Top Ten Films of 2011: Melancholy with a slice of hope


If anyone tells you 2011 was a bad year for cinema, stop in your tracks, turn around and walk away without ever looking back. They have no idea what they’re talking about. With a wealth of quality films from bonafide auteurs devoid of source material, the sheer amount of original work is astonishing. The trend […]

Top 25 Films of 2011


(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 150 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Win Win directed by Thomas McCarthy #24: The Adjustment Bureau directed by George Nolfi #23: Super 8 directed by J.J. Abrams #22: Source Code directed by […]

Picking Winners at the 84th Annual Academy Awards


For the next week and a half, Spree contributor William C. Altreuter, our online film reviewer Jared Mobarak, and me will share our thoughts on who will take home the Oscars. Let’s kick things off with … Best Supporting Actress. —C. S. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy Miller Jessica Chastain – […]

REVIEW: The Tree of Life [2011]


“Why should I be good if you aren’t?” The above quote is spoken with auteur Terrence Malick’s trademarked voiceover, as is most of The Tree of Life when words are deemed appropriate enough to enhance the image-driven composition played out with orchestral precision. These words are meant as an internal question, young Jack frustrated with […]

REVIEW: ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติ [Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives] [2010]


“I’ll find my way back to help you” I think there is a major cultural divide for me watching the Palme D’or winning Thai film ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติ [Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives] from writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. There is such spirituality to its display of Boonmee’s (Thanapat Saisaymar) final days that I can’t begin […]

The Most Anticipated Films of 2011


While Jon Favreau may say that 2011 looks to have a bloodbath summer on its hands with blockbusters galore taking 3D screens from each other, I’ll say right now that those aren’t the movies most intriguing me. Next year sees a return for Jack Sparrow, Lightning McQueen, Holmes and Watson, the Witwickys, Ethan Hunt, and, […]

FILM MARATHON #3: Movie Musicals (Broadway & Original)

The reason I started doing my marathon series was to finally start seeing films I’ve neglected and needed to see. Doing the filmography of Terrence Malick couldn’t have turned out better with some of the greatest works of cinema I’ve ever seen. Days of Heaven easily vaulted itself into my top 10 of all-time and […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #4 – The New World [2005]


“At the moment I was to die, she threw herself upon me” There is no way to mistake a Terrence Malick film for anything but. His use of score as a character rather than background, the hitch cuts in scenes as though only a few frames are removed, ultra short vignettes right out of a […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #3 – The Thin Red Line [1998]


“The only things that are permanent is dying and the Lord” Pure, unfiltered, raw emotion. That is what’s front and center in Terrence Malick’s adaptation of James Jones’s autobiographical novel The Thin Red Line. The term itself may describe a thinly spread line of defense holding position in war, but I think the metaphor towards […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #2 – Days of Heaven [1978]


“But if you’ve been bad, God don’t even hear you. He don’t even hear ya talkin’.” Overwhelmed. The tagline got it right: every sense—by the end of Days of Heaven—will be overwhelmed. Terrence Malick’s second feature film is as breathtaking as you’ve heard, mesmerizing you with its sumptuous beauty until the hellish climax burns through […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #1 – Badlands [1973]


“He said that if the Devil came at me, I could shoot him with a gun” A character at the end of Terrence Malick’s debut feature film Badlands tells antihero Kit that he is “quite the individual”. This could be the understatement of 1973. Based on the 1950s Starkweather-Fugate killing spree, the film tells the […]