REVIEW: Flash Gordon [1980]

“No Vultan … it’s a rational transaction! One life for billions.” Star Sam J. Jones is the first to admit Flash Gordon is corny and full of camp. No one is disputing this fact and some say screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (he who was responsible for the Adam West “Batman” series) wrote it that way intentionally on producer Dino De Laurentiis‘ request. (Semple has since stated that he feels this was a mistake since sci-fi legend Alex Raymond‘s source material was never meant to be portrayed this way.) But Jones…

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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: Ghostbusters II [1989]

“Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I’ll be back.” After its release in 1984, Ghostbusters became a national phenomenon. Giving the world a witty comedy inside a science fiction narrative was unique and the finished film found a way to transcend age by appealing to all. As a result, the studio decided to monetize the name by spawning an animated television show—“The Real Ghostbusters”—a plethora of toys, and even a neon green Hi-C juicebox in Ecto Cooler. Columbia Pictures had a goldmine on their hands and…

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REVIEW: Robin Hood [2010]

“We are men of the hood, merry at your expense” I’ll start this out with the truth: Robin Hood is not Robin Hood—and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll catch on very early once you realize the name Robin Longstride for Russell Crowe’s lead character isn’t an artistic change because it rolls easier off the tongue. No, the Loxley moniker does also exist; only it’s attached to King Richard’s right hand man, neck deep in the Crusades’ final hoorah. Throw in the fact The Lionheart himself dies within the first…

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REVIEW: Shutter Island [2010]

“Retreat isn’t something you consider an option” Very rarely does a film meet, let alone exceed, the expectations of the piece of literature it is based upon. With a director like Martin Scorsese, however, you do hold out hope that it will at least come close. But with postponements from the Oscar wheelhouse of a fall release and the move to a dump month such as February, concern weighed very heavy. Maybe the departure in subject matter caused the venerable auteur to falter a bit, unsure of how to handle…

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REVIEW: Le scaphandre et le papillon [The Diving Bell and the Butterfly] [2007]

“We are all children” The tale of Jean-Dominique Bauby and his harrowing ordeal of being locked-in his own body after a debilitating stroke is devastating. I can’t wait to finally start reading it—it’s a bit down the queue, but has gone up a few spots after seeing the film—however, after watching the film version, I can’t help but commend director Julian Schnabel. The man is the go to guy when it comes to artistic biopics. From the magnificent portrayal of Jean-Michel Basquiat in his first foray with the media (much…

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