BNFF14 PREVIEW: The 8th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

It’s eight years later and The Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival is still going strong April 24th through May 3rd. I personally missed organizer and filmmaker Bill Cowell‘s inaugural season, but have been attending off and on as both a ticket holder and member of the press since. My first experience was in 2008 at the Riviera Theatre in Tonawanda. I drove over mostly because that night’s feature had a cast consisting of Bruce Dern and Kristen Stewart (pre-Twilight). While director Mary Stewart Masterson‘s The Cake Eaters proved worthy of…

Read More

REVIEW: The Sessions [2012]

“Cleansed and victorious” Already the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary short depicting his journalistic career entitled Breathing Lessions: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien, it appears the now deceased polio survivor had a salacious moment in his life yet to be told. Author of the 1990 magazine article “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate”, O’Brien had done just that. Saddled with feelings of embarrassment whenever thoughts about his sexuality or inability to control his body cropped up, there came an opportunity to do what he never dreamed possible. Propositioned to…

Read More

REVIEW: Faster [2010]

“We make our heaven and hell while we’re alive” Writers Tony and Joe Gayton must have really enjoyed Kill Bill and 70s era revenge flicks because they’ve created their beast Faster in the same vein. Tony played with similar themes in the very underrated The Salton Sea and appears to have teamed with his brother to go a bit campier for some high-octane adrenaline rushes, leaving dialogue and script behind. It’s also a branching out exercise for director George Tillman Jr., previously dealing with biographies and tamer fare, joining in…

Read More

REVIEW: Terminator Salvation [2009]

“So that’s what death tastes like” I have never seen a McG film before. I avoided the Charlie’s Angels movies and thought We Are Marshall looked pretty mediocre—besides being a based on true events sports flick; not my genre of choice. But here we have him helming the newest entry to one of the best science fiction series in cinema. How would someone that people oftentimes compare to a “hack” like Brett Ratner do with a big scale production containing an existing mythology and fan base calling for greatness? We…

Read More

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…

Read More