REVIEW: Bad Times at the El Royale [2018]

Why even have a bell? Writer/director Drew Goddard‘s affinity for voyeuristic set-ups continues with Bad Times at the El Royale‘s “pervert hotel” aesthetic. His first feature-length screenplay (Cloverfield) was found footage, his directorial debut (The Cabin in the Woods) had a two-way mirror as well as a science fiction surveillance conceit, and now we get a hidden corridor of nefarious delights on the border of California and Nevada with windows spying upon every guest who so chooses the titular accommodations to rest his/her head. You can’t blame him for returning…

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REVIEW: 10 Cloverfield Lane [2016]

“You need to eat. You need to sleep. And you need to start showing a little appreciation.” Let’s address the elephant in the room first: 10 Cloverfield Lane is not a sequel to Cloverfield no matter what the title and media suggest. The filmmakers simply thought the script (developed by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken; rewritten/polished by Damien Chazelle before embarking on Whiplash) felt a lot like Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard’s handheld alien invasion thriller. J.J. Abrams agreed, added a Slusho sign, recruited his “Alias” buddy Bradley Cooper for…

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Picking Winners at the 88th Annual Academy Awards

For those handicapping at home, here are the guesses of Buffalo film fanatics Christopher Schobert, William Altreuter, and myself. Jared Mobarak: Here’s hoping Chris Rock does his best Ricky Gervais as far as not caring about political correctness or duty to kissing up to the celebrities all dressed-up nice because having him host the 2016 Oscars ceremony amidst the whole #OscarsSoWhite controversy is an opportunity not to be squandered. Two years in a row with no black actor/actress up for gold? That’s a major problem with The Academy and the…

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REVIEW: The Martian [2015]

“Mars will come to fear my botany powers” Sometimes we need a good old-fashioned feel good tale that doesn’t talk down to us for smiles to unabashedly form at the movies. Ridley Scott‘s The Martian provides exactly that. You have a healthy dose of infectious humor, life and death suspense, space exploration to an uncharted planet, and Earth coming together for hope. It’s easy to find a depressing film putting utilitarian principles to work so one man can die for the many to live, so seeing a piece that throws…

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REVIEW: Avengers: Age of Ultron [2015]

“It wasn’t a nightmare. It was a legacy.” He may not have been there at the start, but Joss Whedon stewarded the Marvel Cinematic Universe through its make or break stage. It was one thing to give the world high-tech flying fun via a sarcastic playboy, otherworld fantasy come to earth courtesy of a haughty royal, and the ‘aw shucks’ patriotism necessary for a bona fide WWII hero on their own terms. Bringing them together along with even more allies was anything but. Yet Whedon—fearless when it comes to delving…

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Posterized Propaganda January 2013: The Top 10 Movie Posters of 2012

“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. Another year is complete and the time has come to revisit the best one-sheets that did all they could to help their films achieve box office glory. Unsurprising to those…

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REVIEW: The Cabin in the Woods [2012]

“He has the husband bulge” After reading all the Twitter hoopla and angry comments about spoilers, I thought The Cabin in the Woods was going to have some amazing, unforeseen twist to do more than just bend genres like we all knew it would. I made sure to avoid all reviews and news, retaining my fresh, untainted mind that yearned to be excited, perplexed, and possibly even confused. And then the opening scene rendered any ideas of being kept in the dark moot as Sitterson (Richard Jenkins), Hadley (Bradley Whitford),…

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REVIEW: Cloverfield [2008]

“Good luck tonight Travis” Cloverfield is a damn good time at the movies—something that one can’t say very often in January, the month usually utilized to dump films while Oscar-bait from the previous year gets released. Seeing the first teaser attached to Transformers in July literally gave me goosebumps at the potential for what it could be. I will admit that while the hype was high, the past couple months saw it wane. The gimmick started getting a tad stale and the tv spots began to ruin the momentum it…

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