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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

REVIEW: Fired Up! [2009]

“No, science is awesome” I will admit it first off, I dreaded this day—the day I was going to sit down and watch Fired Up! It’s a film about two high school football jocks that decide to go to cheer camp and attempt to make headway in an untapped market of females. Now when I […]

REVIEW: The International [2009]

“Slaves to debt” Why do I keep questioning the work of Tom Tykwer? True, I didn’t know that The International was his film until way after the marketing onslaught, but even then I still held a little trepidation, although much less than when I first saw the trailers looking kind of mediocre. The guy most […]

REVIEW: Friday the 13th [2009]

“You should have been watching him” The scariest part of the new remake Friday the 13th … that’s right, getting into your car and realizing that the eternity was only 90 minutes. All jokes aside, what I learned from the newest installment in one of horror’s never-ending franchises is that you do not mess with […]

REVIEW: Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story [1988]

“What’s wrong? Do The Carpenters have something to hide?” There is something to be said about great music and the depths of hell it comes from. So many classic songs and albums were created under the influence of some drug, whether illegal or prescribed, or by a disorder of some kind, both mentally and physically. […]

REVIEW: Appaloosa [2008]

“Everything eats meat likes a dead buffalo” It kind of flew under the radar, but Ed Harris’ film Appaloosa is a pretty solid western. As only his second foray behind the camera, after the good art biography Pollock, Harris has upped the stakes a bit in terms of scope and execution. Sure an old time […]

REVIEW: Push [2009]

“It’s a shiny, shimmery bead” So, I’ll just come out and say it … I enjoyed Lucky Number Slevin. It was stylish, Ben Kingsley was a good kind of hammy, and Josh Hartnett’s penchant for wooden acting worked with the character. You know another thing I really enjoy? That little television show called “Heroes”. Trust […]

REVIEW: Coraline [2009]

“Great, the village stalker” OK America, before you go blindly into an animated film with your young children, why don’t you do a little research on what they are about to witness. A PG rating and stop-motion animated aesthetic do not always make a child-friendly adventure. Based upon the horror novella by acclaimed author Neil […]

REVIEW: The Pink Panther 2 [2009]

“An odd, sexy brother in a dress” Hmmm. Does America really hate itself this much? I guess it does. I’ll start off by saying how I’m not much of a fan of Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther let alone watching Steve Martin laugh himself to the bank with a couple of remakes, (I did not see […]

REVIEW: JCVD [2008]

“I’ve done nothing!” People who know my film tastes can tell you that my favorite movies are those that stray off the beaten path. Film’s that break the fourth wall and involve me as the viewer in the actual plotline always seem to hit the right spot. Chalk up JCVD as another great entry to […]

REVIEW: Taken [2008]

“Good luck” Mr. Pierre Morel, you have picked an express train to latch on to—good for you. Something about Luc Besson just works every single time. I’m sad that his declaration of being finished with the director’s chair may be true, however, his scripts are mounting and churning out entertaining action flicks. If you can […]

REVIEW: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans [2009]

“I loved you more than anything” When I first decided to check out the prequel/third installment to two of my favorite guilty pleasure vampire/lycanthrope films, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, I joked to myself that I’d be shallow enough to say it failed right from the start by not having the beauty that is Kate […]

REVIEW: Woyzeck [1979]

“You always look so hunted” **Spoilers** Let’s just say that it is good to watch something as potentially inaccessible as Werner Herzog’s Woyzeck with friends who know something about the work for which it is based. As someone unfamiliar with Herzog’s and Klaus Kinski’s film work—this is my first look at their tumultuous yet epic […]

REVIEW: The Reader [2008]

“Only one thing can make a soul complete—and that one thing is love” What is guilt? I believe this is the central question behind Stephen Daldry’s new film The Reader. Based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink, the story asks its audience what a true monster is. If you are doing your job, afflicted by […]

REVIEW: ואלס עם באשיר [Waltz with Bashir] [2008]

“Good morning Lebanon” 2008 has become a very odd year for foreign films. I like to think that it is a testament to the quality of movies coming over internationally that has caused this problem of picking those worthy of awards. One of only two Oscar nominees that mirrored the noms from the Golden Globes […]

REVIEW: My Bloody Valentine 3D [2009]

“Be mine 4 ever” Well if I was a long time editor of Wes Craven films, I’d want to eventually exit his shadow and make a name for myself too. Why director Patrick Lussier decided to choose a remake to put himself out there, I don’t know, but that is what he is giving us. […]