REVIEW: Hop [2011]

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“See you later. Enjoy your life of privilege.” What do you get when you mix Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with The Santa Clause? Why another redundant holiday flick to tickle the kiddies and leave Mom and Dad clueless to the appeal, of course. Between the coronation of a new Easter Bunny, the betrothed […]

REVIEW: Made in Dagenham [2010]

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“Above all—if I nod, you nod” It is somewhat humorous how there has been such uproar of debate concerning the feminism at work with Zack Snyder’s newest Sucker Punch. Here is a fantastical action romp of emblazoned young women fighting for their freedom through imagination and we’re made to cut through a flimsy script to […]

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 […]

The healing power of stories … Babel’s Edwidge Danticat

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With the recent earthquake in Japan calling to mind last year’s disaster in Haiti, Just Buffalo Literary Center’s newest Babel visitor couldn’t have been more appropriate. Moved to America at the age of twelve, the Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat found herself at the forefront of media coverage last year—a sort of expert on her Caribbean nation […]

REVIEW: Sucker Punch [2011]

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“It will be a deep sacrifice and a perfect victory” If you’re going to make an R-rated film, you better well do so. Zack Snyder is a director who has been given the green-light to go for broke on all his adult-fare, (I exclude Legend of the Guardians from his oeuvre here), towards box office […]

REVIEW: Kaboom [2011]

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“Are you, like, gay or whatever too, or, like, normal?” Using a soundtrack as the score to a generation’s penchant for drugs, sex, and enlightenment, Gregg Araki’s Kaboom portrays a college of liberated psyches running wild to the sounds of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cut Copy, The xx, and Interpol. It’s a […]

REVIEW: Paul [2011]

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“And that’s Jenga!” If I hadn’t already realized this fact last year after loving Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I knew it following my screening of Paul—Edgar Wright is the lynchpin of success for the quartet of he, Nira Park, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. It began on British television with the hilarious homage-driven “Spaced” […]

REVIEW: Win Win [2011]

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“We have kids, Mike. I’m not taking chances with Eminem down there.” Just when I finally catch Thomas McCarthy’s debut film, The Station Agent, and deem it the touchtone all his other work will be compared towards, he one-ups himself with Sundance fave Win Win. Delving into the human psyche and second chances once more, […]

REVIEW: Heavy Metal Parking Lot [1986]

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“Yeah, I’m on acid man, that’s where I am …” You hear the praise about John Heyn and Jeff Krulik’s Heavy Metal Parking Lot and think it can’t be true. A 16-minute videotaped documentary about the Metalheads waiting for a Judas Priest/Dokken concert at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland can’t be this religious experience […]

REVIEW: The Station Agent [2003]

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“Would you mind not looking at me right now?” Actor Thomas McCarthy is quite the paradox. The man has a face full of smugness and unchecked attitude, making him ideal for intelligent, arrogant jerks. Maybe jerk is too strong a word since he also has the capacity for remorse, but I do find it apt […]

REVIEW: Battle: Los Angeles [2011]

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“You got a silver star and my brother came home in a body bag. I get it.” Stock up on Dramamine, brush up on your Hooked on Phonics, dust off the ol’ Stars and Stripes, and prepare for some Marine Corps action as alien invaders decimate all but one platoon—Oorah! I can just picture the […]