REVIEW: Sully [2016]

“A delay is better than a disaster” I found myself siding with snarky detractors when Clint Eastwood announced he was tackling a biopic about Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger because it seemed rather anticlimactic. Could you truly find a captivating feature length film in the paltry 208-seconds from engine failure to splash landing? We already know everyone survives and already hail the pilot as the hero he deserves to be known as. So where’s the drama beyond reenactment better suited for a documentary focusing on those who actually experienced the ‘Miracle on…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: Bleed for This [2016]

“Christ and elephants” There’s something about boxing movies that gets butts in seats regardless of so many being practically the same story. The formula almost always concerns some type of personal and professional redemption and Ben Younger‘s Bleed for This is no exception. Being a true telling of Vinny Pazienza’s (Miles Teller) arduous journey back into the ring after a near-fatal car crash severed his neck, however, means it possesses some substance beyond the old “washed up” bid for revenge against the press or a former coach/manager who’s now inexplicably…

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REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

“Sometimes the pit sends something back” **Potential thematic spoilers** The trailer for the aptly coined ‘epic’ conclusion to director Christopher Nolan‘s caped crusader trilogy—The Dark Knight Rises—says it all through an emotional exchange between Batman (Christian Bale) and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway). Lamenting in her trademarked selfishness that he doesn’t “owe these people any more” and he’s “given them everything,” she begs to run away from the anarchy ravaging their once great city of Gotham. He did his best, admirably failing. Having none of it, though, the billionaire playboy who molded…

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REVIEW: Battle: Los Angeles [2011]

“You got a silver star and my brother came home in a body bag. I get it.” Stock up on Dramamine, brush up on your Hooked on Phonics, dust off the ol’ Stars and Stripes, and prepare for some Marine Corps action as alien invaders decimate all but one platoon—Oorah! I can just picture the first meeting for Battle: Los Angeles—I’ll use the colon since it’s everywhere except the opening credits—where the Yes-Men, so enraptured in their Red Bulls and cellphones, start speaking the brilliant idea, amidst ‘dudes’ and ‘mans’,…

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Top Ten Films of 2010: Dark Fantasy Cinema

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all—141 seen is this year’s number—the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I remember thinking around April that there hadn’t been a truly great film released yet. After summer came and went with little to cheer about, I feared 2010 would be a gigantic bust containing a ton of decent to good films, but only a handful of great ones. And then—like it seems…

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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: Rabbit Hole [2010]

“Why didn’t he just make another angel?” Everyone copes with tragedy differently. Some may go to group therapy sessions and slowly peel away at their grief while others do the same around them; some bottle it all up as though they are going through the pain alone, eventually seeing the pent up anger released all at once to an undeserved receipt of whomever is in the crossfire; and others might even attempt to talk with those involved in the event, whether victims or killers, to reconcile guilt, revenge, or give…

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FILM MARATHON: Julia Roberts #5 – Erin Brockovich [2000]

“They’re called boobs, Ed” It’s one of those stories to show no matter how bad things are when you’re flat broke, single, raising three kids, and unemployed, sometimes having the high-paying job makes it so your personal life is even worse. Erin Brockovich is a fascinating case study on how a tenacious attitude, street smarts, and an ability to talk to people as though you’ve known them your whole life—with a not so subtle flash of cleavage—can allow you do accomplish pretty much anything you want. Down on her luck,…

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REVIEW: In the Company of Men [1997]

“Let’s hurt somebody” The intrigue and controversy surrounding filmmaker Neil LaBute has always fascinated me. His penchant for biting social commentary with an unwavering slant to the maliciousness of people is what came across in my light research of the man. Not until I visited his superb The Shape of Things, a couple years after its release, did I finally enter his world—and I wanted to stay. The things he was saying were harsh and cruel, but at the same time so steeped in truth and reality. So many want…

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REVIEW: The Dark Knight [2008]

“Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough” What do you do when your film is hyped up as the best comic book movie of all-time? What about when your star dies of an accidental drug overdose after completion, attributed by some to prescribed depression medication acquired due to the toll his character took on him? Well, you just have to ride the wave and hope it all turns out good. I mean just those two aspects alone were going to drive people to the theatres on Friday night, the real question…

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REVIEW: The Black Dahlia [2006]

“Fire and Ice” I will preface this review with the fact that I am a big Brian De Palma apologist. I have not seen a movie by him that I didn’t like. Whether mainstream hits like Scarface and The Untouchables, indie favs like Sisters and Femme Fatale, or even the surreal camp that is The Phantom of the Paradise, I love them all. Therefore I tried to disregard all the bad press surrounding The Black Dahlia’s release as I figured no matter how bad people thought it was I would…

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