Awards everyone! If you didn’t watch the festivities that occurred Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre you are probably a lot better off than most of us because it was a very lackluster affair. We all hoped Ellen DeGeneres would bring a fun, smart, witty return to her success with the 79th installment, but the reality ended up being one of the most dull and safe presentations in quite some time. I guess it wasn’t all bad, though, considering the Academy actually got most…

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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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REVIEW: Identity Thief [2013]

“Foxhole! The safe word is Foxhole!” The words “from the director of Horrible Bosses” instilled little hope for me sitting down to Seth Gordon‘s newest work Identity Thief. Screenwriter Craig Mazan‘s name—he of too many asinine spoofs—only made matters worse. No, this road comedy’s saving grace would have to be co-star Melissa McCarthy and the level of hysterics she has unfailingly brought since breaking out in Bridesmaids. The fact her role of Diana was rewritten specifically for her after original intentions called for a man shows how high her star…

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BNFF11 REVIEW: Zombie Bankers [2011]

“Welcome to America, prick” And now comes the kind of review I hate to write. Being as independent oriented as the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival is, you will have to see some local productions if you plan on taking on a large portion of the schedule. What happens, though, is that oftentimes the amateur work shown in this category just doesn’t come close to the production, budget, or talent of its more polished brethren. I know how much hard work went into the horror comedy Zombie Bankers and I applaud…

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The 83rd Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • Oscar time … congrats to The King’s Speech … why bother with the show when everyone thinks they know the winner? The 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony was quite possibly its worst incarnation the past decade. And things finally seemed to be going the right way. Hugh Jackman was fun; Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were lukewarm, but the show was fun; and Neil Patrick Harris is Neil Patrick Harris. NPH can do no wrong. Much in that vein, I thought the pairing of James Franco and Anne…

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REVIEW: Due Date [2010]

“What are you, a girl or something?” In a coincidental stroke of fate, following my own cross country trip from Buffalo to Denver amidst a constant barrage of quotes from Planes, Trains & Automobiles on behalf of my co-pilot cousin, I arrived back home on the east coast in time for a screening of Todd Phillips’s follow-up to The Hangover, Due Date. Trying its best to recreate the magic of Steve Martin and John Candy’s memorable Thanksgiving jaunt, this new film pits a father-to-be against the clock and the mileage…

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360|365FF10 REVIEW: Cinema Museum [2008]

“Floral Odors: fresh, inspiring, and nice” The second half of a Mark Lewis documentary short doubleheader at the 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival was his 2008 look inside of the Cinema Museum. A private collection owned by Ronald Grant and Martin Humphries in Britain, their curator Anna takes us on a first person tour of the cluttered and packed rooms full of movie memorabilia spanning decades. Lewis shoots it all, I would guess, with a Steadicam that he helms, following Anna through the corridors and into cramped rooms, or…

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