Posterized Propaganda December 2012: A Cinematic Library with ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Les Miserables’ & More

“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 seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Here we are at the end of 2012, ready for the release of the last few Oscar. It’s a time where story generally triumphs over mainstream appeal and where the…

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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 MillerJessica Chastain – The Help as Celia FooteMelissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids as Megan PriceJanet McTeer – Albert Nobbs as Hubert PageOctavia Spencer – The Help as Minny Jackson Christopher Schobert: Bill, it seems like every time you and I tackle…

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REVIEW: Hereafter [2010]

“Cooking is for all the senses” Right before sitting down for a screening of Hereafter, my friend told me she had read that it was Clint Eastwood’s ‘French film’. Once the end credits rolled, I realized there isn’t a more succinct description for it. Showing again how the marketing machine loves to manipulate audiences into seeing something they might not want to if they knew exactly what it was, the trailer used to advertise this nuance heavy work doesn’t come close to doing it justice. This isn’t a spooky tale…

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REVIEW: National Treasure: Book of Secrets [2007]

“Oh look, a little golden man” National Treasure: Book of Secrets will always be known as the film that prevented Helen Mirren from meeting Queen Elizabeth after the success of The Queen. I mean really, I would have made the same choice, because this film is truly high art. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the first installment for its poor-man’s Indiana Jones feel mixed with glossy effects and convoluted plot lines (Bruckheimerisms as I like to call them) and for the most part had fun with this one. Well…

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REVIEW: Frida [2002]

“Alone in pain” I’ve said it many times; I am not a fan of biopics. They always overextend themselves to the point of unbelievability because of the same actors playing everyone from 20-80 years old. The ones that work are those that take a slice of life rather than the entirety of it, like The Queen and Capote. Let’s say I was very surprised to find out how much I enjoyed Frida. From her college years until her death, this film never feels like we are learning about her life—it…

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REVIEW: The Queen [2006]

“Will someone please save these people from themselves” I generally don’t find many biopics to be great cinema. Most times you get a bloated story spanning what feels like millennia with only a charismatic mimic to guide your way. Films like Ray and Walk the Line were good for what they were and contained very good performances from their stars. However, watching someone reach stardom only to see him fall and be eventually redeemed can get very uninteresting. Thankfully every once in a while you’ll get a biopic with a…

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