REVIEW: Three Christs [2020]

I can attest. Two decades after publishing his study The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Milton Rokeach came to the realization that his methods were both manipulative and unethical. He included an afterword in a re-release of the book to that effect—something surely helped by the supposed fact his research assistants questioned his morality while it was still being conducted. Rokeach’s goal was to cure three patients who independently believed themselves the one-and-only reincarnation of Jesus by placing them together in a controlled environment to confront the absurdity of their claims.…

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Top Ten Films of 2015: Where emotions run high

I have no problem saying 2015 was a great year for cinema. Putting together a Top Ten was difficult at every turn—both because each time I had to do so meant I had seen more films and as a result of my preferences constantly changing. There are more than a few from 11-20 that easily could be Top Ten candidates on a different day. Sadly for them that day isn’t today. Happily for us: the art’s level of quality was good enough to cause such problems. Rules: eligible feature-length films…

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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: Time Out of Mind [2015]

“She’s coming back” One of the easiest things we can do in modern society is marginalize strangers. To laugh and assume we know what has transpired to place some nameless soul in his/her current position only takes a second devoid of context whereas beginning a conversation requires so much more. We reject compassion because it necessitates effort when we’re too busy dealing with our own troubles to carve out time for someone else. That leaves two options: ignore his/her plight altogether or transform him/her into some form of personal entertainment.…

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FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Ludo [2015]

“Do you want to talk or play?” Called the national game of India by some, Pacisi has evolved throughout the centuries into multiple iterations. One of the most popular versions patented in England around 1896 is Ludo. Pretty much two to four players have four tokens each that they must race around the board in accordance to the number on the di they’ve rolled. Those in America will know it as Parcheesi, but the board isn’t quite the same. So when the game inscribed on a piece of leather finally…

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FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #2 – Days of Heaven [1978]

“But if you’ve been bad, God don’t even hear you. He don’t even hear ya talkin’.” Overwhelmed. The tagline got it right: every sense—by the end of Days of Heaven—will be overwhelmed. Terrence Malick’s second feature film is as breathtaking as you’ve heard, mesmerizing you with its sumptuous beauty until the hellish climax burns through your soul with its flames of vengeance. I seriously don’t know which is more gorgeous, the sprawling wheat fields straight from an Andrew Wyeth painting or the stark contrast of fire on the night sky,…

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FILM MARATHON: Julia Roberts #1 – Pretty Woman [1990]

“Well color me happy, there’s a sofa in here for two” And just like that, 1990s America fell in love with a hooker. A hooker named Julia Roberts. She had already arrived to many film-viewing women with a oft-mentioned scene in Steel Magnolias, but it was Pretty Woman that officially vaulted her to A-list status and onto the Oscar-winning trajectory to come. I’ve always avoided watching it due to the fact I’ve never been much of a Roberts fan and because, honestly, I’m a twenty-something male. I don’t wake up…

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REVIEW: The Hunting Party [2007]

“Don’t stare at the midget” Based on an article that was published in Esquire, The Hunting Party tells the story of three journalists—actually five as the end of the film will explain during its comical “what was true and what wasn’t” montage—who took it upon themselves to find the most wanted war criminal in the world, Bosnia’s “The Fox”. Brought to screen by Richard Shepard, this is a movie that keeps you highly enthralled throughout. It may not be as solid a film as his previous effort, the underrated comedy…

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REVIEW: I’m Not There [2007]

“Tangled up in blue” Across the Universe is not the only film this year to use a musician’s work as the backbone to a story. Todd Haynes has used the life and music of singer Bob Dylan in order to composite a tale of his many selves in I’m Not There. I know little about the director, besides the names and accolades thrown towards his previous two theatrical works, and besides liking Dylan’s songs, I’m not privy to a huge wealth of information on him. There were some rudimentary tidbits,…

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