• babel_header

    Babel’s Abraham Verghese teaches Buffalo the difference between curing and healing

    It is interesting to see how Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel series has evolved over the years. Beyond locale (now residing at Kleinhans Music Hall after its origins in Asbury Hall at Babeville), artistic director (Barbara Cole seamlessly transitioning on from Michael Kelleher), and audience (last night’s crowd had to be the largest since Salman […]

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    You are the ambassador of your race: the human race … Babel’s Suzan-Lori Parks

    It wasn’t until Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Artistic Director Barbara Cole took the stage that I noticed something out-of-place: a microphone stand. I’m not entirely sure when its last appearance was, but I distinctly remember the vehemence of the audience when whoever used it couldn’t be heard. Everyone else seemed cognizant of the problem too […]

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    REVIEW: Enemy [2014]

    “Chaos is order yet undeciphered” When you read a synopsis for the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double you’ll find a very straightforward tale of doppelgangers. There’s the alpha, the pushover, and the innocent victims caught between; the insanity of seeing an exact replica in the flesh paired with the infinite possibilities such […]

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    The 86th Oscars recap through tweets …

    Welcome to the 86th Annual Academy Awards everyone! If you didn’t watch the festivities that occurred Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre you are probably a lot better off than most of us because it was a very lackluster affair. We all hoped Ellen DeGeneres would bring a fun, smart, witty return to her success […]

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    Top Ten Films of 2013: A year in cinema to write home about

    2013 has been a banner year for cinema with a slew of quality pictures that makes you wonder how only nine got enough first place votes to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Most of my favorites could have filled that elusive tenth spot for some added acclaim—whether having a chance to win or […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Last Love [2013]

“I’m an old fool, darling. Just an old fool.” Do not watch the trailer for writer/director Sandra Nettelbeck’s Last Love (formerly Mr. Morgan’s Last Love). For many that shouldn’t be a problem because like me they hadn’t known it existed until sitting down to watch, but I implore those who have to go in blind. […]

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REVIEW: Big Sur [2013]

“The circle’s closed in on the old heroes of the night” I’ve never read a novel by Jack Kerouac—the only Beat Generation tome I have leafed through is William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch—but I imagine the experience is similar to that of watching director Michael Polish’s adaption of the author’s 1962 work, Big Sur. About […]

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REVIEW: 毒戰 [Du zhan] [Drug War] [2013]

“Bad for the brain. Hahaha.” The first action film prolific Hong Kong director Johnnie To shot exclusively in Mainland China shows that locale has little to do with his ability to achieve the level of entertainment international audiences expect. 毒戰 [Du zhan] [Drug War] sticks with the gangster genre he’s most associated with by pitting […]

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REVIEW: Notre jour viendra [Our Day Will Come] [2010]

“How long can you stay a dumb, dull redhead?” Europe possesses a couple vocabulary words that we Americans wouldn’t take seriously if heard uttered in conversation. There’s a prejudice across the Atlantic—especially in England—against redheads that has coined the terms “gingerphobia” and “gingerism” as a form of hate crime. While the Middle Ages designated the […]

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REVIEW: Escape From Tomorrow [2013]

“Dad, why are we following those girls?” If you ever thought about going to Walt Disney World with the intention of shooting a dark psychological horror film on the sly about the multi-billion dollar corporation’s way too pristine façade hiding a seedy underbelly of prostitution, disease, and scientific espionage, I’m sorry but you’re too late. […]

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REVIEW: Toy Story of Terror [2013]

“And if something does happen to the potato—I don’t want to miss it!” While Disney/Pixar has dove into children’s television with Cars-centric offerings and a Buzz Lightyear spin-off, it’s surprising it’s taken this long to craft a primetime special. With what used to be a flawless feature film enterprise bolstered by award-winning shorts, perhaps they […]

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REVIEW: Broadway Idiot [2013]

“I can’t act. I can’t dance. Compared to a lot of these people I can’t even sing” I remember picking up Green Day’s American Idiot with trepidation in 2004. Dookie is without a doubt a classic while Insomniac proved to be a worthy follow-up to its greatness. Nimrod came with a few good tracks, but […]

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REVIEW: The Fifth Estate [2013]

“Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth” As reporters from The Guardian and The New York Times are shown sifting through hundreds of thousands of leaked documents uploaded to the Wikileaks site by Chelsea Manning (then Bradley) in 2010, the acronym EOF is clearly defined as “Escalation of Force” in a […]

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REVIEW: Renoir [2013]

“A girl from out of nowhere sent by a dead woman” A name as prolific as Renoir can’t help conjure a litany of tales worthy of the big screen. None, however, are more intriguing than the discovery of the surname’s most famous owners—Impressionist painter Pierre-August and his film-directing son Jean—sharing the same muse. Despite its […]

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REVIEW: 100 Bloody Acres [2013]

“…We’ll Fertilize Ya!” There is a fine line between horror spoof and horror comedy. The former tries to make fun of the genre while the latter looks to appeal to audiences of both halves. Since most horror generally has a comedic streak anyway, accomplishing this duality above the juvenile humor of a Scary Movie shouldn’t […]

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REVIEW: BUMRUSH! Boulder, Colorado [2013]

“We’re in Boulder, baby. This is how it goes.” While I’ve never been to Boulder, I have visited the Denver, CO area and experienced its college town atmosphere for the 30-40 sect looking to escape corporate suburbia for a bit of fun after the work day. I also talked to people who seemed genuinely discouraged […]

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REVIEW: The Road Home [2010]

“What’s so wrong with being Indian?” It’s easy to ignore questions about identity while living in America because its melting pot of cultures allows its citizens to put ethnicity aside and simply declare themselves “American”. Whether your skin is light or dark or you have a foreign accent or just one of the many regional […]

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REVIEW: Blood Brother [2013]

“I don’t want to just be a face in a book” While finding one’s calling is easy for some and effortless for others, the rest may need to travel around the world before figuring out what truly gives them meaning. Robin “Rocky” Braat is one of these lost souls—an underachieving youth from a broken home […]

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REVIEW: Yeah, Love [2008]

“Why do I write like a twelve year old?” High school love is complicated enough for “traditional” pairings of boy and girl without the myriad other paths it may take. You only have to listen to lacrosse star Toby (Paul Fabre) talk with friends about jealousy-inducing girlfriend Milo (Paton Ashbrook) to understand the multiple layers […]

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REVIEW: Leviathan [2013]

“It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud.” To no one’s surprise, the end of Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel‘s documentary Leviathan does not contain the usual “no animals were harmed during the making of this film” since the piece itself is literally the harrowingly horrific depiction […]