REVIEW: Carnal Knowledge [1971]

“I’m being pressured into it” When Tony, Grammy, and Oscar winning director Mike Nichols says your play is better suited for the silver screen, you listen. That’s what screenwriter Jules Feiffer did after showing the legend (who’d eventually complete his EGOT with an Emmy in 2001) his latest work Carnal Knowledge. That doesn’t mean the film doesn’t still play like it was made for the stage with only two leads and two supporting roles possessing substance, though. Nichols was simply no stranger to adding scope and locale to an already…

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REVIEW: La cage aux folles [1978]

“Procreation is wearing you out” The fact The Birdcage proves an almost shot for shot remake thirty years later is a testament to La cage aux folles‘ quartet of writers if not to the original stage play’s creator Jean Poiret alone. This is how funny, resonate, and timeless the material remains—enough to even provide the basis for a 1983 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical in between. Personally I give Mike Nichols‘ refresher the edge, but its exacting resemblance makes it hard not to love this 1978 production just as much. Édouard…

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REVIEW: Thérèse Desqueyroux [Thérèse] [2012]

“I’m marrying you for your pines, too” Only a 1927 novel can get away with its titular character yearning for a marriage built on land and stability instead of love for no other reason than to quiet ‘unfeminine’ aspirations beyond domesticity. Dismissed as a silly little thing with too many ideas and not enough religion, Thérèse Despeyreux actually wants to be rid of her thoughts and seek refuge in her best friend Anne’s brother’s simplicity. What she didn’t count on was exactly what this new sister-in-law warned—a life devoid of…

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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: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1966]

“I dance like the wind” There really is nothing more frightening than a writer. The ability to weave a story together that so touches you with its realism is a very powerful gift. You become cast under a spell, yearning for the next page and the answers to discover what may happen. What occurs when you are the orchestrator of it all, though? Edward Albee attempts to get at this very question, pitting a middle-aged couple, liquored up and ready to verbally spar, at each other’s mercy, using the twenty-something…

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Top 25 Films of 2004

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 130 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood. #24: The Dreamers directed byBernardo Bertolucci #23: The Brown Bunny directed by Vincent Gallo. #22: Hotel Rwanda directed by Terry George #21: Friday Night Lights directed by Peter Berg #20: Down to the Bone directed by Debra Granik #19: Sideways directed by Alexander Payne #18: Mysterious Skin directed by Gregg Araki #17: The Incredibles…

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Top 15 Films of 1996

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 44 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #15: Jerry Maguire directed by Cameron Crowe #14: The Birdcage directed by Mike Nichols #13: Primal Fear directed by Gregory Hoblit #12: Sling Blade directed byBilly Bob Thornton #11: Shine directed by Scott Hicks. #10: Basquiat directed by Julian Schnabel. #09: Bottle Rocket directed by Wes Anderson #08: From Dusk Till Dawn directed by Robert Rodriguez #07: Trainspotting directed by Danny Boyle…

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