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    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: The Act of Killing [2012]

“They proudly told us stories about what they did” Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing can be described as nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a one-of-a-kind document that gets into the mind of madmen with the blood of genocide on their hands by displaying their hubris, remorselessness, and cavalier attitudes firsthand. Oppenheimer […]

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REVIEW: そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] [2013]

“Now it all makes sense” After recently reading that Hirokazu Koreeda’s そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] had been optioned by Dreamworks for an English language reboot, I can’t help but imagine how ineffective it will be in comparison to the Japanese original. A lot of what works in this tale of a father struggling to […]

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REVIEW: RoboCop [1987]

“The future has a silver lining” It started with a passing thought by screenwriter Edward Neumeier as he walked by a poster for Blade Runner—a movie his friend explained was about a “cop hunting robots”. What if he combined those two nouns to make a robot cop? A machine with the computational power to judge […]

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REVIEW: Odd Thomas [2014]

“I may see dead people, but by God I do something about it” It’s August 14th in Pico Mundo, CA and the world is about to end. Well, not the world per se, but the community young Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) resides. Sort of. He sees ghosts of dead people with unfinished business, a gift […]

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REVIEW: The Monuments Men [2014]

“Present company expected” There was real potential for George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men to turn into a broad comedy about a hapless band of seven working their way through Europe in search of the stolen masterpieces Adolf Hitler hid away for his own personal collection of greed. It had the hokey score sounding like a […]

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REVIEW: Poziţia copilului [Child's Pose] [2013]

“Why do you keep treating us like enemies?” What does it mean to be a parent? To take a blanketed, personal responsibility for the good and the bad of your child’s actions? This question is at the heart of Călin Peter Netzer‘s Golden Bear-winning (Berlin International Film Festival) film Poziţia copilului [Child's Pose], not just […]

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REVIEW: Endless Love [2014]

“Should I take off my shoes or somethin’?” If this year’s Valentine’s hopeful Endless Love does anything right it’s that it doesn’t sweat the small stuff. The crucial moment that fractures any chance of David Elliot (Alex Pettyfer) winning the approval of his girlfriend Jade Butterfield’s (Gabriella Wilde) father Hugh (Bruce Greenwood) comes as a […]

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REVIEW: Winter’s Tale [2014]

“For even time and distance are not what they appear to be” Can you buy a world where angels and demons walk alongside humans, gently coaxing us onto a path of righteousness or evil in order to tip the scales of eternity their way throughout time infinite? What about the idea that we each have […]

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REVIEW: Constantine [2005]

“You still trying to buy your way into Heaven” At the height of the first new wave of comic book adaptations, Warner Bros. delved a little deeper into the literary medium’s annals for something dark like New Line’s Blade. It was three years before Iron Man ushered in cinematic universes and a year after Spider-Man […]

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REVIEW: Vampire Academy [2014]

“The clarity of the darkness beckons” The target demographic for Vampire Academy? Teenage girls. The only demographic that could truly, completely enjoy it? Teenage girls. With that said, however, it knows this and isn’t afraid to embrace it. Honestly, for better or worse, that’s exactly what it should strive towards because it’s why Hollywood green-lit […]

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REVIEW: Cutie and the Boxer [2013]

“The average one has to support the genius” TV producer Zachary Heinzerling may have set out to make a documentary about two artists, but what he filmed was love. Not the storybook love of a man sweeping a woman off her feet to live happily ever after in piece, harmony, and financial stability, though. No, […]

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REVIEW: La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty] [2013]

“She took a step back and said …” On quick reflection exiting the theater post-La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty], I came to the simplified but apt conclusion it felt like The Great Gatsby by way of Holy Motors. Here’s a man, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), who explains right off the bat that he’d choose […]

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REVIEW: Jagten [The Hunt] [2013]

“Then you can have a kick in the butt” I used to just walk outside the house and play with the neighborhood children in the street when I was young. We’d go anywhere we liked in this idyllic environment of safe trespass amongst unknown adults and kids along the way. So, it’s still difficult to […]

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REVIEW: Down and Dangerous [2014]

“Who says I’m not having fun?” If you’re familiar with writer/director Zak Forsman’s work you’ll know that it was only a matter of time before he branched out from subtle character pieces to the action genre. Whether the stoic performances, attractive compositions, or pulsing beats by composer Deklun, Forsman and his team at The Sabi […]

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REVIEW: Dogma [1999]

“You can’t be anal retentive if you don’t have a anus” Due to an overly self-deprecating humor, writer/director Kevin Smith will always be the first to say he lacks true “talent” as a filmmaker. From the ultra-low budget Clerks to a recent spate of box office failures, his work deals in eccentrically loquacious characters with […]