REVIEW: Curtains [1983]

Call it research. By the end of Peter R. Simpson‘s Curtains—I use the producer’s name since he ultimately finished the film two years after original director Richard Ciupka left with only forty-five minutes shot—there are just three surviving characters. One is the potential victim being chased, another the homicidal maniac under a plastic old woman mask who’s killed the rest, and the last of the trio off-screen somewhere so we’re left to question the murderer’s identity. Will it be revealed that it’s been the person we’ve thought it was since…

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REVIEW: Hitchcock [2012]

“All men are potential murderers” Based on a book called Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello, it’s easy to assume Sacha Gervasi‘s Hitchcock will do just that and little else. And while fans of the horror classic clamoring for this exact insight will fill the seats opening weekend, more needs to happen to ensure broader success. So it’s no surprise that John J. McLaughlin‘s script delves deeper into the iconic auteur’s psyche at a time when the world believed him to be over-the-hill and ready for…

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REVIEW: Alien: Resurrection [1997]

“You’re a beautiful, beautiful butterfly” An obvious predecessor to screenwriter Joss Whedon‘s revered “Firefly”, Alien: Resurrection breathes new life into a franchise that could have easily been left alone. Reviving the iconic Ellen Ripley through the hot button topic of cloning, his script found a way to coax Sigourney Weaver back with a uniquely dark spin on the character. Part alien, part human, and all Petri dish, ‘Number 8’ is cognizant of her former self’s rage against the xenomorphs two hundred years before while also acknowledging her role as mother…

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BNFF11 REVIEW: A Lonely Place for Dying [2012]

“Which do you fear more—to be exposed or to be killed?” It begins with a KGB turncoat radioing for assistance from his CIA handler, desperate to make his way to America so he can leave behind the Socialist nation now on his tail. Justin Eugene Evans’s A Lonely Place for Dying, hitting the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival on its two year plus tour, puts all its cards on the table early as Agent Greenglass (Michael Wincott) tells Nikolai (Ross Marquand) no just before the Russian picks up another receiver with…

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BNFF11 PREVIEW: The 5th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (April 8-17) has hit year number five—not a small feat when you consider the amount of work that goes into pulling such an event off. I’ve attended the past three years and have to say that it’s gotten better each and every time. From the level of cinema, the recognition of filmmakers in attendance, and the overall day-to-day handling of the festival itself, the experience is pretty great when you consider the $10 ticket price (cheaper if you partake in a Multi Pass) per movie.…

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REVIEW: What Just Happened [2008]

“That’s a good school” Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened made me ponder that exact question as I walked out of my screening. Sadly, the answer I settled on was: not much. I think Robert De Niro’s producer Ben said it best when being completely honest with Stanley Tucci’s screenwriter about his new florist-set script—“it’s not a movie”. That is exactly what I would have said when this script was green-lit to become what it now is. No disrespect to Art Linson who adapted the screenplay from his own comic memoirs…

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REVIEW: The Assassination of Richard Nixon [2004]

“Zebras” The Assassination of Richard Nixon has been a film that I have been trying to catch up to after the brilliant turns by Sean Penn in Mystic River and 21 Grams. This film was the one that completed the trifecta of critically acclaimed performances. While from what I remember of the trailer and the buzz made me think he was a guy who knew what he was doing and figuring out a way to commit the act of the title, this is not the case at all. Penn plays…

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