Picking Winners at the 91st Annual Academy Awards

The 91st Annual Academy Awards hits airwaves Sunday, February 24th, 2019 at 8:00pm on ABC. For those handicapping at home, here are the guesses of Buffalo film fanatics Christopher Schobert, William Altreuter, and myself. Jared Mobarak: It’s the type of year where hashtags rhetoric simply won’t work. There’s just not one all encapsulating buzzword to touch upon the myriad problems these nominations face. What do you do when you have a film up for Best Picture that was directed by a known presumed sexual predator who was fired for not…

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REVIEW: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot [2019]

I’ll thank you to look after the dog. A title like The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot is making very specific promises and writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski doesn’t disappoint. Calvin Barr (Aidan Turner in flashback) did kill Adolf Hitler and Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott in present day) will be recruited to hunt down and eventually kill The Bigfoot. These imperatives are present and plain as day with the type of verbosity that gets you smiling before you even see how crazy this hero’s life proves to accomplish…

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REVIEW: A Star Is Born [2018]

I love the way she sees them. It began with Hollywood as William A. Wellman and Robert Carson won an Oscar for their story about a young actress dreaming of super stardom in 1937. From there it went the way of the movie musical thanks to Judy Garland taking the lead before earning six nominations in 1954. Next came Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson to shift things to the music world with its aging rock star and hopeful songstress adding a 1976 Best Song to the awards cabinet. Now—almost a…

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REVIEW: The Hero [2017]

“You can’t outrun destiny, amigo” Death is the great equalizer and one true certainty in life. That doesn’t mean we’re prepared for its sudden or prolonged arrival, though. If anything it forces us to take stock of achievements and mistakes, knowing that the time we believed we had to fix the latter was about to disappear. As we deal with an unavoidable internal existential crisis, we also seek to reignite external relationships long since disintegrated. This is the journey Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) takes in Brett Haley‘s The Hero. He’s…

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REVIEW: The Good Dinosaur [2015]

“Look who got relevated” You constantly hear about movies needing reshoots, but The Good Dinosaur‘s troubles went beyond cosmetic enhancements into full-blown emergency room triage. I’m talking two years of development before a release date announcement, two more before that date and original director Bob Peterson (who came up with the story alongside his directorial replacement Peter Sohn) were scrapped, and another two wherein the plot got completely retooled until the final film would bare little resemblance to the germ of an idea on which it began. Pixar’s cancelled Newt…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: The Company You Keep [2013]

“We made mistakes, but we were right” In Robert Redford and Lem Dobbs‘ adaptation of Neil Gordon‘s novel The Company You Keep, the personal futures fought for by the militant Weather Underground during the Vietnam War risk being destroyed as the last surviving members of a Bank of Michigan robbery find their past catching up to them after thirty years. Hidden with new identities and normal, domestic lives far from the bombings and murders of a previous era, they’ve begun to take stock and find the guilt of what they…

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REVIEW: Did You Hear About the Morgans? [2009]

“You may kiss the bride” Why do I put myself through it? Every once in a while, those trailers for derivative romantic comedies hide behind them a diamond in the rough. Sometimes you can look at your date for the evening and genuinely say you enjoyed the film, and not just to put a smile on her face for the hopes of an extended evening. Well, I’ll tell all you guys, and girls if you’re thinking about dragging your plus one, avoid Did You Hear About the Morgans? at all…

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REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk [2008]

“Days since last incident” Leave it to this drama lover to think that the new film The Incredible Hulk is more boring than Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003, despite the fact everyone in the entire world hated that version because it was “too slow”. Maybe it was the departure in genre tone that Lee brought to the movie making it a psychological tale of humanity rather than an action, comic-book romp, but I was pleasantly surprised after thinking it would just be Hulk-Smash over and over again. The funny thing is…

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REVIEW: The Golden Compass [2007]

“Just a small little cut” I have thought that Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy would make some very interesting films ever since I read them almost a decade ago. The fantasy and utter intrigue that they instilled in me never left my consciousness. When I heard that American Pie director Chris Weitz would be helming it, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve seen many movies in my time to know that past work means often little when it comes to future endeavors, but I admit to enjoying…

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