REVIEW: Children Without Parents [2013]

“Who even said you were my kid?” The tagline for Casey Puccini‘s autobiographical fiction Children Without Parents is a disturbing proposition in context with its subject matter. As a film dealing with a quartet of siblings coming together at the house of their father days after his suicide, the words “this film will be a […]

REVIEW: Beside Still Waters [2014]

“Nothing, buddy. You keep on … sulking.” When a feature length debut bows at only 76-minutes you think two things. One: it barely contains a short film worth of content and has been pumped full of fat. Or Two: it’s a shallow piece that goes nowhere and inevitably feels incomplete. It’s a horrible thing that […]

REVIEW: This is Where I Leave You [2014]

“Secrets are cancer to a family” Get ready because I’m going to throw some hyperbole your way. Here it is: This Is Where I Leave You is Franny and Zooey meets The Big Chill. Now hold on a second and let me explain. Jonathan Tropper is not J.D. Salinger and Shawn Levy isn’t Lawrence Kasdan. […]

REVIEW: Socks and Cakes [2010]

“I thought we were going to be six for dinner?” Writer/director Antonio Padovan‘s short film Socks and Cakes plays like an intriguing treatment for a piece much grander in scope. Shades of early Woody Allen come through from the stark white on black opening credits and Greenwich Village setting while the loquacious dinner settings of […]

Posterized Propaganda April 2012: Where Art and Commerce Meet

“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 […]

Picking Winners at the 84th Annual Academy Awards

For the next week and a half, Spree contributor William C. Altreuter, our online film reviewer Jared Mobarak, and me will share our thoughts on who will take home the Oscars. Let’s kick things off with … Best Supporting Actress. —C. S. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy Miller Jessica Chastain – […]

BNFF10 REVIEW: A Touch of Grey [2010]

“I felt like a pedophile Suzy Homemaker” When first contacted by writer/director Sandra Feldman about her film A Touch of Grey screening at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, I was somewhat taken aback by her being a family physician. To me, it was an interesting career change from the medical field to filmmaker, but after […]

REVIEW: L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] [2008]

“It’s nicely displayed” What is the true value of something? Whether it a house, paintings, heirlooms, or photos, do objects hold more worth monetarily or sentimentally? Just the fact that the deceased is taxed upon death shows how important the money is to the whole system of life, rendering one’s childhood memories into commodity. Olivier […]

REVIEW: Terms of Endearment [1983]

“Medium esteem” I’m not quite sure what I think about James L. Brooks’ Terms of Endearment. Here is a film that won best picture at the 1984 Oscars, beating out a favorite of mine, The Big Chill. Everyone I talk to says they love it and here I am feeling a tad lukewarm on the […]